This past Thursday’s episode of Community (Season 3, Episode 4, Remedial Chaos Theory) was the best one this season and the best one since the Season 2. I have a bunch of comments in this post: http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2011/10/communityrecapeviltroyevil.html#
Here’s a copy and paste of what I said in the thread (as of 10/15/2011):
One of the best episodes they’ve ever made. The craziness was back.
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@fernoftheholy – Hey, you know, now that you mention Eartha Kitt, I’m reminded of this one time (at band camp) . . . with Eartha . . . in an airplane bathroom . . . cough, cough, ahem. Yeah, that’s just where my mind goes.
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yep, first true “Community” level good episode this season. The first three had their moments but the last time Community had this level of epic-ness was in the Paintball season finales last season.
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Booo. Fantastically great episode. Community at its best. Worthy to stand with Memory, Conspiracy and Paintball. Can’t wait to watch it again.
- Troy’s hard case of candy cigarettes
- Britta’s “Me so hungee” dance
- The pizza guy’s “There are OTHER timelines?”
- Britta owning every chance she got in this episode
- The Troll
- The Negro Problem
- Abed’s face when Annie and Britta arrived
- Jeff getting tricked by Abed’s exclusive club
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@jtdirte13 – Pierce’s “Encarta It” is now in my daily phrase book.
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It took me until the second alternate timeline to realize that Britta says “It’s not dignified” right before she does that stupid, hilarious dance, which made it even better.
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Agree with the comments of it standing up to the best of the best Community episodes. Although there’s room for more than the few you listed including the episode where they played Pool off the top of my head.
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Now THAT was Community. No Chang, and the funny instantly returns. What a concept.
btw what’s up Vutlure? New recapper, same hate.
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@77BC – Isn’t this the same recapper? Actually a fair and balanced write-up: one that I disagree with completely, but it’s not as if Steve *missed* anything. He just didn’t react to it the same way, and he’s not wrong about the repetition — the actual “You do realize you’ve just created six alternate universes” line could’ve been shaved down or elided.
Still, the impressive thing about this episode is that it didn’t waste any character development: yes, six timelines didn’t “occur” — but the things the characters were feeling in them still exist. Troy didn’t have that moment with Britta, but we understand that he’s maturing and wants to be acknowledged for that. Annie didn’t actually kiss Jeff, but they still both want to, if they can just get past the daddy issue stuff. And Pierce’s storyline was touching: watch him toss the troll in the “real” reality.
And yeah, nice to not have to deal with Chang.
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@illogicaljoker – He missed the homage aspects & the fact that Britta was smoking pot, not cigarettes (seems like a pretty major oversight). Also, he weirdly overlooked all the past signs of Troy + Britta chemistry from previous seasons.
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@bananab0at – I missed that in the recap (the ignorance of the pot); what were the homage aspects, though? I mean, there’s a ton of pop cultural stuff in every episode, but is there something specific you were referring to in this one?
@illogicaljoker – Oh, I wrote some nonsense about it above. Basically it seemed like a Tarantino homage (based on pacing, tone & look) to me from the outset. Esp that slanty-shot of the buzzer & the jarring sound of it & the quick cut to everyone touching their noses (movie terms! I don’t know them!) – most of the episode was NOT in typical Community style. Whether it was a homage to Tarantino or someone else, it was def a nod to someone/thing.
I don’t mind the review. Once the concept was present, some minutes in, I was thinking, “finally a nice, true, good ‘Community’-ish concept this season” but feels a little lacking. But then it picked up and made up for lost time in no time. An amazing episode, but not a flawless one which do exist in the Community series.
I’ve been waiting for Community to hit its stride. The past three episodes were okay, but not great. This one was altogether perfect. Finally! It’s back!
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@lulu32 – yep, I was so nervous Community lost its stride. Especially since I’ve been reading that this season is supposed to be a little more tame or whatever.
Perfect execution. Right when I was on the brink of getting tired of the entire concept and wondering what semi-dark place the episode would end in (which has happened more often, recently, as if the writers feel the need to push against the joyful wrap-ups of other wrought episodes, like the first bottle episode), Abed pulled the rug out.
Great to see the inspiring monologue come from someone who has been characterized more and more one-dimensionally, and the entire “real” timeline was simply Happy, the kind of non-sentimental happy that Parks and Rec nails each week.
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@SpacemanSpiff – well said. It was because of those moments where you start to feel the episode is a little slow or the concept is getting tired that the episode loses it’s “Flawless Victory” tag. But it was an amazing episode, the best this season, the best since the Paintball Season finale episodes of Season 2.
a 7 out of 10, I kind of agree with the recapper, you guys are a bit too enthusiastic. Cmon compare this to paintball or pillow fort…it got back on the right track but fell short with the individual storylines, would have been better if more then one or two of them went off the rails.
@arose03 – I still hold “Conspiracy Theories” as one of the greatest episodes, though I know it took some flak at the time. That chase through the blanket fort (with the weird Britta/Eyes Wide Shut room) is still Community at its best.
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9.5 out of then. There were some slow moments but the payoffs were so good that weaker setup has to be at least partially forgiven.
I loved Pierce’s “Encarta it.”
I mean, that’s a cracking reference.
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@penny_can – They had to teach Chevy what Encarta is. No lie. (Gillian tweeted this last night.)
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Encarta it was the line of the night.
Easily the best episode of the season so far. Loved Shirley’s apron. Nice bit of pathos at the end when they all sing and dance to “Roxanne.” (What WAS that move Shirley was doing?) This one totally ate Parks & Rec’s lunch, which hadn’t been true in quite awhile. Thought the tag was a little too long and business-as-usual for the show, but did enjoy Troy’s voicebox…
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@oedipa – I would not go that far (ate Parks’ lunch). Great episode, but Parks is playing in a different league.
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Parks is pretty much heart warming every episode. Community hits that note a couple of times per season. I did love Parks last night, but Community was streets ahead.
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@jtdirte13 – Streets ahead? Oh yeah: POP POP!
@jtdirte13 – This episode restored my faith in Community. Also it didn’t have a Winger monologue, thank god.
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@Sabbotage – Oh, but it did. Abed gave it. Which was great.
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Troy’s voicebox plus Evil Goatee just sealed it. Best ep in years. <3
Parks and Recs has its moments but doesn’t hold a candle to Community.
Is there a reference to an actual villains circle (or combination of) at the end of this Community episode? Jeff Winger reminded me of Joker with his purple and his hair.