Community: Season 1, Episode 22
The Art of Discourse
For a good portion of tonight's episode, I was convinced I was watching the season finale of Community. In my defense, this was the twenty second episode, which is generally the length of a network sitcom season (though the trend toward 24 in the last year or so is apparently continuing, thankfully), and it did a lot of things that made me think it would work as a finale. It raised the question (via some incredibly obnoxious, and none too funny high schoolers) of where our protagonists have gone wrong in life to end up here, created "drama" by having Shirley and Pierce leave the group, and had a wacky subplot in which Troy and Abed try to complete Abed's "things to do in my first year of college" list because the year is almost over. In short, "The Art of Discourse" could have functioned as the season finale and done so pretty well. In fact, had the season ended with a freeze frame and writing reading "Troy and Abed will return in College Cut Ups 2: Panty Raid Academy" I would have been pretty happy.

There are a few reasons I'm glad this in fact wasn't the finale. First among those is the Britta and Jeff A-story, which as I said raised a good question for the show to address, but did not in fact address the question and actually fell flat comedically. In a perfectly executed episode of the show, the two would have become engaged in an epic form of comedic one-upsmanship that would have lead to some gloriously weird moments. Instead, Jeff and Britta spent the episode failing to be funny, which it turns out was not all that funny. I did like that Jeff set out to bang the kid's mom, though, as that is in fact the best possible diss he could have served.

Another reason I'm glad this wasn't the finale: The Shirley and Pierce plotline ended with a decent joke wherein they pantsed the high schoolers, but not with the heartwarming moment I would have expected had this been the finale. I liked how this plotline handled their issues with each other and reminded both us and them what an important role they play in the group, and transitively, the show. Plus it gave the two of them some rare screen time together, again showing that this cast is so versatile you can throw any of them into a subplot together and they can make it work comedically.

Finally, I'm glad this wasn't the finale because I'm just not ready to say good-bye to this show for the summer yet. I wouldn't put this episode up as the shining example of why this is quickly becoming my favorite comedy to watch each week, but it was still a fun half an hour full of a lot of weirdness and a lot of laughter. Troy and Abed's whole plotline was standard Abed fare, in which the two tried to recreate a bunch of college movie cliches, yet somehow it was hilarious in spite of the fact that it was exactly what you'd expect. The boobitron, the fake drama to create the illusion of a story arc, the breaking the guitar and the stealing of another school's mascot were all very solid jokes, and the food-fight/freeze frame ending was played absolutely perfectly within the episode's tone. Thank god this show is not done for the season yet. I'm just not ready to let it go for a few more weeks.

Grade: B+


-The preview for next week's paintball episode/action movie parody was already hysterical. I am extremely excited.

-"Knitting is hip! Winona Ryder knits!"

-"You said I have a crafty Jew brain!" "Nobody knows how to take a compliment anymore."

-I like that Troy considered asking the goat to explain sarcasm to him.

-"My uncle was struck by lightning. You'd think it'd give him super powers, but now he just masturbates in theaters..."
Tags: Community
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