‘Community: The First Chang Dynasty’ Review

Things are finally ramping up in tonight’s three-episode marathon, with Troy and the rest of the study group forced to make tough decisions.

Chang’s reign of terror has begun at Greendale, and the students are determined to set the Real Dean free, and to expose the fake Doppelganger dean (or “Deanalganger”). The Greendale Seven decides to take action in the only way they know how – through an elaborate heist.

This episode takes the form of an Ocean’s eleven spoof, complete with voiced-over narrations detailing the plans of the heist, along with comic-book style split-screen panels that perfectly emulates the tongue-in-cheek style of heist movies. The best parts are the little snipes at the micro-genre – smart-alecky comments about “how the plan should look like its failing, but turns out it was meant to,” a reference to the typical tropes and cliches of these films.

I like the fact that Chang’s fascist regime has a North-Korea ring to it – him dressed in a Napoleon suit, spending money on extravagant parties and huge thrones while driving Greendale’s bank account into the ground. The styling of the scenario lends a certain sense of topicality to the episode, which furthered the ridiculousness and also the humor.

I’m curious about Troy’s move to the Air-Conditioning repair school – I’m curious as to whether this is a way to write him out of the show or whether its just a plot point. It was weirdly touching to see his goodbyes to the study group, though it was obviously meant to be a humorous scene.

It was a great episode all-round, but it was made brilliant by Jeff and Britta decked in full metal-goth makeup. It just sort of…suits them, somehow. (9/10)

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