How are we holding up so far? I never get to watch Community as it airs. Just doesn’t work out. So I always watch it the morning after, meaning I have to do endure the endless tweets about how terrible this current season is. Twitter is tiring, this isn’t new, but instant feedback (posted online) is something to get used to. We don’t let anything process anymore. Maybe the tweets lowered my expectations, but I didn’t hate last night’s episode. Was it great? It was not great, but it wasn’t terrible. Maybe it’ll be great a year from now?
The episode worked because of the dramatic elements, in particular, Jeff’s storyline, which was front and center, really struck a chord and I thought they got the tone right (and Joel McHale was great). It kind of reminded a lot last week’s episode of Girls, which had critics and fans divided. (I thought Hannah’s OCD storyline was incredibly well done). I read someone say, “I love Girls but it’s become too dramatic!”. Ugh. Sometimes life isn’t hilarious, right? Thanksgivings are terrible. Being estranged from your father is terrible. These can be dramatic events that are also humorous. This is how I took last night’s Community and it worked.
What didn’t work? I didn’t love the Shirley-Thanksgiving storyline. I mean, I related to it, of course, because I hate Thanksgiving – it’s the most “I hate my family” Holiday for me – but that’s it. I enjoyed the Prison Break-references and Troy (Glover) continues to be the funniest of the bunch for me this season (“Why did I go third!?”) but, again, that’s it. Oh, and Jeff’s younger half-brother played by Adam DeVine. I don’t like Adam DeVine, so that’s probably why I didn’t care for this but also the character was just there to add some story to the plot and not much else. Did I mention I don’t like Adam DeVine?
As I’ve repeated many times, Community doesn’t make me howl with laughter. It makes me smile and chuckle but it’s never made me laugh out loud, save a few Dean moments. So, maybe because I’ve never found it hilarious this season and all of its changes aren’t as distracting to me. With that said, some of the changes finally struck me last night. Is it just me, or does it all seem much more animated than before. Like, the set is very Sam Raimi-light; everything is so bright. The wallpaper in Shirley’s house was something out of a dollhouse. The editing also seems off.
But these complaints come with any show. This is a show in its fourth season, and there have been some rough fourth seasons (looking at you, Buffy). The episode took a risk by focusing on the comedy and in turn didn’t seem all the funny, but if it excelled in the drama department, isn’t that okay?