23
Oct
2009
Community: Season 1, Episode 6
Football, Feminism, and You
Jordan
Last night's Community delved into the character of Troy a bit more, using a formula the show has been developing for a while now. It threw seemingly random characters from its excellent ensemble together, and watched them mesh perfectly. And while, "Football, Feminism, and You" was not the funniest episode the show has done so far, it did some heavy lifting character and story wise that will pay dividends in the long run.

The A-plot threw together Troy, Jeff, and Annie as the Dean plotted to get former superstar Troy to play for the football team, The Greendale Human Beings (more on that later). Troy was initially reluctant to rejoin the team, and Annie supported his decision. Annie, it seems, loved Troy all through high school, but was ignored by him due to his jockiness, and now sees her chance to get close. Unfortunately, Jeff becomes embroiled in the scheme to get Troy back on the team when the Dean threatens to use him in publicity for the school otherwise (Jeff fears that will hurt his law career). Jeff lawyers Troy into joining the team, hurting Annie in the process. The storyline doesn't have a whole lot of laughs, but it establishes some important relationships and foils that may fly throughout the series. It seems the show originally envisioned foiling Jeff and Britta, he being a world weary cynic and she an idealist who values honesty, but has since realized that the two will work better in an eventual relationship if they have some subtle similarities. Instead, Annie functions as Jeff's foil; she actually wants to do well by her own means, she's naïve where Jeff is street smart, and she's a goodie two shoes where Jeff loves to cut corners.

In addition to setting up this foil more starkly (in their excellent confrontation before Annie stomps away), the episode shows a softer side of Annie as she shows up at the football team to support Troy after all ("People are deployed in football, yes? I went with the rhyme over the fact"¦"). Annie's feelings for Troy can be mined for some time to come, and also gives her character and his some needed depth.
The B-plot is a throwaway sitcom cliché in which Britta realizes she has never been able to pull off going to the bathroom with other girls (which is totally a girl thing, right? Man, those women sure are from Venus, what with their bathroom camaraderie). This storyline was pretty much used up by 90s stand-up comics (which the show gets points for saying, via Jeff) but it gives Shirley and Britta something to do, so I'll accept it.

Plus, the C-plot in which Pierce and the Dean work on a race-neutral mascot, which turns into a terrifying gray mass by episode's end, provides plenty of humor. Over all, the episode does some important things for the series, while still managing to be a solidly entertaining episode of television.

Grade: B

Notes:

-"This is our gender-neutral color wheel. It goes from Seal to Seal's teeth."

-I like Jeff's observation that trying not to be racist is the new racist.

-"That's sort of my gimmick, but we did lean on it pretty hard last week. I can lay low for an episode." I love Abed as the meta character.

-"I'm not having a conversation with someone who emerges from a bush." "Because I'm right?" "No. Because I'm not in a commercial for breakfast cereal."

-Troy's nickname was T-Bone. Because he's a football player and his name starts with T. His. Name. Starts. With. T.
Tags: Community
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