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Community Review: Quite the Kerfuffle

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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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agree with everything you said.

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LOVED it! The Britta stuff was so funny, as was all the facebook/sms stuff- 'leonard likes this post'. I thought the way they resolved troy/abed as good- how they couldn't stop fighting. The Cape thing cracked me up. Hopefully the Chevy Chase/Dan Harmon feud will bring in more viewers.

Joyeful

Aww man...they're finally starting to write really good stuff for Chevy Chase and they're infighting. Sucks. Cause Pierce as the Stay-Puff was HILARIOUS. Between that and Shirley kicking ass...I was rolling. I was a little disappointed that the Troy/Abed rift was solved so quickly - I hope that's not over. That story had a lot of potential.

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wow can britta do any thing right? waffles? lmao... this ep is really pause rewind ep on jokes. they went by kind of fast. shirley knocking down that guy and girl at the same time is probably the funniest ive seen her since the foosball ep when they went all dragon ball z. also jeffs character tonight was perfect. continuing last weeks lmao moment by texting throughout the entire "war" with annie. best part though was watching pierce the pillow michelin man take on the changlorious bastards. i hope chase comes back next season. 5 stars

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While funny I think this episode would have been better as a special feature and instead in the episode have the war being fought as it was going on

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First part got me excited so I was expecting the second half to be epic but it was just good. I wanted to see more of the war play out rather then getting as much of a voice over history lesson as was presented. Loved the end moment though and it had flashes of brilliance, if they just eased back that one aspect I think it would have been better.

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not as good as the paintball 2 part but still great in its own way. gonna rewatch now.

Community Season 3 Episode 14 Quotes

I just heard from the Guiness rep. He's not coming. He's been fired in what he described as the world's biggest mistake.

Dean Pelton

Britta Perry is there to immortalize the moment on film... accidentally, while trying to get a picture of the light hitting a stack of nearby waffles.

Narrator
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