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).
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?