Community Recap: ‘Competitive Wine Tasting’

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Community has been rightly praised by you, me, everyone for their genre episodes. But a sitcom can’t, and shouldn’t, have a theme every week — sometimes it’s just nice to have 22 minutes of above average, unspectacular comedy, with two stories about taking college courses, which makes sense considering the setting. That’s “Competitive Wine Tasting.”

The Pierce story — a beautiful, young Asian woman (played by Michelle Krusiec, who, according to IMDb, was also in “Critical Film Studies”) seemingly falls for him instead Jeff, who has to figure out why because, well, he’s Jeff Winger and no one chooses Pierce over him — was unremarkable with some amusing lines here and there (“My stick is ribbed — for her pleasure.” “I think those are wrinkles,” and Thai people being like “Chinese Mexicans”), but I still liked the dynamic Chase, essentially playing himself, and Krusiec’s Wu Mei had together. As Jeff points out, they’re both conniving, awful people, who made their money through the moist towellete business, and I wouldn’t mind seeing her stick around for a few episodes. Pierce knew that she was using him, and he was totally fine with that: he was just using her for sex.

Abed’s Who’s the Boss plot had the most potential of the three, mostly because it featured the always fantastic Stephen Tobolowsky. But what did we really get out of it, other than Angela Bowers is, without a doubt, The Boss? The idea of a class on Tony Danza’s hit sitcom with Abed teaching is amusing by itself, but it seemed like the idea stopped there — it would have been nice to have heard Abed’s reasoning of why it’s Angela, or at least have the story end on a stronger note than Abed destroying a professor’s life work. What’s happening, indeed. (It should be noted that in an article Tobolowsky did for The Wrap, which can be found here, he said that he filmed this episode right after having open-heart surgery, so there was only so much he could do, physically. Maybe a scene where he runs after Alyssa Milano was cut?)

Troy and Britta’s plot likewise felt underwhelming, even with Kevin Corrigan (no longer playing Professor Professington), the two kissing (and Britta stretching), and the introduction of Trevor McGoodbody. Because Troy, who was the popular QB in high school, has no pain to access the actor within, he makes up a story about his uncle sticking a finger in his “plop plop.” The whole thing felt a bit too similar to season one’s “Interpretative Dance,” and really, the whole episode felt like something from season one. That’s not a bad thing, though, because its freshman year was fantastic, and like I said in the intro, it’s totally understandable for a sitcom to have a throwaway episode here and there, particularly while gearing up for May sweeps.

And besides, if the promotional photos of the gang wearing straightjackets and Troy in a cowboy outfit are to be believed, next week’s “Paradigms of Human Memory” looks amazing.

Josh Kurp thinks it’s hard to be Jewish in Russia, yo.