Until last week’s episode of Community, we had sort of been on the fence about the newest addition to the Peacock’s Thursday-night lineup. However, something magical happened during the Halloween episode and, for the first time since the show’s debut, the characters finally seemed to leap off the written page and began resembling something closer to believable portrayals of actual human beings (as opposed to phony archetypes of quirk). Sure, it didn’t hurt that Britta was dressed up as an impossibly adorable squirrel, but what we reacted to most was Jeff letting his guard down and deciding to embody something other than a sarcastic asshole for a change. Sadly, last night’s episode was a bit of a letdown from the highs of the week before, but hey, at least we got to see what snarkmeister supreme Joel McHale looks like without his shirt on!
Perhaps inspired by Vulture’s recent rock-star chest-off, the producers of Community decided that it was high time to get their improbably ripped star’s abs onto the airwaves. Since it would hardly make sense for Jeff to pop his top in Spanish class, we came to learn that his recent financial woes resulted in him having to leave the creature comforts in his comfy condo — like his bidet, which he tells Britta is strictly “for resale value … and Saturdays” — behind. Turns out, the bank has changed the locks in his place and he’s been living in his car.
After his current state of homelessness is outed by Shirley (“I’m not good at being coy”), the gang tries to decide where Jeff should live. After being turned down by Troy (“My dad’s kinda racist”), Jeff lands himself a spot in the lower bunk of Abed’s dorm room. Initially repulsed by having to shower in a common area, Jeff quickly adapts to the simple pleasures of dorm life: waking up late, watching cartoons all day, eating cereal out of plastic bowls. Sadly, there was no scene where Jeff and Abed trade bong rips during an epic session of Mario Kart, but maybe that will end up on the season-one DVD.
We’d like to say that a lot more happened during the episode, but sadly, it didn’t. Annie’s increasing obsession with Troy resulted in a spectacularly unfunny trip to the hospital (but hey, at least Patton Oswalt got some work out of it!), Shirley continued to not have much to do other than bug her eyes out, and Pierce temporarily joined Britta’s ex-boyfriend Vaughn’s band as a keyboardist. The latter resulted in a mildly humorous song that ripped into Britta for dumping the tiny-nippled lead singer of the band (“I’m gettin’ rid of Britta / She’s a G D B”), which instantly made us recall Chevy Chase’s ode to Lacey Underall in Caddyshack (“I was born to rub you, but you were born to rub me first”).
Anyway, by episode’s end, Jeff moved out of Abed’s dorm room, the sexual tension between Britta and Jeff remained intact, and Troy remained oblivious to the fact that Annie is crushing on him. Oh, but before we go, we’ve got a bonus clip for you. Watch
Trudy Campbell Annie roll the dice!
Entertainment Weekly was a little harsher with their assessment of this show, calling it “the equivalent of a bologna sandwich that had been left outside in the scorching sun for two-and-a-half weeks and then still deemed suitable to consume.”
TV Squad was delighted to learn more about Abed, who they call “one of the most intriguing characters on TV right now.”
Televisionary continues to give the show props, labeling it as one of the five best comedies on television at the moment.