Community: Economics of Marine Biology Season 4 Episode 7 Review

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This week, the gang tries to wow a prospective student who has a lot of family money.  Too bad money can’t buy you better jokes.

The Dean, accompanied by Annie, proposes that everyone in the Greendale Seven help wrangle in a new student who has a small family fortune.  They call it Whale Hunting.  Annie’s forensics club can use the money to by a new body farm, and Britta’s biology class can buy more dead pigs to dissect.  Unfortunately, the prospective student in question is a stoner party guy who’s parents bought him his GED.  The Dean is forced to sell out his values in order to win him over.

The plotline was ripe for potential, but it’s execution fell pretty flat.  The new student (played by Zack Pearlman) came off as extremely obnoxious, and not in a funny way.  Sure, was it humorous to watch as the cafeteria was turned into a crazy stripper party?  I guess.  But the scene only lasted a few minutes and never really delivered any solid jokes.  There is a particularly uncomfortable moment towards the end where Magnitude is forced to give up his “pop-pop” catchphrase to the new student.  I guess this should be funny, but this joke feels kind of played out.

Meanwhile, Shirley and Troy take a P.E.E. class.  That’s right.  Physical Education Education.  They’re learning how to be gym teachers.  The gist of this story is that Shirley unexpectedly becomes good at gym while Troy, a high school football star, ends up being picked last for teams.  Aside from a classic Troy meltdown scene, there isn’t much to laugh at here either.  Also, what’s with including Chang in the last few minutes for no reason?  It felt unnecessary.

Jeff had the task of keeping Pierce busy while the school courted the new student.  The two went to an old-fashioned barber shop to get professional shaves, and Jeff actually ends up enjoying himself.  Again, no good jokes here, but I did enjoy this new dynamic between the two character who are usually most at odds.  I hope this is developed more in the coming weeks.

In the smallest, but perhaps the best, plotline of the night, Abed becomes in charge of a new fraternity called The Delta Cubes.  The whole thing is really just a running joke that starts when The Dean says there will be no greek life at Greendale, but it’s really the only time I found myself laughing.  Way to go Delta Cubes!

Overall, this week’s attempt at Whale Hunting was pretty abysmal.  Sure, they got the student in the end without having to sell their souls, but it came at the cost of good humor instead.  I like Community, I really do, but with more episodes like this one I can already see that its beginning to jump the shark.  Or whale, I should say.  Grade: C-

By Mike Papirmeister

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