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Community Review: Double Wingers, All the Way

by at . Comments

Much like an enchanted fortune cookie that switches your body with Lindsay Lohan's so that you can both learn a little bit about empathy, "Basic Human Anatomy" was a more-delicious-than-expected treat with some genuine surprises packed into it.

(Although, unfortunately, none of those surprises were increased empathy for Lindsay Lohan).

The Body Switch

Penned by Academy Award-winning screenwriter/semi-professional Angelina Jolie imitator Jim Rash, the episode bopped along with an excellent pacing and surefooted direction that this season has wanted for even in some of its best moments.

The sheer momentum and energy of the writing knocked all my usual petty TV nerd hang-up straight out of my brain. Troy and Britta already were dating for an entire year? Leonard is graduating now, even though he's been in school for 40 years? Who knows! Who cares! More Dean Jeffton! More zingy Community quotes! More Troy doing the Abed-head-tilted-to-the-side-thing! More routine light switch checks!!!

Community has always relied heavily on gimmicks, and Community Season 4 in particular has used gimmicks to pull focus from a lot of not-particularly-cohesive plots. But in this episode, the gimmick complemented the plot perfectly, making wonderful points not just about Troy and Abed's intimacy, but Troy and Britta's comparative lack of intimacy, Shirley and Annie's lack of empathy and the complicated nature of Dean Pelton's Jeff-lust.

The episode didn't have to rely on throw-away gags from the ever-talented Ken Jeong, or random plot threads that rise out of nowhere and then are promptly forgotten about for the next two or three episodes - it was simply a solidly constructed, highly enjoyable piece of TV comedy.

The nod to Annie's well-documented love of nerds pretending to be cool dudes hit a sweet spot, as well. I don't know, I also kinda dug Dean Jeffton (but then again, I was kind of into Han Abed, too, which I guess just proves that this show knows the neurotic female nerd quadrant of its viewership very, very well).

With the winning streak this show has been on over the past few weeks, I am truly mourning its not-too-bright future. But who knows? Anything could happen! Maybe the show will switch bodies with Burn Notice and run for several more seasons! I have an enchanted DVD copy of All of Me that we can messenger over to the USA Network offices...

Did you enjoy the body-swapping? Are you relieved or bummed about the break-up of Tritta? Do you not trust me any more because I said Dean Pelton looked cute while he was doing push-ups?

Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (55 Votes)
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This was the first truly good episode of the season. The only one that felt like the Community from the past three seasons. The others just seemed like they were trying to be Community, but not quit making it.

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I enjoyed the episode and I found the realization in the lost and found as to why Troy was playing Abed was a really pure moment. What I don't like is that the most touching thing this season was used for their breakup rather than to give them some honest relationship screen time, like they did last season when they slowly warmed to each other. Their relationship last season felt cute, natural and logical. This season it was forced, ignored and destroyed by the writers.

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Also, after the suggestion of a Troy/Britta/Jeff love triangle last week and now Troy breaking up with Britta (rather than vice versa), I'm concerned they're opening the door for Britta/Jeff. Those characters are entertaining as friends, but every time the show brings the idea of romance between them, it's cringe-inducing. "Enough with the warm fuzzy endings and life lessons - bring back dysfunction!" DianeB, what the heck are you talking about? Did you even watch the show prior to this season? Probably more than half of Community episodes in the first 3 seasons had a fuzzy ending after some variation of a "Winger speech".

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One of the best of this season. It had some things I didn't like, but I can forgive those because of the ambition in the subject matter. I always found Troy and Britta a bit creepy, because Troy basically acts like a 14 year old, but I was willing to go with it. I didn't care much for the relationship ending that way, because the fact that Troy felt so uncomfortable that he had to withdraw into a fantasy body swap scenario made Britta seem more like a predator that caused psychological harm to a guy who wasn't emotionally equipped for the relationship. It was an interesting concept, but when really thought about, reflects much more poorly on the characters involved than was addressed in the story.

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I was loving this episode until about 20 minutes in, when the sappy/sitcom lesson-learned vibe started again. Jeff's speech to Troy/Abed in the janitors closet was almost the end for me. Enough with the warm fuzzy endings and life lessons - bring back dysfunction! But that being said - Troy and Abed were awesome playing each other. And I'm so glad the Troy/Britta thing is over - that never worked for me. Overall this season, the eps work about 75% for me, until they go into typical sitcom mode, and then I tune out.

Luckybastarda

Having hated most episodes this season so far, Jim Rash redeemed Community once more! He should write more episodes, it felt like vintage Community....

Community Season 4 Episode 11 Quotes

Pierce: What do you want me to do?
Jeff: Stay alive...or don't!
Pierce: I'm on it!

Holy makes-complete-sense-at-this-school!

Jeff