Community: Season 1, Episode 15
Romantic Expressionism
I have praised Community several times before for its excellent ensemble and their very solid chemistry. The skill with which these characters interact, and the wit that results from their pairings have quickly escalated this show to one of the best comedies on TV, but more than that, it has made it a show that I love even when it churns out less than stellar episodes. Having praised the last new episode of Community as better than it should have been because of the show's good will, this week's "Romantic Expressionism" reminded me exactly where that good will has come from. This show has a decided advantage not just in its excellent cast who can handle any plotline thrown at them or any character pairing imaginable, and not just in its often superb writing, but also (as I've noted before) in its very solid stable of recurring characters who can appear out of nowhere to spice up the already very palatable mix.

This week, Vaughn is back, and he has become the object of Annie's affections. Jeff and Britta scheme to break the two up "for Annie's own good" but by episode's end it is revealed that each had ulterior motives. While the show set up a standard pro Jeff and Britta coupling episode, including a pretty cute moment where they discussed the future, the writers threw a curveball in a perfectly executed scene in which secret motivations were revealed and the question of the study group as a metaphor for family was dealt with. Turns out Britta wanted Annie out of the way because she was jealous, and Jeff wanted Vaughn out of the way because of his feelings for Annie. This was enough to have me jumping for joy, as I am fervently in favor of Jeff and Annie over Jeff and Britta, but the scene went further, using the excellent chemistry this cast has built up for a hysterical moment where the gang all look at each other as sexual prospects for the first time.

The B-plot comprised the rest of the cast (including Senor Chang) as they gathered to watch a bad movie and mock it. Pierce felt left out when everyone was better at it than him, and so hired the sketch comedy troupe to write jokes for him. the jokes were pretty awful, and he read them at a breakneck pace, but only once Pierce realized that the point was just to have fun with friends (and after he did a classic Chevy Chase pratfall) did he finally feel like part of the gang.

The episode ended with a scene that was equal amounts sweet and hilariously stupid, which is a combination the show does exceedingly well. As Vaughn came back and wooed Annie with another ridiculous song, the group all stood there together, just happy to be around one another. And I sat on my couch at home, just happy to be able to watch them on a weekly basis.

Grade: A


-"He never wears a shirt, he never wears shoes. Why hasn't he died from lack of service?"

-"You think I'm too old to make monkeyshines at a picture show?"

-Vaughn is a gateway douchebag. Starburns is lower on the list.

-"Freeze police? Don't do that, they'll get cold."

-"Troy, I want you to clear your head." "Done."

-"Sorry it took so long. They made me buy a shirt."

-"Let's not confine ourselves to your wheelhouse. This problem won't respond to tap dancing or casual revelations that you spent time in New York."

-"Everything is connected. Rocks. Eagles. Hats." "Some things are more connected. Like tarantulas and me peeing my pants."

-"Hey guys, thanks for eating all the macaroni!" "Shut up, Leonard! No one knows what you're talking about... I did eat all the macaroni, its messed up that he knows that."

-"Dude, even I know you're lame, and I'm a tenured professor sitting in a beanbag chair. "You're not a professor."

-"That kiss wasn't for pleasure. It was strategic and joyless." God they have such tension it kills me.

-"So, just to be clear, I don't have a shot with any of you?"
Tags: Community
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