‘Community:Contemporary Impressionists’ Review

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In terms of structure, Community is always a pleasure to watch in comparison to 30 Rock and the like. While recent 30 Rocks seem to form three completely separate plots then awkwardly shoehorn them together at the end, Community always seems able to weld several different storylines into a single cogent narrative.

The Greendale study group are just back from their Christmas/New Year break (hah!), and everyone has news to share. Jeff has just been put on anti-anxiety medication, Britta has enrolled in a Human Psychology course, and Abed has been hiring celebrity impersonators to re-enact scenes from movies for him.

The problem is, Robin Williams impersonators come at a pretty penny, and Abed’s racked up a bit of a debt. The manager of the lookalike agency casts the study group as lookalikes at a Bar Mitzvah in exchange for canceling the debt. Meanwhile, the pills have caused Jeff’s ego to swell exponentially, and being called a “more handsome Ryan Seacrest” by guests hasn’t really helped matters. Britta does her very best to stop his narcissism before it breaks him, but lets just say she has “mixed” results.

Structural praise aside, this episode seemed to be a little bit weak on the jokes. First off, there weren’t many. A lot of the episode hinged on the drama behind a fraying Abed-Troy friendship, but since Abed is about as dramatic as a damp washcloth, it becomes hard to stay focused, or even care. The funniest moment is probably the lookalikes the group play (Troy and Britta get cast as Michael Jacksons’ two incarnations, while Pierce is cast as “Fat Brando,” much to his chagrin). Unfortunately, these only work as quick visual gags – there’s not enough material to support it.

I did like the implications that Chang is starting a personal army. It’s been implied in the season 3 teaser that Chang attempts a forceful takeover of Greendale, and it’s exciting to see what will come of it. I also loved the fact that his “child army” story line happened along with the spreading of the Kony 2012 video – a lucky break, I suppose.

I like the fact that there’s some drama introduced, and I look forward to there being deeper storylines in forthcoming episodes, I just hope they leave Abed out of it next time. 7/10

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