Study Group: Community, ‘Economics of Marine Biology’

lauren stern gives out some failing grades …


Aside from the forgettable ‘Valloween’ episode, I’ve been pretty content with Community this season. For the most part, I am impressed that the new writers are keeping the momentum post-Harmon and I’ve been pretty pleased with the amount of laughs I’ve had over the course of the last few episodes. It’s even caused me to openly debate the critics, who have been adamant that the show will end this season since episode 1.


But tonight’s episode, gave me the same stomach-churning feeling that ‘Valloween’ did. That feeling that I’m watching the downfall of one of my favorite shows and there’s nothing neither the cast nor I could do to prevent NBC from giving it the ax. We all are predicting the end is coming, but this is the type of episode that proves that it’s inevitable.

Here’s what happened tonight and what I think went wrong…

Pitching Archie to Greendale

This week, the group focuses on preparing a Greendale pitch to a rich kid, Archie, who has been conducting an area-wide community college search. From the moment Archie, the dean bends over backwards for him, until Annie helps him realize that he’s compromising the school’s integrity.

This really wouldn’t have been a bad story line if it were written differently …

There has never been a time when I’ve said 10 minutes into a Community episode “Wow this is boring!” Not even in “Valloween,” which obviously hasn’t been my favorite episode this season. It felt like I was watching one of the many other snoozefests NBC currently has on it’s network. Disappointing.


Shirley and Troy’s Physical Education Education

Another story line we witnessed this week is a competition between the Troy and Shirley, who started competing for the teacher’s pet role in their new physical education education class. This was also another boring story line and kind of a stupid one too. Nothing against Shirley, but why are the writers creating these competitive situations for her character? It really does nothing other than to make her out to be something that she’s not. Not to mention the fact that it makes the show really boring.

I feel like the writers wanted to do a similar storyline to the Jeff and Shirley competition from the foosball episode in Season 3. But Troy wasn’t the right character in this instance to make this realistic.

Pop Pop?

Prior to the premiere episode, teasers got us thinking we would witness Magnitude lose his infinite catch phrase for good, but it turns out that was only temporary. Which is a good thing obviously; who would Magnitude be without “Pop Pop”? But is this necessary? Is just the idea of Magnitude not saying “Pop Pop” for all of 5 minutes really that significant? I don’t know, I was disappointed it wasn’t the big “wow” moment the trailers made it seem in the beginning.


Jeff and Pierce … Friends??

The idea of Jeff and Pierce coming to a mutual understanding of each other came up tonight and it’s certainly worth addressing. Why? Because THIS. IS. CRAP.

So what if Jeff and Pierce are the two characters on the show that have “daddy issues”? So what if they are kind of jerks (in their own special way… of course)? These are the only two things Jeff and Pierce have in common so that all of the sudden makes them best friends?

I don’t understand why the new writers want to make Jeff such a softy. This has been bugging me since the beginning of the season. Seriously, they are taking Jeff’s best and most redeeming quality for no reason. Viewers love that Jeff told it like he was and that he said douchey things to people who were trying to help him. Now, he’s turning into Mr. Rodgers and it’s kind of lame and sickening to watch.

We’re Still Sort of Unclear About Chang

In this episode, Troy and Shirley use what they learned in their physical education education on Chang, who they still believe is suffering from Changnesia. However, this is the only portion of the episode we see him and we are still left wondering who exactly he is working for. I know I shouldn’t expect them to immediately reveal it in the next episode, but a little hint would have been nice! I’m sick of waiting!


Delta Cubes

Thanks to the dean’s meeting with school officials about Archie’s arrival, Abed gets an idea to create a fraternity called Delta Cubes. The whole idea was a great premise in another instance, but the events of this episode sort of make it unforgettable and silly. And let’s face it; anything that Abed has done in the last three seasons has never been anything close to any of those words.

I kind of think the Delta Cubes thing was a mere distraction, one that posed no purpose. It made a kind of cool idea seem like a stupid one that was thrown in just to fill time. Abed is certainly not the kind of character to do something like that with and it was a huge boo boo for the writer’s, who for the most part (aside from Jeff, obviously) have been really good about keeping the spirit of the characters.

I really hope that this episode was the last and final flub this season. Community doesn’t need any more problems right now, especially when they are this close to being off the air.