Community: Season 1, Episode 18
Basic Genealogy
This week it was "Family Day" at Greendale Community College, which provided us a window into the lives of the characters we've been slowly getting to know so far this season, and another peg along Jeff's moral development as the show used its now standard brand of optimistic irony to bring home the message that friends can act as a more supportive, functional version of a family when relatives may fail.

Pierce's ex-step-daughter has come to see him, and is immediately attracted to Jeff. Of course Pierce tells him to stay away from her, except when he is winging for Pierce. Jeff initially refuses this task, until he talks to Annie, who reminds him that as a friend he must support Pierce in his time of need. It was a nice change of pace to have Annie acting as Jeff's conscience tonight, especially since I am an avowed fan of the Jeff-Annie pairing, but sadly this left her with relatively little to do except look reproachful and hit Jeff after he slept with Pierce's faux progeny. It all worked out in the end though, as Pierce's ex-step-daughter turned out to be grifting him for $25,000 anyway, and Pierce learned the important and aforementioned lesson of the episode.

Elsewhere, Troy tried to prove to Britta that all elderly people are not worth treasuring by introducing her to his Grandma, who almost immediately sends Britta to find a switch so she can receive a "whooping." While Britta endures that torture, Shirley squares off with Abed's dad over their varying parenting styles, as he believes in strict discipline and Shirley lets her kids run wild. When Shirley's kids help Abed's younger sister to escape her burka and enjoy the bounce house, everyone wins and Abed's dad is none the wiser.

The "meeting the family" episode had to be done at some point, but Community handled it well by keeping the focus on the "family" that the show already centers on. With solid plots that continued to mix up the cast interactions (is this the first Troy/Britta pairing or am I forgetting something?) and some excellent payoffs like Troy crying during Britta's beating and Jeff and Pierce hug-dancing at the barbeque, the episode came off solidly while checking another sitcom cliche off the list.

Grade: B


-"Oh look, the human being has a little human with it. How blood curdlingly adorable."

-"I'll give Jeff a shoulder to cry on, you two boys go find a dead bird to put in that bitch's gloves compartment."

-"For you? I'd break a light sweat..." Awww!

-"Disappointing you is like choking the little mermaid with a bike chain."

-Senor Chang's brother is Rabbi Chang. Nice.

-"I may just be a simple cop, but people need to know...this isn't going to stop until Pictionary bans the word windmill..."
Tags: Community
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