Community Season 6, Episode 3 “Basic Crisis Room Decorum” Review
This episode was dogshit.
No, really. Reduce and simmer this episode down, and you are left with a plot about Greendale giving a dog a degree (allegedly), and Britta (Gillian Jacobs) shitting her pants.
I don’t want to call it one of the worst episode of Community ever – there have been ones that were more offensive – but this one is just so bland. It’s one of the most basic, boring, and laughless episodes of the show, and when an entire episode revolves around a dog, Britta shitting her pants, oh, and I guess, a sex tape by Chang (Ken Jeong), and none of the plots have any point or connection or meaning…well, maybe Greendale is in trouble after all.
The episode started off good. I liked the social media overlays in the cold open (shows are getting smarter about stuff like this, in general, not just Community), and Annie (Alison Brie) quickly got everyone in the study room to deal with an attack ad that City College would be running the next morning. It’s a magic study room. It’s a safe study room. Great things have happened in that study room. And it felt, for a bit, that it was about to be another classic episode focused around and centered in those very four walls.
I actually missed that Britta shit her pants when it happened, but bugger me! Apparently that was not only important, but also served to pull Elroy (Keith David), into the study room when he gave her his pants. I’m treating this as…I guess…the B plot (it was either this or olives, and I’ll get to that), but it probably isn’t even fair to promote it to full B plot status. Britta’s fly away musical gag wasn’t working for me until it cut to reality – but even then it was an unnecessary bit in the scheme of things – and that’s saying something in an episode already full on unnecessary bits. That whole scene just didn’t serve any purpose. Britta and Elroy like the same music even though Elroy is old? Ok. So what?
Speaking of no purpose, the other two (C and D?) plots here were equally void of meaning. Chang ran off and made a sex tape (for a second I thought this was going to be Community’s spin on the Oregon State web cam scandal) and the Dean (Jim Rash) was off in his own world being seduced by teenagers pretending to be Jeff. So, olives. Olives happened. Why? Who knows. I don’t know and I’m not going to sit here and pretend to know. If there’s a deeper meaning to these olives and dogshit, by all means, feel free to come at me. But, from where I’m typing, this was just about olives and dogshit. Sometimes life is just about olives and dogshit, I guess. That’s about as deep as this one goes, I’m afraid.
Just like last week, the biggest offense was another really odd character decision. After the group decides to blame the dog and try to save Greendale’s image, Annie decides the only thing she can do is…transfer to City College? Not only is this really old ground for Annie to still be traipsing on, but it’s also something we’ve seen her get over. Sure, I can see how she would want her grades to still be taken seriously, but to go so far as to leave Greendale? I’m not buying it six seasons in. There was a brief moment where I wondered if she really was going to transfer and the show was either losing Alison or trying to mix things up and move the focus away from all of them being at school, but nope. Greendale bites the bullet, nothing changes, and Annie doesn’t transfer.
And then, things just fizzle out. No pulling together, no bigger picture, no larger meaning. I don’t think it’s even fair to say Annie was changed by the experience, as it’s a story cycle we’ve seen her go through before. Annie isn’t going to leave her friends and the school she’s worked so hard to improve. It just isn’t in the cards at this point in the game.
But, three episodes into season 6, and things aren’t looking great for our odd grouping of misfits and community college students. I hate to say it, but I’m really hoping that six seasons and a movie doesn’t go down in TV history as a ‘be careful what you wish for’ mantra. Community is so much better than this. Community could be so much better than this. And hopefully it still can be.
Notes & Quotes
-This was the show’s 100th episode, but was filmed as the 102 and shown out of order, so that might explain the lack of any kind of 100th episode gag, but that still seems like something that the show would comment on, or make some joke about, in some way. Missed chance there.
-Quite the a poor use of Abed (Danny Pudi) the whole episode. Sitting disheveled at a computer?
-“The TV station? No, the unrelated totally random combination of those four letters.”
-Brotherhood of audio video speech.
-“I’m not psychic Annie, that’s an illusion brought on by extreme preparedness.”
-Elroy’s look after the no TV comment
Updated 3/24 at 3:38 p.m. with minor corrections.