TV Recap: Community, ‘Advanced Advanced Dungeons & Dragons’

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Plot: The study group organizes a Dungeons and Dragons game to unite Professor Hickey (Jonathan Banks) with his son Hank (guest star David Cross)

Photo Credit: Justin Lubin/NBC
Photo Credit: Justin Lubin/NBC

When I saw that this week’s episode was Dungeons and Dragons centered, I was really excited. The first D&D episode, “Advanced Dungeons and Dragons,”was probably one of the best Community episodes to date. After watching the second D&D installment, I can’t decide which one I like more. Both were just so well done, and more importantly, so classic Community! I cannot express how happy I am that this episode was under Harmon’s wing and no one else. A little more on that later, though.

Anyway, like I said above, this episode is about the group using Dungeons and Dragons to help Professor Hickey and his son Hank, who happens to enjoy playing D&D, reconcile. Arrested Development’s David Cross (a.k.a Tobias Funke) plays Hank and he was pretty good for this role. However, I was waiting for a Funke-esque line to come out of his mouth. I can’t be the only one who can’t get past his Arrested Development role whenever I see him, right?

One thing I really was a tad disappointed with was Abed being the Dungeon Master. I kind of wish Harmon gave this role to someone else. I understand that this is really Abed’s forte, but I kind of felt his passion overshadowed Hank and Hickey reconciling. Plus, it would have been cool to see someone in this role who isn’t so categorically quirky.

Photo Credit: Justin Lubin/NBC
Photo Credit: Justin Lubin/NBC

This may sound strange, but my favorite part of the episode was a very miniscule part, but it was a clear Easter Egg that needs to be addressed. In the beginning of the episode, the study group was briefly discussing the last Dungeons and Dragons game they played. Jeff was telling the group his assumption of Neil’s life now, saying that he is “somewhere in the background, happily enjoying his life.” Just he said that, there was Neil, behind Jeff, happily interacting with other students outside of the study room. It’s been so long since we’ve gotten an Easter Egg, and that one was just absolutely fantastic. I love how it was one of those moments I had to rewind in order to see. Classic Community perfection.

It’s episodes like this that make me so incredibly happy Harmon has returned. I am loving all of the reference’s to the show’s past, the recurring and one-time guests, and some of the newer implementations. Harmon has really taken it up a notch and I’m happy to say that Community is watchable again.

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