By Meg O’Connell
I had really hoped going into this season of Community that Dan Harmon’s absence would go unnoticed, as if the whole ordeal never happened. I’ve found so far that I’ve been wrong. It just feels different. So far this season (and yes, we’re only three episodes in) it feels like the show has either tried too hard or has fallen a little short.
Here are a few things that did and didn’t work this week.
1. Troy and Britta
Nope. Having none of it. It may be just that Britta has rubbed me the wrong way since the first season; it could be my undying and eternal love for Childish Gambino—er, Donald Glover…Troy. I just don’t feel the chemistry there at all. The episode opening with them in bed together killed me (as I’m sure it did many a woman across their viewership). Long story short, the only upside to this entire situation was Troy’s (however brief) shirtless o’clock moment. Thaaaank youuuu!
2. Getting a bit closer to a Community/Inspector Spacetime/Dr. Who crossover episode: YES
This episode may have been the biggest tease yet. I figured surely, at an Inspector Space Time convention we’d have at least a walk-on moment circa Abed in Cougar Town, but no such luck. I continue to believe that one day it will happen and that this episode was a giant step forward in that direction. Maybe. Please?
3. Famous faces that did make an appearance this week: yes-ish
Matt Lucas? Yes, yes and yes. The Little Britain star playing the episode’s antagonist was great, although the cameos by Luke Perry and Jennie Garth at the end of the episode weren’t as exciting. They should probably just stick to being revived in Old Navy commercials.
4) The totaled five minutes of airtime Pierce and Shirley got this week
Yvette Nicole Brown plays an excellent Shirley. Her timing is fantastic and her tone sets off her jokes perfectly. Chevy Chase is a comedy legend, and is known to do a lot improvisation on the set. Both are assets to the show. Utilize them.
5) “Can I Winger you for a second?”
A classic Jeff Winger speech sans Jeff Winger showed a lot of growth for the show, both in the writing and in character development. Abed taking on Jeff’s role for a brief monologue showcases a more mature Abed as he wasn’t just mimicking Jeff’s behaviour but is really starting to get it. Saying that makes him sound alien (like the Doct—Inspector Spacetime) but let’s face it, he is.
This week’s episode struck a balance. It was great for character development all around and a great way to kind of, sort of, give Community and Doctor Who fans alike what they’ve been asking for since season two. It was an entertaining watch, but didn’t come close to favourite episodes of the first three seasons.
-Annie and Jeff’s will they/won’t they yo-yoing plot line. It seems like the Ross and Rachel of the show are finally getting it together. Maybe not necessarily in the way viewers would like, but this episode capped things off in a nice place.
-Troy’s outburst in the Q and A session. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: Donald Glover is fantastic.
-I’m sorry, did Matt Lucas say that Cadbury Cream Eggs were sold all year in England?! I want to go to there.