Community Review: “Custody Law and Eastern European Diplomacy”

18 03 2011

Troy and Abed have a new friend on this week's "Community"

Chang turns into Mr. Rogers and Troy and Abed play lots of video games on this week’s Community. Full review after the jump…

For the middle portion of this season many people have believed that Community has been suffering from a Pierce problem. The writers have seemingly turned Pierce into a complete villain by making him more offensive and destructive than ever. But this villainous character in Pierce has left many viewers wondering how could the rest of the study group every justify keeping Pierce around. How could Jeff, the de facto leader of this group, really keep Pierce around after the fake father in a limo stunt he pulled in the documentary episode? It was as though they were very close to crossing a line of no return with that character. And what about tonight’s episode? Well, this one definitely did not suffer from a Pierce problem.

One of the other big problems people have been having this season has been the way Annie all of a sudden jumped into the forefront with many, many episode plots all about her. Britta has been left with very little to do all season, making her a very one not character when she does show up. I love Annie, more than Britta, but I definitely understand the issues many are having with those characters.*

*Just for the record, I think this season has been pretty stellar and the Pierce problem has bothered me only in the slightest, and I tend to like Annie more than Britta anyway.

All of that being said, tonight’s episode not only gave Britta a huge showcase, it also kept Pierce on the margins with Annie, making for a great episode and a great change of pace for the season as a whole.

I loved the Britta stuff; desperate Britta trying to please everyone else is always a fun. And I love the pairing of her with Troy and Abed. Britta works so well playing off of Jeff that I sometimes forget how great she really is with all of the other characters as well. This was nice and any episode that features a minimum of self-righteous, activist Britta is a good one.

The episode’s other story did a great job of dealing with one of this season’s ongoing arcs. And this is another reason why I love this show so much. As surreal and fantastic as this show can get there is real continuity from episode to episode where events carry over and characters actual grow and change. I think of the magic trampoline episode (arguably one of the strangest of the show’s run) when Pierce fell into the dumpster. It would have been so easy for the writers to forget about that immediately, but in the next episode there was pierce in his casts and wheelchair. Same with Shirley and Change having sex in the Zombie episode, it was such a funny joke at the time that had real consequences that have been carried through really well.

As funny and crazy as this show can be, the writers really take these characters seriously and they respect their audience. Few comedies do that (Glee, I’m looking at you) and it’s so refreshing to get that week after week from such a fun show.

Good episode, glad to have it back after a few weeks off.

Also, my favorite throw away joke of the night:

Shirley: “It’s like that movie we watched with all the dinosaurs.”

Jeff: “Jurassic Park?”

Shirley: “No, It’s Complicated”

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