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Community - Advance Safety Features - Review: "Characters done right"



Let’s start with my favorite quote from the episode:
"Are you...? I don't know how to... I have a rule about being constructive so I can't ask any questions right now, because all of the questions that I have right now are rhetorical and end with the word 'idiot'. Do you know what rhetorical...? Of course you don't, you are an idiot.
I'm sorry! I'm so sorry! You are so stupid and you have no idea, you are the only one who has no idea, because guess why? Don't answer that, you'll get it wrong. Also don't, you are just dumb little man who tries to destroy this school every minute. I am sorry! I'm so sorry!
Oh it's ok! I mean, it's not ok, shh. Oh stupid, so stupid... such a dummy
." - Frankie Dart.

That quote is pretty much what I love of Community, the blend of comedy with a heartfelt sentiment of compassion and camaraderie; this is a show about flawed, broken, characters who make something better of themselves by coming together, and Frankie has been a great addition as she brings some of the best sides of the rest of the characters while being fully accepted for her own quirks, and she is quickly becoming my favorite part of this season.

Last week I was pretty bummed because I felt the show was moving past character development and storylines for something that was merely just funny moments, and that based in how the show tripped on the final minutes of another wise standout episode of the season. But now those concerns have been calmed - though not put to bed entirely -, since the show brought along an episode that’s more about relationships than it is about crazy storylines with no transcendence on the future.

I was really glad to see Britta’s old flame “Subway” back, who is now working with Honda, making subliminal advertising to get people buying cars. It is the perfect way to get on rolling with obvious product placement while delivering classic Community storylines, such as getting the Dean obsessed over Honda cars and have Britta testing her convictions while trying to make her relationship with Subway work.

The subplot, revolving around the group trying to get Elroy to like him, is a classic Community set up, just like the reveal that Elroy doesn’t like Jeff and as expected he obsesses over it.
Just like Frankie, Elroy fits right in with the plotlines and dynamics of the group, and I like that we get lots of moments with him, especially near the end of the episode, but I’ll get to that.

One of the great things to have Subway back is that the writers have committed to keep him as he was before, a man whose sole existence is defined by the product he is trying to sell; there’s something real about him, but he loves what he does, and that puts him in line for very funny developments while convincing Britta to work with him and date him while they are it.

Though Britta hasn’t been a major player this season, I like that her character has been keeping her integrity; she is still pretty much the same, but the show has lowered a bit her voice about protests and anti-government speeches without falling in the trap of making Britta an air head character again. She seems to be more down to earth, but she isn’t losing her comedic potential, and the show allow her to develop her own funny moments.

It’s a bit tricky to pull that off six seasons in; the show allowed for an adjustment in her character that keeps her both likeable and funny. I like that Britta is set in keeping her integrity overall, as the much easier choice would have been to keep selling cars with Subway. The show has adjusted the use of her character properly - just like they did with Chang, which is very important.

What I love about the episode is that it’s all about relationships. Jeff’s determination to get Elroy to like him drives him to actually get to know the guy better; by booking Natalie is Freezing for the dance Elroy snaps at him for trying to get him to like him, but there is something underneath and it is that he used to date the vocal singer (Julie). Cue to Elroy and Britta sharing a moment in the bar, showing some vulnerability while also bonding with Britta.

Elroy confronts Julie and decides to stop letting her mess him up, which allows for Jeff and Elroy to come back to good graces. It’s a short little moment mostly up there for the jokes and the laughs, but my takeaway is how it pushes these relationships forward.

The most important aspect of the show for me is that all the members of the show like each other and become better through each other; that’s what Community is about, that’s what makes me smile while watching episodes.
This episode wasn’t the best or most funny episode of Community, but I feel it snapped everything back to focus as the characters are the biggest part of the episode, more so than any plot story.

Frankie steals this week’s funniest moment with the quote I wrote above; it’s just amazing how she landed such a great funny speech that underlines real care for the Dean.
The best Community is a show which knows how to blend the character’s love and care for each other with comedic timing and this episode largely manages to do that.

Grade: B+

Stray Observations:


-Have you seen the Abed and Dean Honda commercial? It’s pretty great.

-Annie was the most underused player during this episode, but she always come back with great stuff after being sidelined.

-Chang’s powerpoint presentation was great! The writers are doing great working with him on the sidelines.

-Abed’s comment on Troy’s departure was a little moment of sadness.

-Frankie: “What is so special about this Troy person? Did he own a rainbow? Was he the group’s pharmacist?

-I love how Jeff just dropped the steel drums bit and Frankie ended up playing them by the end of the episode; it was a great payoff.

-Priceless: having the Dean saying "Dean, Dean!" while honking.

-Also glad to have back Britta’s parents; I like that she is slowly rebuilding her relationship with them, step by step.

-Chang: “Since I’m up here, does anyone want anything reached?”

-Britta and Elroy’s chat about castles, trying to get the word “catapult” was another pretty funny moment.

-As it is Elroy essentially saying “I love you” to everyone. And on that very scene, he got to call Julie a hipster, a line that he landed with grace.

-Honorable mention for greatest minor appearance: Subway’s boss, who always try to sneak away and disappear from a scene while failing miserably.

-I’d like to play that ears game, it seems like fun!

About the Author - Pablo
I'm currently studying Psychology while also writing fantasy books (one already published in my home country, Chile, you can check it out on the facebook icon). I watch many different types of shows, including my favorites Revenge, Game of Thrones, Once Upon a Time and about 23 more. Currently writing reviews for Once Upon a Time, The 100 and Community
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