Community: Herstory of Dance Season 4 Episode 8 Review

Competing school dances, a double-booked date, and a surprise appearance by a certain 90s rock artist made for majorly improved Community this week.

In the spirit of all things 1950s, The Dean, dressed as Donna Deana Reed, comes to inform the gang that Greendale will be hosting a Sadie Hawkins sock-hop dance.  In case your high school didn’t have one of these, it’s the dance where the girls ask the boys out.  To protest the fact that women’s right to choose a date is only relegated to one type of dance, Britta decides to host her own dance in retaliation.  A Sophie B. Hawkins dance, to be exact.  Okay, so it’s clear to everyone that she meant Susan B. Anthony, but Britta isn’t about to let her friends know that she britta’d yet another thing in her life.  So, preparation for the rival dances begins.

The main  plot of the night involves Abed being set up on a date by both Annie and Shirley.  Wanting to mature past his constant TV and movie references, Abed accepts.  Still, once he realizes he has the opportunity to go on two dates at once he can’t pass up the opportunity to go through with the classic sitcom bit.  Annie’s choice is an über quirky girl–think all the most annoying parts of Juno and Zooey Deschanel combined.  Shirley’s date is, of course, someone from her church.  An unlikely helper comes in the form of coat check girl Rachel (21 Jump Street‘s Brie Larson), who helps Abed switch between his outfits and keeps each of the girls at bay.

This plot was definitely the episode’s strongest, as anything involving Abed usually is.  It was great to see him try to juggle two dates at once, but even greater to see the chemistry begin to form between him and Rachel as they got closer.  Turns out she’s just as big of a pop culture nut as he is.  Abed misses a classic rom-com que that the two should kiss each other, but makes up for it by making a public declaration of love at the end.  I usually don’t like when Community gets too reference-y, but this story worked.  I hope to see more of Rachel in the future.  It’s high time Abed found himself some romance.

With all this going on, Jeff is determined to prove that Britta did indeed mess up her dance.  Things get worse when Britta announces that famed 90s rocker Sophie B. Hawkins herself will be making an appearance.  Just when all hope seems lost, the “As I Lay Me Down” singer shows up to perform.  It turns out Pierce called in a favor, mostly because he’s sick of Jeff always picking on Britta.  This plotline didn’t have as many good jokes, but I enjoyed the easy rapport that’s formed between Jeff and Pierce since their trip to the barber shop.  I also enjoyed Jeff letting Britta have her moment in the sun.  Is there hope that these two will rekindle what they once had?  Perhaps.  Only time will tell.

Overall, this episode is definitely one of the most cohesive of the season with some solid jokes and definitive character development.  I like the relationships that are forming.  With all this and the tag at the end giving a preview of next week’s puppet episode, I’m very excited to see what’s next.  Grade: B+

By Mike Papirmeister

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