lauren stern looks at the finale …
The last time I reviewed Community was mid-season and a lot has changed since then – and not in a good way. To say that the past couple of weeks have been disappointing are a complete understatement. I’ve been bored, confused, and annoyed that all of my favorite characters have taken these completely and utterly lame personas. I even took a period of not watching Community just to get used to the fact that this was eventually going to happen in the long term (this lasted two weeks).
But, in the end, I’m really glad I trudged through these last few painful weeks because the season finale was fantastic – and here’s why:
The Darkest Timeline – Amazeballs
Prior to watching the finale (I was a little late due to work), I heard that evil versions of the characters were a part of the episode. Needless to say, when I got that text, I was highly skeptical of the turnout. Would you blame me? The new writers this season haven’t exactly been successfully following through on good ideas.
But this time around, it was spot on. It felt like old Community again. It was exciting, wonderful, and slightly humorous (I wouldn’t say LOL funny as in previous seasons). But, most importantly, it worked. Now if we could have had this all season, the show might be in a different place then it is now.
Bringing Back the Paintball
This episode Abed said, “We finally figured out a cool way to bring back paintball,” and he couldn’t have been more right. I like how instead of creating another paintball episode with Greendale’s rival City College, the writers surprised us by having the characters fight the evil versions of themselves. It’s totally brilliant and it’s an idea that I could see Dan Harmon pulling off if he were still around (though it probably would have been executed a lot differently). This was taking paintball to a whole new epic level and it was probably the best idea the new writers had all season.
Abed… Back in His Glory
This season, Abed has been especially quiet, and when he’s not, he’s been put in the midst of lame, unfinished story lines (CC: Delta Cubes). But for the finale, it’s almost as if the writers flipped a switch, and Abed was back to his old self. It was a great idea to have him lead the darkest timeline story, and even better to have him converse with “Evil Abed.” Like I said before, it felt like normal.
The City College Story Line Wasn’t Continued
Last week, we learned City College was using Chang and his “Chagnesia” for their ultimate takedown of Greendale. It was a plot twist that would have resulted in epic proportions, but once again was executed poorly by the new writers.
Anyway, regardless, at the end of last week’s episode, Dean Spreck was shown, essentially saying it wasn’t over. The writers could have taken this and ran with it for the finale. They could have included City College in the paintball fight or the writers could have collided this with the darkest timeline storyline. But instead, they left us hanging for the potential next season, which was a good idea for them and for the viewers.
Let’s face it, how many Greendale vs. City College battles do we need before it gets boring?
… Did you all catch that?
A common feature in the first three seasons of Community were Easter eggs, and finally we were able to catch one this season. Did you all see the chalkboard during Jeff’s graduation? I won’t give it away if you didn’t. Watch it again and take a good hard look at the chalkboard behind the Dean/Jeff. Nice touch, new writers!
Now that this season is all said and done, do I still have the same feelings as I did before the season premiere? Well you’re just going to have to see next week as my Community writer buds Logan Fowler, Dan Cohen, and I weigh in what worked and what went wrong this season.