Saturday, May 22, 2010
An OMG moment in the Community all-hands-on-deck finale!
I will eventually have a post ranking all of the various shows I watched this year, but right now, Community is definitely in the Top 5, and possibly the Top 3, depending on how a couple finales shake out. While reviews are a bit mixed for the finale this past Thursday, I love it for a number of reasons, including the big news at the end of the episode, which I will tackle at the end of this entry. In no particular order otherwise:
- The continued expanded character roles for Abed (Danny Pudi) and Troy (Don Glover). While Troy learned in this episode that too much of a good thing can be bad for you, via his giant cookie, I'm not sure if this is true of the Community characters. If they ever did make a spin-off show, Troy and Abed are the obvious candidates.
With this pairing and a lot of the season, I think the writers deserve credit for seeing how the actors interacted and developing relationships from there. At the beginning of the season, I think there was an effort to develop Troy as a counterpart for Jeff, given the athletic background of Troy. However, as he and Abed clearly have a sort of goofy chemistry together, Troy's athletic background has been put on the back burner. This is definitely the right move.
- All of the guest stars for Community, who mostly play professors, were on full display in Thursday's episode. The most consistent performer, I've never even mentioned before on this blog: Jim Rash, the actor who plays Dean Pelton, and who somehow has 51 credits on IMDB. With his bald dome and mannerisms, Rash kind of reminds me of Stephen Stucker, who played the flamboyantly gay and energetic Johnny in Airplane!
Along with Dr. Ken (a.k.a. Senor Chang on the show), Rash is consistently funny as the overly-enthusiastic Dean Pelton. While the show lacks a traditional nemesis, Pelton serves as a mild antagonist, constantly enrolling members of the Spanish study group in his service. I like that there is an instigator, someone who motivates the gang to do things, instead of focusing solely on their interpersonal drama from week to week.
Thursday's episode also saw guest appearances from Jeff's former professor flame (meh) and John Oliver as the school psychologist. Oliver is great in this role, especially when he was getting loaded at the community college prom. I also loved the LOST reference, as Chang promised that he would find a loophole to get his revenge, and he did by the end of the episode.
- Finally, I suppose I should talk about the kiss. Given my profound love for Alison Brie, it was hard to see her lock lips, but at least it was with the dreamy Joel McHale. (I'm also slightly annoyed that I missed Brie during her art school phase. Damn!)
I also think this fits in well with the on-screen chemistry the actors have with one another. From the pilot and initial episodes of Community, it looked like they were playing up a possible Jeff and Brita romance. However, I just don't think they (meaning the actors) ever had that great of a chemistry. Therefore, I applaud the decision to go with a Jeff and Annie pairing, since there is electricity in all of their scenes together.
Now that they have made-out a bit though, I imagine the second season is mostly going to be concerned with logistical dilemmas. I think the two 1) initially downplay what happened and then 2) have a secret romance. My friend Matt advanced the hypothesis that Brita would be the last one to know about Jeff and Annie, which I agree with. I also wonder if the age difference gets brought up at some point - On the show, I believe Annie is in the 18 to 20-year-old range, whereas Jeff is closer to 30. That's a pretty significant gap, and I hope they don't just ignore the issue completely.
That being said, I honestly can't wait for the second season of Community. Of the various shows I watch, I definitely think it had the strongest end to its season, keeping in mind that several still have some wrap-up episodes to go. Community had a bit of a bumpy start, but it has grown-up to be a really clever comedy.
Finale grade: A+
Season grade: A