Community Review: So This Is Christmas

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Though it's spring/tax extension filing season in the rest of the northern hemisphere, it's Christmas in Greendale - and, as we learned on "Intro to Knots," that means soiled Die Hard tank tops, Chang-tastic double-crosses and Alex DeLarge himself tied to a living room chair.

Oh, what, your last Christmas was more exciting?

Furry Holiday Surprises

Though "Intro to Knots" had no amazing moments, it featured something even more important: plenty of good moments. On a show that's suffered through wild swings in quality all season, this episode was at least solid.

Rather than bouncing from great joke to weak joke and back again (like a few recent episodes that I could name), this half hour was an excellent example of how Community can, when really motivated, perform what is perhaps the sitcom's most sacred duty: create episodes with essentially the same level of quality each week.

Though this episode didn't blow any minds with its advanced Muppetry, it did successfully advance the Community Season 4 agenda ever-so-slightly, including fleshing out Shirley, giving a bit of heft to Troy and Britta's relationship (finally! And all from a guy tied to a chair!) and getting a smidgen closer to the bottom of all this false Changnesia.

Malcolm McDowell's Professor Cornwallis has been one of this season's inarguable delights, and this episode was enjoyable most of all for giving us an opportunity to really soak in his snooty, smarmy, student-harrassing charm (and his many biting Community quotes, of course). Of all of Greendale's celebrity professors, I think he might be my favorite... though I can't believe we made it through his entire appearance without a single foot-rub joke.

More than a paper-thin placeholder episode, but less than a brain-bending epic, "Intro to Knots" attempted, and succeeded, at performing the difficult sitcom grunt-work required to keep a show going as the seasons add up; moving along a decent plot, dishing up consistent jokes and letting us know all the characters just a little bit better (did any of you peg Jeff for a Tom Waits man? I saw him more as a Dylan guy, myself).  And it just might signal the direction that Community Season 5 would take, if that ship ever sails.

However, it did leave me with a few questions, like: how the hell does Jeff have such a nice apartment?

What do you think Chang's end game is? Were you surprised that Shirley is in the running for valedictorian? Did you like the "dark timeline" callback? Does your family traditionally celebrate Christmas in April?


Editor Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (65 Votes)

I hate what they've done to Annie but I hate even more what they've done to Britta. She's making weird girly faces about heat between her and Jeff when she's dating Troy. That's sick. I hate that her character is all about Jeff now. Removing the romance between Jeff and Britta was the making of her. If she ends up with Jeff I am 100% done.


PS: Professor Cornwalis' line about updating his suicide note was spot on


Miss the old Community but this'll have to do. Especially now that Archer's done for another year. Not a bad episode though and the end tag was perfect. Good to see Evil Jeff and Evil Annie again. The Dean Seemed a little off.


I hate NBC too for ruining the show. I wish Dan Harmon were still around.


The characters are not consistent with what they were, I hate what they did to Annie. Jeff never believed in the dark timeline. The show has become sitcommy. Still better than most of things out there, but it is not funny anymore. and more mainstream. I AM SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO SAD.


LuckyBastarda you said it all. This was my favorite show on television and I don't even watch it anymore. Let that sink in for a second. I continued watching The Office well past its sell-by date and I will still argue that the Lost series finale was incredible. I wanted to give this show a chance so bad but going back and watching ANY episode from the first 3 seasons gives me more actual laughs than any episode this season has come close to doing. I stopped halfway through "Marine Biology" and haven't even considered giving it another chance. It is NOT the same show. Maybe sometimes its a funny show, maybe the writers come up with good jokes and show people a few flashes of the characters they used to love, but it isn't the same show as it used to be, period. Maybe some people enjoy the show now, but they aren't the same Community fans that fought to keep the show on the air only to watch its creator get fired.


One of the worst eps ever for me. So far this season, the quality of the eps has decreased, but relative to most other shows out there, they were still smarter and more entertaining. But this episode was just bad TV, even compared to other shows. So tired of the sappy 'lessons learned' in each episode and the typical sitcom format the show seems to follow now. It just didn't work for me.


At least this episode was innocuous and pleasant enough to watch. It still doesn't rank anywhere near the top (or even middling) episodes of the Harmon era -- were it to have aired in the midst of a previous season, I would have called it disappointing and off of its game -- but with so many epic failures this season, I've dramatically lowered my standards for this show. I continue to tune in every week because of the goodwill that Community built up with me over its run, but I find myself hoping more and more that it gets put out to pasture after this year, rather than continue to suffer like a wounded animal.


I am so pissed at Community trying to mainstream so hard... I'm not saying that Dan Harmon was the best, but made the show's spark. Annie is a jew.
Britta saying "We got gift, we couldn't resist"? REALLY??? The anarchist?
Pierce's abscent was completely lame.
Troy and Abed? almost ruined. There are no more goofyness between them and no more TROY AND ABED IN THE MORNING. I'm truly sad, and I know it's lame cause it's only a TV Show, but I remembered I couldn't wait for thrusdays and now... I really hate NBC for ruining Community. Only "appealing" aspect of the show it's Changnesia storyline. Even the Dean is being useless lately.

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Community Season 4 Episode 10 Quotes

This is amazing, and possibly in real time!


Seeing as you saved me from my annual Christmas tradition of plum pudding, roasted goose, and updating my suicide note, I suppose that I could give you a

Professor Cornwallis