Pop Culture

Community: Spring Fever

Community’s back! How I’ve missed the whole gang. Except Pierce. It’s springtime at Greendale and the study group is picking out spring elective courses. While Britta and Troy have signed up for an acting class, Jeff and Pierce have ended up in the same wine-tasting class. Abed, meanwhile, has finally been taken off the waiting list for a Who’s the Boss? class that seems tailor-made for his pop culture-obsessed brain.

Pierce Hawthorne's wine label

We cut to the first session of wine tasting, where Pierce gives Jeff a bottle of his own wine. Can we time out for just a second and talk about the label? It features a photo of Chevy Chase in what appears to be the Caddyshack days, and it says something in Italian that apparently translates to “You become more beautiful with every bottle.” Hilarious.

Unfortunately, this moment is ruined in short order once the guys notice an attractive Asian woman and start trying to call dibs on her. Jeff goes over and tries a pickup line, which the woman rejects. This scene was annoying because I feel like the whole competing over women theme is getting really tired on this show. But it wasn’t just that.

Jeff’s pickup line was horrible. (Jeff: “Lingering scent. Full body. Perfect nose.” Her: “Very nice wine.” Jeff: “I was talking about you.”) I mean, what? What is this show doing, anyway? Isn’t Jeff supposed to actually be an attractive, charismatic person? When did Community start making such a caricature out of its main protagonists? Friends fell into this trap too but it took them several years. Community has gotten there in a season and a half. Sure, Jeff was too full of himself and occasionally needs to be taken down a peg. But this show takes him down a peg every single week and they’ve just made him this pathetic character.

So let’s switch to Britta, shall we? She’s taking an acting class with Troy, and the second he blurts out a fake memory of being molested as a child, Britta finds herself drawn to him and his pain. Abed reminds Troy that Britta likes crazy guys because it makes her feel sane. Get it, because Britta’s crazy. And crazy women love messed up guys! Does anyone even remember that the whole reason the study group got together at the beginning of the show was because Jeff thought Britta was hot? At first she was a smart woman who didn’t buy into Jeff’s whole schtick; she was a great foil for him.

Go watch the first few episodes. They’re not on Hulu, so I don’t know where you’ll find them. But if you haven’t seen them, you should check them out and you’ll see what I mean. It’s just incredibly frustrating to watch the two characters that I like the most becoming stupider as the weeks go by.

Anyway. Abed’s over-analysis of the Who’s the Boss ends up crushing his professor, played by a man who apparently is an extremely prolific character actor but will forever be Needle-Nose Ned to me. Abed uses the entire chalkboard to logically prove that Angela was indeed the Boss. (See, writers? This is how you write a consistent character.) This prompts the poor man to pull out his “What Was Happening?” textbook and start to cry quietly.

Professor of Who's the Boss class
PHIL? Phil Connors?

The woman from the wine class ends up quickly becoming engaged to Pierce. In Jeff’s insecurity-fueled attempts to figure out why a hot woman rejected him but wanted Pierce, he discovers that she works for a competing moist-towlette company that was trying to take Hawthorne Wipes down. While Jeff feels good about finding this out, and assures Pierce he was trying to help him, Pierce knows that Jeff’s motives were selfish. In the end, Jeff sets up a date between the two of them because their ruthless personalities actually make them a great match.

So I guess we only have a few episodes of Community left this season, and I’m still holding out for a week or two with episodes of the same caliber as the Halloween and Christmas episodes earlier this season. Maybe this show doesn’t work in quieter, character-driven episodes. Because they honestly don’t seem to know who their characters are, including the main character of the show. It’s getting harder and harder to recommend this show to people when I keep being disappointed. But I’m still hoping we’ll end season two on a high note, considering there’s going to be at least a third season.

Photos: NBC

3 replies on “Community: Spring Fever”

I think the issue with Community is the episodes are either OMFG AWESOME or meh or excruciatingly awkward/bad. And there are different opinions as to which are in which categories! And while the awkward/badness has made me literally close my eyes while watching it, when it’s good it’s absolutely amazing. I would suggest going to (which, btw everyone, has all of Community and pretty much every other TV show you want available for streaming) and watch Modern Warfare (the paintball episode), Epidemeology 206 (the Zombie episode) and Accounting for Lawyers (my own personal favorite.) If you’ve seen all three and still aren’t a fan, well, I can’t quite help you. :)

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