Friday, January 28, 2011

Community: "Celebrity Pharmacology"

When it comes to Community second season, it seems that people generally fall into one of two trains of thought. Either they love the plethora of ambitious and special episodes or they feel that it's gimicky and wish for a return to the form of season one. Unfortunately, I must say that I fall more into the latter group of people. I haven't hated this season of Community, but as a whole, it's just felt off to me. The episodes this season have been hit or miss for me. For example, I surprisingly adored the Halloween zombie episodes, but (and I know this is a bit of a controversial statement) I just wasn't feeling the claymation Christmas special. I really do enjoy some of the special episodes, but I enjoy them so much more when they're limited to just a few a season.

Anyway, I said all of that to say that one reason I really enjoyed tonight's episode is that it was a somewhat realistic and normal situation. Sure, in typical Community fashion, they did it in a crazy way, but it was a situation that felt like something that could really happen. This, along with last week's episode, gives me hope that Community could turn back into the show that I first came to love in season one.

But, there were other reasons besides just the fact that it was realistic that I loved "Celebrity Pharmacology."

One reason is that it had an excellent use of Chang. Chang's involvement in the play was completely amazing, and it was such an in character move that I almost felt like I should have seen it coming. Ever since Chang was fired from being the gang's teacher, it has felt like the show doesn't quite know what to do with him. And therefore, some of his jokes (besides the excellent Chang puns of the last episode) have fallen flat for me. But, Chang's role as Drugs 2 was such a good use of his character. While I'm not completely sold the whole "Shirley/Chang baby" storyline, I think it was handled pretty in this episode. He got a chance to show Shirley that he can come through in a pinch while still being his really weird self.

Another character that I think was handled well in this episode is Annie. I'm not quite sure what it is about her, but in season two, Annie has often gotten on my nerves. I'm not sure exactly what it was, but her character in this episode was actually likeable and much more season-one-like. Also, the information we learned about her supporting herself and even seeing where she lives added a nice layer to her character. Also, the bringing up of her drug addiction was some nice continuity.

Speaking of continuity, I also thought it was some nice albeit minor continuity from the episode where we learned of Abed's sport skills that Abed caught the first ball that was thrown at him.

All in all, this was a really solid episode of Community. I enjoyed it much more than I've enjoyed an episode in a while (even though I did think last week's episode was pretty good). It had some really great line, my favorite being the Dean's "Well, that answers my question. Jeff Winger is sexy even in a coffin." It was also really solidly funny. The whole play was pretty much a masterpiece. When Drugs made a return via toilet, I did some serious guffawing. I really hope that Community can keep up the good work because this episode proved to me that I shouldn't lose hope in the show.

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