Community Review: "Celebrity Pharmacology"

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Week to week, Community continues to baffle me with its uncanny ability to blend witty comedic one-liners with layer upon layer of character development.

Not that it's in danger of reaching The Good Wife levels of storytelling, but I don't mind going on record saying that it may just be the most brilliant, character-rich comedy in recent memory. 

Stage Actors

Pierce is such an unlikable grump, with his misogynistic and borderline racist ideals, and more often than not it seems the rest of the group is one step away from ejecting him altogether.

For a split second on "Celebrity Pharmacology," I had the impression that perhaps there was a big softie underneath his pervy exterior, but, of course, this is Pierce we're talking about.  He is incapable of understanding the constraints of normal social behavior; and this week we were given a big clue as to why.

Pierce watching an old video of his father's commercial was heartbreaking.  What it must have been like for Pierce to grow up with a father who would rather use a child actor, whose name he didn't even know, to pose as his son than to let his own earnest offspring stand at his side.  What was worse, he went on to degrade Pierce by telling the young actor his father was lucky to have a son of whom he could be proud.

Pierce is so desperate for validation, he'll try to buy and bully his way into the spotlight, no matter who he may hurt in the process - Annie, the impressionable young theatre patrons, even himself. It makes his constant offending almost sympathetic, if not excusable. Chevy Chase really outdid himself, and I think this was his best episode yet.

Shirley, meanwhile, had a moment that gave us a peek into her internal struggle.  She still can't deal with Chang, who may very well be the father of her unborn child, because to confront that situation would be to stand eyeball to eyeball with her former self and stare into the face of her imperfections. Something is wrong with Chang alright; thus, in Shirley's eyes, all evidence points to there being something wrong with herself.

As we've learned in bits and pieces throughout the season, Shirley has made a massive U-turn in an effort to change the direction her life, becoming a bit judgmental and pious in the process. All of this, though, is merely the overcompensating of a woman clearly in pain.  Her ex really did a number on her self-esteem, and even though we haven't really learned of the timing, I'd be willing to bet her days of endless beer benders probably occurred around the time that he left her. 

She is absolutely fighting some massive demons, and even though Yvette Nicole Brown only had a few moments to do so, she perfectly conveyed that angst.

But wait? Isn't this supposed to be a comedy?

Let's highlight some funny parts before we drown our sorrows too deeply into our "Troy and Abed in the Morning" mugs:

  • Jeff's one-sided conversation with Abed about the text messages he was sending Britta's nephew.
  • Marijauna Pierce fake farting into Puss'N'Jeff's face (crude, yes, but still funny).
  • Britta's misunderstand of a naughty emoticon
  • Annie living above a "marital aid store."
  • Period fairies.
  • Dean Pelton's penchant for bee costumes and Jeff Winger portraits.
  • Drug-free baseballs.
  • Abed's Scooby-Doo reference.


Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (22 Votes)

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


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Liked, but didn't love this episode. I think they are back on track to how wacky and hilariously inappropriate the show can be (Annie lives above a store called "Dildopolis"). It could've been funnier, but I like the direction.


I liked this episode a lot, it was the perfect amount of ridiculous


Welcome to the land of the Shameless Plug of Another Site. Hello, CriticalFan


On the signing up thing: I get the milk for free. Why buy the cow?


@Piecar I absolutely appreciate your comments! I think it was interesting to see a little bit of the "why" Pierce acts the way he does. It made his degeneration throughout the rest of the episode all the more sad. Maybe I had a melancholic evening, and this one just hit me differently. I will agree I love Community even more when it makes me fall of my chair laughing, and definitely agree bringing a baby into the group wouldn't have great results. BTW - Have you considered creating a TVFanatic account?


Oh, I agree the "Abed is Jesus" ep was not good.(see, we agree again already!) It suffered from being too impressed with it's own cleverness. This ep just seemed like a producer's young nephew wrote an episode and they were forced to make it. Fake farting in someone's face sealed that idea for me. The "comedy" this ep was puerile. Not a good tack for a show that is so inventive. I also disagree that the characters are taking on interesting arcs. Yes, Troy became a man, (in heavy handed fashion)some eps ago. But we already knew Annie lived in unsavoury part of town, Pierce trying to manipulate with money is nothing new, and the baby story is a pretty old device...Speaking of which; I hope we don't end up with a baby in this series. Nothing kills funny like baby stories. Anyway. Happy to read the review, even if I don't share the thinking.


As I said last week, it's really morphed into more than simply a comedy. It's interesting to see a "sitcom" try to delve into deeper character discovery, and even if it wasn't the funniest episode to date there were still some pretty amusing one-liners. I disagree that this was the worst ever. That distinction, for me, lies with "Messianic Myths and Ancient Peoples." But maybe next week we'll agree again? :-)


I love Community. This was the worst episode Community has ever produced. Thin plot, bad A and B story, and mostly unfunny. It seemed like everyone just went through the motions. Even Chang's usual scene chewing was weak. The only really funny scene was Jeff having a one sided argument with Abed while texting. The kids beating up Chang was such a contrived plot device that it grated. The whole "texting the nephew" thread seemed shoehorned in there only to give the nominal star of the show something to do. Still, it's good that I got to see how Community would be if it were a lame formulaic comedy like this week..That way I can appreciate the good episodes. I'm surprised you liked this one, Kirkpatrick.

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Community Season 2 Episode 13 Quotes

Are you sure my costume isn't on backwards? Somehow I felt more confident before.


Is Pierce marijuana, and does marijuana help people move faster? I thought it just made them custom paint vans and solve mysteries.