Community Review: "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas"

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I can understand why most people would enjoy "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas," especially this time of year.  But I didn't find it all that amusing. Creative, sure... but only passively entertaining.

There were a handful of comedic lines, but I only laughed out loud at the Tim Burton joke.  I really miss the days when I'd practically fall out of my chair over the hilarious insanity of this bunch.

Community Claymation

Community, what's happened to you?  You used to be so absurdly funny and didn't take yourself too seriously.  Lately, it seems every episode has to be about teaching some sort of lesson.  The last two weeks in particular have just felt flat. Maybe I just don't get your recent slide into After-School Special territory, but I'm thisclose to start using the phrase "Tonight, on a very special Community" in my reviews.

I did think the characters' spot-on transformations to toy versions of themselves was genious, and only Community would give an animated Chang snowman Asian-like features.

The animation was vivid and very well done.  I loved how detailed they made the sets, down to the owl statue on Duncan's desk.  Therefore, I'm basing my rating solely on how creative the episode was because the usual reasons why I get a kick out of watching Community do not apply here.

Before I start getting spears hurled at me in the comments, I admit that I'm in the minority here and most fans will adore this episode.  Rather than continue to expound on my admittedly dissident viewpoint, I open up the comments section below to you to please share your reasons on what you enjoyed about it. I've also listed a few of my favorite Community quotes from the half hour:
Abed: It's the first season of Lost on DVD.
Pierce: That's the meaning of Christmas?
Abed: No it's a metaphor. It represents lack of payoff. | permalink
Troy: Who taught you therapy, Michael Jackson's dad? | permalink
Abed: Everyone be perfectly sincere. Humbugs are attracted to sarcasm.
Jeff: Wow. Somewhere out there Tim Burton just got a boner. | permalink
Abed: If I can find the meaning of Christmas, everything will go back to normal.
Jeff: Asterisk. | permalink
Pierce: What do you care about Christmas Abed? You're Muslim. Don't your people spend this season writing in angry letters to TVGuide? | permalink


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (41 Votes)

Jeffrey Kirkpatrick is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.


Maybe this website needs a different reviewer for COMMUNITY. The show wouldn't work nearly as well if it was just deconstruction. The "after-school" special moments, in other terms, are moments with emotion (though it boggles the mind that the dark but open "Mixology" episode would be described as an after-school special, a comment which to me suggests that this reviewer is so caught up in the show's snark that he's recoiling from anything approaching sincerity). Instead of reviewing this entry by comparing it to the best episodes or by the amount of effort that went into it, why not review it as a Christmas episode or special? If so, I think the episode can be best summed up in the following Troy quote: "Damn, it got real in that memory cave."


I forgot.... Also grim. Shirley, even animated, gets the least use..and all her stuff is the usual God talk. They still can't figure a way to use her character.


It wasn't particularly funny. It was clever, but not particularly funny. The Meaning of Christmas PSA is a holiday tradition for tv shows. Usually coming down to the message here: "The people who care about you are your family, cleave to them...Also, don't piss and moan and ruin it for the rest of us." It wasn't my fave ep, but I didn't actively dislike it either. I certainly expected more out of it. a Christmas gunbattle seemed a little lame considering they could have done anything there. It's imagination land. Chaing comes back for three lines...Man I get they feel bad they signed the guy. I assume he recorded his lines from somewhere far away.


This show is amazing. It does not reduce its characters to ridiculous caricatures, it gives them some real depth while being funny. This episode was amazing.


Well I guess that's fair, the A for effort thing, but I'm sure they put a ton of effort into every episode. There are SO many little background things that come back. Like if you rewatch the first episode of this season you'll notice in Annie's room, all girlied up, the back window has big bars on it. And there is trash cans in an alley out there. Then 9 episodes later you really see how crappy a place she lives in. But if you didn't like the episode I feel like it should have just gotten a grade on its merits, not its effort. Maybe that's just me though.


I don't think I need to, but let me point out what Community does best. The reason my mum would never get this show. The reason I love it so much. "Pop culture." This episode was ultimately one of the more spot-on, in-your-face, allusionistic episodes and I say that it did a very good job. Not only did it keep me laughing, but the characters developed and they had an Asian snowman. I couldn't have asked for more from a Christmas episode.


Mayra: Yeah, I immediately went "aww" when I saw the Annie & Jeff moment. It was brilliant, they basically just said I love you to each other. I loved how Troy and Annie never faltered and remained on Abed's side through the whole journey. It shows how good friends Troy and Abed are, and how good of a person Annie is. Would have loved to see her kiss Abed in real life, but I guess I'll take what I can get.


I'm a little confused as to your cement about feeling like an after school special. Last weeks episode and this week showed a darker side to these characters and did it in the true form of Community.
When I finished watching the last two Episodes I thought wow this is insanely funny and creepy in a good way. You gotta respect a show that can continue to still stay true to the original premise and have character development.
Last week's episode was pure ridiculous(ness) and took a dark turn for the group and managed to show a different side of Troy and just how stupid Britta and Jeff really are not to mention Annie's fear of her future.
This week's episode handled Abed rough time in a hilarious manner. You can't expect every episode to just be silly antics. There has to be something more to it. This showed how extreme Abed's lack of connection with the real world is and and how emerged he is with tv and movies and it managed to do it in a hilarious manner.
Did anyone else love that little part in the song between Annie and Jeff? Anyways I loves last night episode and will go down in history for me


As I mention above, I based the rating solely on creativity this time. Sort of an "A for effort" kinda thing.


I'm confused, based on the review it sounded like you'd have given this a 2.0 and you gave it a 4? On the upside, I'm sure after the return from break they'll be back to the ridiculously funny shenanigans. They just wanted to end it with some more character development-based episodes. I mean, they started the season out so ridiculously they had to reel it back in somehow.

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Community Season 2 Episode 11 Quotes

Abed: If I can find the meaning of Christmas, everything will go back to normal.
Jeff: Asterisk.

What do you care about Christmas Abed? You're Muslim. Don't your people spend this season writing in angry letters to TVGuide?