Community: Advanced Documentary Filmmaking Season 4 Edpisode 6 Review

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Community once again delves into the world of documentary filmmaking to analyze of the disease “Changnesia.”  Unfortunately, it turns out to be exposé that isn’t worth watching.

During its pervious departures into the world of the documentary, Community has usually been able to pull off a stellar episode.  Season 2’s Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking is one of the strongest half-hours of the series, using the art form as a way to hilariously tear the group apart while Pierce is recovering in the hospital.  Similarly, season 3’s Documentary Filmmaking: Redux was equally as funny as it depicted the behind the scenes madness of Greendale’s new television commercial.

It looks like the third time is not the charm.  This week the gang is once again examined by Abed’s cameras as they try to win grant money for the school by analyzing Chang’s memory loss.  Sorry, Kevin’s memory loss.  He goes by Kevin now because a fisherman who used him for slave labor named him after his dog.  Weird, I know.

Community exists in a bizarre hyperreality where characters frequently make pop culture references, and its not out of the ordinary to see things like a campus-wide paintball war or anime foosball.  Still, the fact that everyone wholeheartedly went along with Chang’s Kevin’s disease after he tried to take over the school and kill them last season?  It was a little hard to suspend my disbelief.  Jeff seemed to agree, as he tried to undermine the whole thing by exposing the disease for what it really is.

As the gang split off into groups, I got excited.  The best part about Community‘s previous documentary episodes were the brilliant confessionals that each of the characters gave. There was no such luck this week, however, as all we got was some straightforward explanation of the plot.  There was one funny scene with Annie and Troy as they try to be detectives and Troy says the opposite of everything Annie says because he thinks that’s how cops work.  Then there was a humorous line in which we hear Shirley say off camera “I’ve never told anyone that story before Britta, I was dead for three whole minutes!”  That was about it.

Equally as unsatisfying was the show’s climax, which culminated in an all-out brawl during the presentation the organization awarding the grant.  Do we get to see the brawl?  No.  Just Abed’s reaction to it.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of Abed, but seeing the actual fight would have been much more exciting than watching his stoic expression.

All I can say is, thank god for the tag at the end of the episode.  The show wraps things up in a way that makes it seem as though Chang really has turned into Kevin and has changed for the better.  Then, in the final moments, we see him take out a cell phone and tell someone that everyone has finally “bought” his forgetting act.  I’m glad this happened because nice-guy Chang is boring, and it gives me some hope for what’s to come.  Grade: C

By Mike Papirmeister

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