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Community

Community Review: Quite the Kerfuffle

by at . Comments

On one hand, there's nothing to even say about "Pillows and Blankets," the latest Community parody that perfectly played off Ken Burns-ian documentaries in every conceivable manner. It was simply hilarious. Case closed, right?

On the other hand, there's everything to say about this installment of the NBC sitcom, because it was the ideal showcase for a series that can somehow combine sheer lunacy with actual character development and insight.

Fort War!

In a podcast on Grantland.com last week, Joel McHale talked about critics who miss the point of Community's parodies, writing off episodes such as "Modern Warfare" as nothing but a lazy spoof. They fail to note that Jeff and Britta had sex for the first time during that half hour, a major step in their relationship and in the growth of these characters.

Yes, there were paintballs whizzing through the hallways, but there was actually a lot under the surface for anyone who stopped to notice how the characters actually acted, and interacted, during the campus war. And for those who didn't want to stop and notice?

There were paintballs whizzing through the hallways! It was hilarious and ridiculous. You could have your Community either way you wanted it, or both.

The same can be said for this Greendale deluge of feuding feathers. It was utterly brilliant, from the absurd to the profound.

Of course Annie tended to both sides (via lint brush) and of course she tried to get Jeff to open up about his feelings (via a text-message-instead-of-quill-pen-written-letter-exchange that may have been my favorite bit).

Of course Jeff was only looking out for himself and trying to avoid school work. Of course Britta tried, and failed miserably, to be the self-righteous photographer... who believed black-and-white photos were automatically artistic and who only captured the perfect image after initially trying to snap the light hitting a stack of nearby waffles.

Of course Chang would cheat and bring in a group of Chang-lorious Basterds (Replacing In with Chang, see). And of course Troy would cry.

Every character note was ideally hit, culminating in what had to be the most moving, imaginary hat-based resolution in TV history. But it truly felt like progress was made between Troy and Abed over the last few weeks, with each acknowledging the other's faults, while also embracing the other in spite of - or perhaps due to - these same faults.

If I had an emotion for a giant thumbs-up, I'd plaster it all over the screen. This was Community at its zany, touching, hysterical best. Well worth over 12 people transferring as a result, wouldn't you say?

Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (145 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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    Another classic Community episode.
    The writers of this show are brilliant, they're not afraid to think outside the box.
    Britta taking photos was funny, the text messaging between Jeff and Annie was cute and the narrating was fantastic!
    My favourite part of the episode though was when Jeff actually went back to the Dean's office to collect Troy and Abed's imaginary friendship hats. That was very endearing and showed how much Jeff has grown over the last three years.

    Avatar

    this is the Community we all know and love!! i need to watch it a 2nd time to catch all the jokes - it's been a long time since i've done that with this show. sadly, once has been enough the last several weeks. so glad it's back!!

    Fortyseven

    Good not great.

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    In the words of Dr. Lombardo, a Simpsons character played by Jon Lovitz, "Another triumph!!!" Start to finish, it was just a genius episode. Can somebody solve the mystery of how the hell this show is in trouble?

    Eagleone

    Ya, Keith David narrating was a nice touch ! What a awsome show. So original and not afraid to go where no show as gone before. Thumbs up to the creating teams !!

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    Awesome episode! When Community does full-on parodies, it usually ends up with fantastic results, and 'Pillows and Blankets' succeeded. Everyone was great in it, and I enjoyed seeing so many of the recurring cast participate as well. I loved that they got Keith David to be the narrator. He's done that for some of Ken Burns' documentaries, so that was totally fitting. And we get another dose of Michael Haggins' 'Daybreak,' that oddly-catchy smooth Jazz tune played and hummed by some of the show's characters since the 'Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps' episode. Cool, cool, cool.

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    As someone who watched every minute of Ken Burns' documentary, I was LMAO during this episode. Excellent work! BTW, who narrated this episode? I missed the credits. Was it Ken Burns?

    Childish-gambino

    This is the community i fell in love with. This is easily the best episode ive seen them put out in ages. though still dont like the punching bag Britta has become
    One of the things that went wrong with them. After Modern Warfare they just seemed to be trying to top it again and again and began doing parodies for the sake of parodies or pop culture-references for the sake pop culture references but lost sight of what originally made the show so awesome, the characters. Season 1 they hardly did anything "big" but still imho those were still some of the best episodes the show has put out. It used to be a show with grounded characters who sometimes act eccentric but has decayed into eccentric characters who sometimes act grounded. However after their hiatus they have been getting better.

    Avatar

    I loved Leonard in this ep and Britta with the waffles, I also loved her failed attempt at taking a pic of Troy crying. I loved that Jeff actually went into the Dean's office and stole the hats! Shirley as Big Cheddar was awesome and Troy and Abed fighting will be reopened cause I rememeber in the S3 trailer the Vice Dean was saying they would be torn asunder or something and the weird morph between Troy and Abed in the dreamatorium was kinda creepy. I really hope more people start watching Community because we need more Chang!Seriously can't wait for his 27th b-day!

    Luckybastarda

    Leave it to Community to make EPIC OUT OF THE BOX EPISODES. Siriusly, one of the BEST comedies on TV. I absolutely love them!