Community: “Heroic Origins” Season 4 Episode 12 Review

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The Greendale Seven’s origin is an interconnected web of stories that bonds each member of the study group to one another.  Too bad there’s very little payoff.

This episode is a perfect example of a common trap Community seems to have fallen into this season.  Too much plot, not enough humor.  At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this was yet another episode where, albiet an engaging storyline, the jokes just weren’t there.  I appreciate the commitment the new showrunners are making to keep in line with the show’s cult-like pop culture sensibilities, but at what cost?

Heroic Origins centers around Abed’s realization that the gang was destined to fined each other at Greendale.  By going through each member’s past a la a comic book origin story, he finds out how they’re all connected.  Over the course of the half-hour, we discover that Jeff defended the stripper who slept with Shirley’s husband.  She had to leave their anniversary dinner to go pick up her kids after Abed yells at them for trying to go see The Phantom Menace at the mall.  Meanwhile, Annie gets upset with Troy when he wins all the senior superlatives at a graduation party and takes one too many pills.  Oh, and Britta tries to free a monkey from the doctor’s office/lab where Abed is about to go to his first therapy session.

It was all very interesting, and it was fun to see earlier versions of the Greendale Seven at different stages in their lives.  Still, some things were off.  First of all, can this study group even be called the Greendale Seven anymore?  I mean really, where is Pierce?  I’m well aware that, due to his many onset conflicts, Chevy Chase was forced to leave the show before filming the final two episodes.  But seriously, he’s been shuffled to the background for a while now.

The B-plot with Chang secretly working with the dean of City College went nowhere.  After the gang discovers that it was Chang who handed them a flyer for Greendale while they were all conveniently in the same froyo shop, Abed goes to invite him to join them.  Chang immediately abandons his plans, and drops his evil plot.  Like I said, very little payoff.

What really was the problem here, though, was the absence of laughs.  As always, there was one or two chuckle-worthy moments (specifically a mini-origin story for The Dean when he finds the lingerie Shirley drops while at the mall) but nothing that really stood out.  Sure, Community is known for its more over-the-top episodes.  Dungeons and Dragons, the fake clip show, and of of course, paintball.  But the reason these episodes worked so well is because they were spaced out in between equally as funny outings like the when Troy turns 21 or when Jeff and Annie compete for student body president.  Sure, these episodes were pretty ordinary, but they allowed for some great organic humor to grow out of each of the characters.  Now, it just seems like the show is grasping at straws.  Community, I miss you.  Where did you go?  Grade: B-

By Mike Papirmeister

3 Responses to Community: “Heroic Origins” Season 4 Episode 12 Review

  1. Carl says:

    Not to continue to harsh your buzz, but Community won’t ever come back, unless NBC re-hire Dan Harmon. Now, with Chase gone, it should be very easy, but who knows if they’ll do it. My guess? Probably not. Just think of it like this: At the end of Season 3, Abed goes into the dreamatorium. This season was all in Abed’s head.

    • Carl England says:

      Or gas leak, whatever works. Can’t beleive Harmon came back! That was mad. Season 5 and 6 were a little lacklustre but enjoyable none the less.

  2. Idiotruinsgame says:

    This whole season makes me want to cry, I know this is from Dan Harmon leaning but everyone left on the show has seriously fumbled the ball on this. Everything about this season is wrong, the writing, the acting even the way the episodes are shot.

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