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Episode 14 - Pillows and Blankets

12 April 2012

Credit NBC

As you would expect the direction of this war documentary parody was excellent. The voice over narrative, the still photos, the talking heads and even maps showing the direction of battle all fitted perfectly. I also appreciated the use of texts, emails and facebook updates to give the war a trail of information to capture. Like the zombies, the paint ball and the mafia stuff Dan Harmon knows exactly how to get his logistical ducks in a row to make a slick episode.

I usually find parody humour pretty tame and the gags about people suffering broken glasses and that sort of thing did little for me. However the comedy kept searching for extra laughs and found them with regularity. Pierce had a strong episode, first claiming that the war had caused his erectile dysfunction and then later making a huge pillow suit to be a weapon of mass destruction. The Changlorious Basterds also worked for me because they were set up two episodes ago. Their youth giving them experience of pillow fighting and their collections of mattress tags were suitably silly war analogies.

The joke about the North Cafeteria (named after William North and located in the Western portion of East Hall) was perfectly pitched to take advantage of the serious tone of the documentary. I wish that tone had been kept throughout as the running gag about Britta’s useless photography felt cheap.

The big downside to the episode was the lack of resolution or explanation for Troy and Abed’s falling out. The character of Abed is a really tricky one to write for. Early in season one (103) the writers dealt with Abed’s social dysfunction by showing us that he could express emotions but only through the prism of social media or entertainment. Since then though he has flip flopped back and forth between robot and seeming capable of emotion. Here Troy sends him a text which had his portrayal been consistent could have been a seminal moment. He tells Abed that he will never have another friend because no one else will have the patience to deal with him. That is a dangerous and potentially tragic truth. It’s something that people on the autistic \ aspergers scale might have to face.

Yet Abed doesn’t react to it. Nor does Troy seem to realise the power of what he’d said. Instead they just made up. And as I said last episode there was no real explanation for why Abed was so insistent on going to war. It’s moments like these that put me at odds with those who advocate so passionately for Community as a show. If you are unfamiliar with this passion then go here. I think this was a squandered opportunity and the major reason this episode won’t get a higher score from me.

I actually thought the little Jeff character development worked nicely. He realises how much he cares about Troy and Abed and goes out of his way to help them. Then he realises what this selflessness will do for his image and looks to exploit it. One step forward, one back.



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  • You made a good points in your review about the shakiness of this fight to begin with and Troy and Abed but I found everything else so amusing that I kind of ignored those aspects of the show (which I do a lot with Community to be honest). In reference to your link though I don't know how many other shows Community defeated but I do think it's superior to Walking Dead.

    Posted by Derek, 10/04/2012 4:16pm (8 years ago)

  • It's nice to hear your thoughts on Community. I should say for the record that I hope they do get a 4th season too. My feelings about the show haven't changed but I would rather see a comedy taking risks than doing the same old thing.

    Posted by The TV Critic, 09/04/2012 1:12am (8 years ago)

  • I know you have problems with the characters on Community not being really defined and feeling a real emotional connection to show which I do have similar problems but in terms of finding a funnier insane comedy there is nothing better than Community and this was one of their best episodes. I would even go as far to say that it was one of the most amusing episodes of comedy that I have watched in awhile. Everything from the pitch perfect parody of a historical special, the narration and even a kind of emotional story with Troy and Abed, who are the most likable and well-defined characters on the show was utterly entertaining and hilarious. The episode even managed to make Chang included and still be tolerable. This episode was awesome and is exactly the reason I keep watching Community and hope it gets a 4th (and final) season.

    Viewer score: 85 / 100

    Posted by Derek, 06/04/2012 6:53am (8 years ago)

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