Community Episode 1: "Spanish 101" - Recap


In this episode of Community, Jeff tries to become Britta's Spanish partner, but his scheming backfires. Meanwhile, Shirley and Anna pitch in with Britta's social-justice case. It seems that the Jeff-Britta love connection is central to driving the plot of the show, with little else happening to give depth to the other characters. Going into the second episode, the real question is this: Is this series a one-trick pony? Let's find out.


It seems that the Jeff-Britta love connection is central to driving the plot of the show, with little else happening to give depth to the other characters. But when Spanish professor, Senor Chang (The Hangover's Ken Jeong) shows up can humor hopes be restored and save the show? Or will they all fail their Spanish project as well as our expectations?


When we first catch up with Jeff just before study session, his smooth-talking, confident ways are reinforced by him stealing a faculty parking sticker for a prime spot. He kisses the hand of every lady (with the exception of Britta) in the study group and gives high fives to every guy awaiting his arrival at their usual table, in light of his tardiness. It's apparent he has somehow trained this group of Spanish-challenged classmates with his slick-talkin' ways. He can do no wrong in their eyes, but his intentions are questionable if not shallow. By the end of the intro, he's got Annie's notes from class and Shirley batting her eyelashes. Britta isn't impressed, using such repellent phrases like "I have douche ray vision." Jeff remains undeterred and hands her a two-week anniversary card, saying it's been two weeks since their first impressions, and he'd like to fix the wrongs he's done. She politely declines.


In addition to Jeff, it seems Annie and Shirley are equally as taken by Britta as well. They look up to her and her work overseas in the Peace Corps as motivation to make changes at their own school. Britta looks uneasy when asked to help the Guatemalans in a silent protest.


Cut to Spanish class, and guess who's standing at the head of the class? The Hangover's Ken Jeong! In front of a sea of confused faces, Senior Chang tries to speak to their uncertainty. It's possible his knowledge of the Spanish language could be limited considering his Asian descent, but he combats the haters in the room with hilarious lines such as "Why not math, why not photography, why not martial arts, surely it should be in my nature to teach you something of ancient secret". But he reassures them his knowledge will "bite you in the face!" It's true, I must admit, his presence was a nice surprise in an otherwise dull climate, and he did make me smile during his brief stay. His comedy was familiar, though, and included his signature shouting and nonsensical condescending upon a helpless audience.


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