After a long season of reviewing The Office and 30 Rock here at TV Fanatic, giving both middling grades at best, it was a breath of fresh air when the boss asked me to help out with one of this week's trio of Community episodes.
Unlike its elder Comedy Night Done Right brothers, which in one way or another are shells of their former selves, Community is in the midst of one of the best two-season sitcom runs of all-time. It may be getting banished to Friday nights next season, but right now our favorite Human Beings are still the funniest people on television.
"The First Chang Dynasty" did not let me down in that regard. The penultimate episode of Community's third season had a nearly perfect combination of parody, physical comedy, sight gags, puns, characterization, heart and plot development. I know, that's a lot, but I don't get to review Community very often, so I need to stress how fantastic it truly is.
As a huge fan of Ocean's Eleven, I absolutely loved the Greendale Seven's parody of it. My favorite moment might have been the description of just how difficult the plan was going to be. There is no way they’re going to be able to get past Joshua, or figure out the code that is changed... once a day!
I liked that the Ocean's bit ended early, because it gave time for them to work through other things before the conclusion of the episode, most notably the heartfelt goodbyes from Troy. Those final moments were some of the best examples of why Community is the best sitcom on television at achieving heartfelt moments and comedic ones simultaneously.
Troy whispering something to Abed as he said goodbye to his best friend was so very chilling, but the fact that he was saying "I know you hate when people do this in movies" made it ridiculously hilarious at the same time.
While the ending gave us heart, and moved the plot along enough to give the finale somewhere to go, the elaborate heist was filled with a number of the more silly moments from the episode. Between Shirley's beard, Abed and Troy as plumbers, and Jeff and Britta as the rock 'n roll magicians, I couldn't pick a favorite disguise. Actually, I can. It was Troy and Abed, mainly due to their incredible plumber voices.
Before leaving you with some of our favorite quotes from "The First Chang Dynasty," here are some other memorable moments during the second to last Community of the season...
- Is he a deanleganger, doppledeaner, or deanlechanger?
- Is it a copera or a policeical?
- Did you know binoculars are like telephones for your eyes?
- Troy's excitement about Chang's party.
- A.C. school won't let you say "sensational."
- Chang's file folders: lock combinations, miscellaneous Chang puns and extra file folders.
- The Dean was so upset that it was Britta saving him instead of Jeffrey.
What did you think of "The First Chang Dynasty," TV Fanatics? Check out some of our favorite lines in our Community quotes section.
NOTE: Read Matt Richenthal's take on the Community season finale now!
Dan Forcella is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.