Episode 10 - Mixology Certification
5 June 2016
This felt different in tone and texture to every episode of Community we have seen so far. The show remain must-see viewing because there aren't many shows who can switch their format up so convincingly. I wouldn't say this was a brilliant episode but by virtue of being so different it was fascinating to watch. There was lots of stuff I liked throughout and a lot of it had to do with focusing on the characters in a way which the show has avoided doing for much of the season.
I liked Jeff and Britta's bickering and insistence on what was cool throughout. I didn't need the final realization that they had argued over the same bar all episode to believe in what was going on. Their corporate versus hippy daily lives set them against one another yet both are obsessed by their appearance. They market themselves against one another yet actually have a lot in common. Their drunken kissing again continued their romantic situation far more plausibly than most TV shows do. I also like Abed standing up for himself and telling on them for ignoring him.
Speaking of Abed his story was very simple and quite sad. We have seen Abed's inability to understand the emotions of others many times. But this was in its own way more effective because Robert crapped on Abed for wasting his time. You could see Abed didn't fully understand why his chattering had caused such offence and it was such a sad realization that instead of finding someone to share a passion with he had just misunderstood a situation yet again. I don't like to indulge in personal asides too often in my reviews but as a huge Farscape fan it was a delightful surprise to hear it referenced for once.
Annie's story rather directly laid out her problems as she admitted to doubting her own well planned path in life. It was another important step on the road to explaining why she doesn't rise above Greendale and head off to a "real" college. Her increasing drunken sadness did feed directly into Troy's story though. After listening to baffling advice from Britta and Jeff on what was cool I was very pleased that he too stood up for himself and ordered a Seven and Seven as he had wanted to. Troy like Annie was having his own growing up realizations and the presentation of alcohol as a buzz kill was nicely done and not too preachy.
Troy definitely had some nice moments in the car and with Annie. My only issue with his presentation is that Community hasn't yet found a smooth gear between cartoony and getting serious. Troy's speech to Annie about all her good qualities almost seemed out of character after so many episodes where he has played happy buffoon. It wasn't out of character but I would like to see all the characters get a chance to blend the two sides of their personalities together more often.
As usual the episode wasn't chock full of jokes but I did laugh at Jeff saying "Flanagan's hole is closed. That's not a...I'm not being clever."
All in all I really enjoyed the episode and thought the change in scenery was great.
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