The Man and I got Community season 5 from the library this past week and we’re so happy that it’s as good as the other seasons. We’re big fans. The blog post title comes from their take on G.I. Joe as Jeff Winger copes (badly) with turning 40.
We probably aren’t going to buy the show, though, until the whole series is available as a set. (We’re frugal and the SILS library system loans out the seasons of this and every other popular TV show for free anyway. If you live in Saskatchewan, get yourself a library card if you don’t have one already. Those are also free. There’s no excuse to miss good TV.)
If you’re not watching this show already, what the blerp is wrong with you?
I love their Dungeons and Dragons episodes especially but also the paintball episodes and any other episodes that result in characters having uprisings and destroying the school any and all ridiculous reasons.
The MeowMeowBeenz app episode hit all my love buttons. So much hilarity. So much goodness. So much to say about society and how value is judged by one’s peers, and how this can be manipulated by those with ambition to do so. It’s fantastic.
For extra reading: Community vs Big Bang Theory (a show I also love, but not in the same way.)
Community will reshape it’s [sic] universe to be a mystery, a cop drama, heist movie, science fiction thriller. It can becomes animated, claymated, 8 bit, puppets – whatever the story or the characters need. It looks like a sitcom, but it’s bigger on the inside.
TBBT, on the other hand, has awful worldbuilding. It’s a small, boring little world, one that appears sometimes to consist entirely of a couch and a staircase…
If Community is an almost-genre work all about the possibilities of change, TBBT is like its evil counterpart. It’s a story about stasis. A show obsessed with the power of habit and inertia, a show about stillness and limitation. It’s people sitting on couches together, and being alone. People that have nothing stopping them from reaching out, except that it would require them to be a little braver than they are, a little more insightful, a little kinder. In short, it would require them to change, and TBBT turns that into the hardest thing in the world.
Community takes the loss of characters and character development very seriously. The Hot Lava episode of season 5 is good example of that. In the previous episode, everyone’s just returned from Pierce’s funeral and they all have to deal with their humanity and their capacity to lie to each other, and to themselves. Pierce bequeaths in his will that Troy can have all his wealth if Troy is willing to do what Pierce did not – sail around the world. He agrees to do it. In the Hot Lava episode, Troy’s best friend, Abed, chooses to deal with Troy leaving by calling a school-wide “avoid the floor” game and insisting everyone participate so the winner can receive his mint edition comic book worth $50,000. By the end of the game, Abed manages to explain to Troy and Britta, the last survivors, why he started the game in the first place; he has trouble letting go. Britta and Troy come up with a very elegant solution to his problem, which I won’t spoil.
The Dungeons and Dragons episode that season is awesome. The gang tries to fix the relationship professor Hickey has with his son – who’s an avid player – by setting up a game that’s supposed to help them bond. The son sees through it immediately, though, and manipulates the situation to ruin what he thinks is Abed’s story for everyone. He deliberately switches all the character profiles and actively plays to wound those in his party if necessary. When the group is torn asunder after a tragedy, his only ambition is to kill the necromancer before his dad can. The end of the episode does not result in a father/son happy reunion, but I think it ended as it had to end – with the two of them in a room together willing to work toward a common goal, even if they had to fight for it every step of the way. That’s the way it is with a lot of families, and I think it was smart (and brave) for the Community writers to leave it there and not try to create the contrived forgiveness hug scene that so often happens in other show scenarios.
I don’t know how to end this. Watch the show. That’s all I can say. I’m not a shill. I’m just a fan of good scripts.