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Community Review: Submachopter

Was that the most avant garde half hour I have ever seen on network television? Or was it just a thirty minute primetime ad for G.I. Joe? Honestly, why can't it be both? Community Season 5 Episode 11  was a breath-taking creative coup for a show that knows a thing or two about breath-taking creative coups, as well as a meditation on the soothing but ultimately negative nature of nostalgia AND an infomercial about how cool classic 1980's G.I. Joes were. Read more:  //

Community 5.11 Review: “G.I. Jeff”

A week without  Community   was long. Good thing writing is like riding a bike, and  Community  is a bike I will ALWAYS get back on. This week’s episode was entirely unique (unless you frequently watch G.I. Joe cartoons) and the show is at the top of its game. To describe the episode in too much detail would just ruin the experience for you, so I’m just going to cover the basics here. Trust me, it’s better if you watch it. Most  Community  fans already knew the animated episode was coming this week. So they waste no time in jumping right in to the animated world. Anyone who has ever watched G.I. Joe or any other cartoon from the 80′s or 90′s would recognize the reference immediately (despite the title of the episode).  All of our favorite characters are inserted into a G.I. Joe type story. They even have cool names that sound like old Gamma Iota Joseph picked them out himself. So Wingman (Jeff), Three Kids (Shirley), Tight Ship (Annie), Buzz Kill (Britta), and Fourth Wall (Abed), suddenly find themselves in a world where Jeff can hurt the bad guys instead of just firing at and missing them. This is a dangerous world, so our five heroes are banished and become “The Mutineers”.  The word “Greendale” makes Wingman pass out, but they feel they must find this place. Read More... //


As Abed noted at the top of this episode, sequels are always tough, and it was risky for Community to revisit territory it had excelled with before, as Season 2’s D&D episode is still a highlight of the series. Ultimately, I would say, in movie terms, “Advanced Advanced Dungeons & Dragons” is a solid sequel that delivers plenty of great entertainment, even if it can’t quite mach the heights of its predecessor. Read More... //

Community Recap: By Die Hard’s Sword!

Fan service can be tricky, and there seems to be a pretty thin line between doing it right and doing it very, very wrong. I’ve heard a few people refer to Community ’s fourth season as a Pet Sematary version of the show, which I think is apt; it’s going through familiar motions, but there’s a different soul in there. I think showrunners Port and Guarascio were trying to do too much fan service, or what Dan Harmon called “The Comic-Con version” in his recent interview with Alan Sepinwall. And can you blame them? They were walking into a show that had a rabid fan base with an encyclopedic knowledge, and while it certainly would have been interesting to watch a season of Community with Happy Endings ’ soul, that version of the show would have alienated the small but ferocious fans the show already had.   Read More... //

Review: 'Community' - 'Advanced Advanced Dungeons & Dragons'

HitFix's Alan Sepinwall reviews "Advanced Advanced Dungeons & Dragons," the March 20 episode of NBC's "Community," in which the group tries to help Buzz bond with estranged son David Cross.   Read More... //

Community 5.10 Review: “Advanced Dungeons and Dragons”

As the season winds down,  Community   has continually proved that it has what it takes to continue. Despite the interchanging of cast members and other obstacles,  Community  has endured. Tonight’s episode was  a triumphant return to the dungeons and dragons playing field (er…dungeon?), and although it wasn’t to save a life (Neil’s still here, doing things in the background), they still played for a noble cause. Professor Hickey is having trouble at home. He was (once again) not invited to his grandson’s birthday party because of a strained relationship with his son, Hank ( David Cross ,  Arrested Development ). Hickey has never been able to connect with Hank, because he was into that game…”with the dungeons…and the dragons.” Annie and the crew volunteer to play the game with them to help them connect. Abed resumes his role as dungeon master and gives everyone characters. After Hank scoffs at the characters, they switch them up (so instead of Hickey and Hank being father and son, Jeff is the father and Dean Pelton is the son. Priceless). Their mission is to kill the necromancer at the top of the mountain. First, they start by fighting with each other, followed by a Hickey/Hank argument, a Jeff speech, and then the consequences of their in game squabble gets everyone separated, right around the time that Hickey and Hank make a wager of family time based on the results of the game. Read More... //

Community Recap: Collect Your Tokens

It can be easy to look too deeply into any given episode of Community , because the show has so often invited us, via its meta-textuality, to look behind the curtain and not just step through what would be our side of the fourth wall, but through what I suppose would be the show’s second wall, as well. Often, the level of “meta” that Dan Harmon and his trusted crew bring to the show are what makes the show so wonderful and unique, because they’ve been able to strike a rich balance: commenting on the show’s very existence through the characters themselves rarely gets in the way of the characters being the characters. However, the show has a reputation for going meta a bit too often, and I always find myself relieved when a classic, straight, two-and-a-half-story episode airs, because it’s a reminder that the show doesn’t always have to be a commentary on itself, or a sendup of classic Hollywood tropes. Sometimes it can just be its own thing, and “VCR Maintenance” is a textbook example — see what I did there? — of just how witty and laugh-out-loud funny Community can still be.   Read More... //

'Community' Season 5, episode 9 recap: Breaking bad in 'VCR Maintenance and Educational Publishing'

Naturally, the "Community" Season 5 episode that features "Breaking Bad" creator Vince Gilligan has to involve a descent into crime. Only the crime doesn't involve meth here -- it's about textbooks. And Vince Gilligan has nothing to do with the illegal book racket. Instead, he appears as a cowboy in a 1990s-era VCR game..In order to make some sense of any of this, please enjoy the following recap of "VCR Maintenance and Educational Publishing."Never let Shirley near a viceFor someone who is so good and moral most of the time, Shirley sure likes her descents into crime and debauchery. This week's temptation comes in the form of chemistry books. Along with Jeff and Professor Hickey, Shirley finds a hoard of brand-new textbooks in a storage room.Naturally, the group immediately comes up with a plan to capitalize on this. They're prodded a bit by the fact that paychecks have been delayed (a problem not remedied... //

Review: 'Community' - 'VCR Maintenance and Educational Publishing'

HitFix's Alan Sepinwall reviews "VCR Maintenance and Educational Publishing," the March 13 episode of NBC's "Community," in which Annie and Abed compete for a third roommate, and a treasure trove of textbooks causes trouble. //

Community Season 5 “Advanced Advanced Dungeons & Dragons” Review

First, shame on everyone at  Community  for not including Dean Pelton in the season 2 episode “Advanced Dungeons and Dragons.” He should have been at the table with the study group. In a season that has payed homage to classic episodes from the show’s first three seasons,  Community took on the daunting task of revising the wildly popular season 2 episode in which the gang tried to cheer up  fat  Neil and in which we saw Pierce prove quite adept at Dungeons and Dragons. I think “Advanced Advanced Dungeons & Dragons” would get the sequel stamp of approval from Abed. As he aptly noted, sequels are hard! Read More... //