11
Dec
2009
Community: Season 1, Episode 12
Comparative Religion
Jordan
Its that time of year again. Carolers are carloning, snowmen are staving off their own death, Santa is prepping his sleigh, and NBC is doing a night of holiday themed shows. Community takes on the idea of political correctness around the holiday, and the the fact that everyone pretends to respect each other's religion out of politeness, but in point of fact thinks what everyone else believes is stupid. What it came away with was a little bit cliche, and a tad too politically correct for my taste, but still very solid and very, very funny.

In the A-plot Jeff faced off with a bully who got angry at Abed for taking the "winterdoodles" at the school's non-descript holiday party (the dean, ever desperate not to offend, appeared as Mr. Winter and declared, "Hohoho! Merry Happy!"). Unfortunately, Jeff has never been in a fight, so it's time for standard comedy plot #27 as Pierce and Abed prep him for the face off. The plot is as old as the medium of television, but the show pulls it off with supreme wit and confidence, including the nice touch of Britta in the background commenting on just how the urge to fight another guy is just how men subliminate their gay urges.

The B-plot centered around Shirley trying to throw a Christmas party that everyone would attend, only to discover that every member of the group is of a different religion. This allows for some decent barbs at ludicrous beliefs and at religious insensitivity, but also gives the show its problem of being too PC. Instead of changing the lyrics to a bunch of Christian carols, why not just sing non-denominational ones ("Frosty the Snowman" and "Winter Wonderland" come immediately to mind as pretty inoffensive songs for the season). I'm all for the idea that this season can be a little too Christian-biased, but I think the show spent too much of its run time pandering to every religion (except agnosticism, which was rightfully boo'd and dubbed "the lazy man;s atheism."). However, its hard to harbor ill-will at the show when it ended with Annie using a snow blower as a weapon and Shirley beating a man with a candy cane.

The show wrapped itself up for the year with a sweet seasonally appropriate ending that had Jeff preaching about the joys of friendship and the group all together, ready to take on the next semester (where Senor Chang will pull a Feeny and remain their teacher). After an early run this solid, I can't wait for the new year, and for more Community.

Grade: B+

Notes:

-"That guy wasn't gay! He had a mustache!"

-"True or false or none of the above? That doesn't make any sense!"

-I loved when Troy started to say "fight" and then just finished it because he couldn't think of another word. Jeff then does the same.

-"Oh, look, Britta brought what she believes in...nothing..."

-"Annie knows a little something about guilt, right jew?" "Say the whole word!" "You would never catch a Jehovah's Witness saying 'jewy.'" "Tell it to the birthday cake you never got."
Tags: Community
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