Plot: A beta version of a rating app is tested on Greendale. The study group dynamic changes significantly, along with the rest of the school.
There are moments when Community dips into the brilliantly weird. Whether it’s the mild use of a paintball game, characters playing Lava World, the cast being portrayed as video game characters or puppets, or a fight for pillows and blankets, the show has always prided itself on going a little bit off the deep end somewhat but in really comedic ways.
“App Development and Condiments” is no different. When a trial version of an individual person rating program is brought to Greendale, the jab at social networking and the ridiculous value it places on people is fully demonstrated. Of course, Jeff realizes that the effect of meowmeowbeanz (the app) is just a sham and vows to get to the bottom of it by working within the system.
Kind of like a indirect Hunger Games, the app becomes a tyrannical system, the highest rated being the most important, and the bottom just being unimportant with no say or place at all. But the true comedy comes from the dialogue of how insane such a trivial process this beta test is, all because technology is telling us that some people are better than others. In a lot of ways, Community is just proving that, like candy crush or flappy bird, an app catches like wild fire and makes us bend to its will, as innocent as it may seem. Yes, the show may have shown that it may humorously get out of hand, but the school becomes an environment for segregation based on a modified class system.
The real backbone of the story is how Jeff and Shirley both want control of their lives and friendships, which serves as a good launch point for the app taking over their lives a little too much. Both are determined to be at the top, and lose sight of what is really important. Honestly, after last week’s episode, I was hoping the show would bounce back. It did. ”App Development and Condiments” was just so creatively weird, funny, and showed how social media, even in its most limited form, can be way too addicting and troubling for anyone’s good.