9
Oct
2009
Community: Season 1, Episode 4
Social Psychology
Jordan
Community has consistently done a good job of showing that its ensemble can work together in odd ways. As I have said before, I think it bodes well that so many different pairings can work so well. This week gives us a Jeff and Shirley story and an Annie and Abed story, which lets us see into the characters of Annie and Shirley a bit more.

Jeff and Shirley's relationship evolves when she discovers they walk the same path between two classes they take together. Jeff had known this all along, but had been avoiding her because he had nothing to say. He soon finds, however, that he and Shirley share the propensity to mock people incessantly. After they spend some time deriding their fellow group members, they turn their sarcasm on Vaughn, a hippie stoner with a hackie sack who has won the affections of Britta. Jeff hates Vaughn on principle, and likes him even less because he's dating Britta, but in an attempt to remain unpredictable to her, he pretends to get along with him. All of this leads to Britta sharing a poem Vaughn wrote her, which Jeff can't help but show to Shirley.

Annie, on the other hand, is trying to win the favor of her psych professor (the returning John Oliver, who is always hilarious) by getting into his research group. In order to participate, she needs to bring two subjects, so she drags Troy and Abed to the experiment, which it turns out doesn't really exist. The researchers are in fact testing how long it takes people to break down angrily when forced to wait for an experiment to start. Troy and Abed stick it out for a long time before Troy breaks down at wasting a day (his breakdown is pretty hysterical, as is the almost immediate fury of Ken Jeong's Senor Chang). Abed manages to stick it out for 26 hours, however, and causes the entire research team to break down first, destroying the experiment. Annie is furious at Abed, until she discovers that he was staying there in spite of his anger. He stuck around because she asked him to, and she told him they were friends. For the second week in a row, Abed has managed to pull off a very sweet, heartfelt moment in an episode that also included a lot of laughter. There were not as many hysterical one-liners this week, but the laughter there was felt earned through a growing understanding of the principal characters. And over the long run, that type of laughter will be better anyway.

Grade: B+

Notes:

-"You're an 8, which is a British 10."

-"I figured we were more like Chandler and Phoebe. They never really had any stories together."

-"He says things after"¦" "After school?" "After"¦" "After dinner mints?" "After"¦" "Not having sex?"

-"Britta will never forgive me. I can't believe I showed you that poem. Oh my god my life is Degrassi High!"
Tags: Community
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