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Episode 10 - Mixology Certification

5 June 2016

Credit NBC

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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  • Did you review episode 11? The Christmas Episode?

    I've been watching season 2 of Community on cable reruns, and it might actually be one of the most diverse, ambitious seasons of a sitcom I've ever seen.

    (side note, loved this episode)

    Viewer score: 72 / 100

    Posted by Ben F., 02/06/2016 10:05am (4 years ago)

  • Hey Paul, thanks for the kind coment. It's been great to find so many people who think about TV in similar ways to me. I think my actual writing skills have a long way to go though :-)

    Posted by The TV Critic, 05/12/2010 11:47am (10 years ago)

  • Every one of these reviews is 100% accurate, as if you've been reading my mind. I love this show, but this season has been far from brilliant, and...

    Well, you've already said everything I'd say, and you said it well. Thanks for the great writing--as a writer and a writing teacher, I appreciate such intelligent work.

    Posted by Paul B., 05/12/2010 10:14am (10 years ago)

  • I enjoyed it too, but I'm caught in two minds about the wisdom of doing such an episode. It was sad and real, but it also kind of reminded me that I don't really like any of the characters. Only Troy and Annie came off well and with the rest I feel it will be hard to go straight back into silly comedy next week, now I've been reminded that they are depressing people that I wouldn't really want to know. I just felt it needed a more upbeat finnish reminding us why it's a good thing these people are friends. What was very well written, I thought, was Jeff repeatedly pointing out that he and Troy are now equals, but then immediately contradicting himself by telling him what was cool. That seemed very real and I very much liked Troy ordering a seven&seven too.
    The big downside of the episode was Pierce. I'm not sure what he's been doing these last few episodes, but it was just depressing watching him being pathetic in his wheelchair. I think I was supposed to feel pleased that Shirley helped him out in the end, showing her true caring nature, but I don't think anybody in their right mind would have lefty him sad and toiling, hard to believe the bouncer did for so long...
    A strange episode for sure but it continues to be very well written. I think we need to see more of them at Greendale doing normal things though. It's fine to stray from the norm sometimes, but I think we need a more potent reminder that they are actually at college than a passing mention early in the episode. The odd anthropology related conversation for example or a mention of any of their other classes...

    Posted by The G Man, 04/12/2010 8:20am (10 years ago)

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