It’s with a heavy heart that I come to you guys this week, you guys. By now you’ve no doubt heard the news that Community will be yanked off the air mid-season for oh-my-fucking-god a Chelsea Handler production. But fret not: Parks and Rec faced the same fate just last year and look at it now! There it is, on the air! AND THERE IT SHALL STAY IN MID-SEASON. Sorry. Sour grapes. Let’s band together and appreciate Community while we still have it. And there was a lot to appreciate tonight.
Starting with the Blossom-era commercial for Greendale! The dean thinks it’s time for something new (despite that one cool dude’s awesome way of giving a thumbs-up), and who better to tout all Greendale has to offer than a local curmudgeon, a former lawyer, a best friend and some other peeps? And who better to document the documentation than Abed? (Our meta-king doesn’t really care about the commercial: He’s there to catch the dean’s inevitable descent into madness. Come to think of it, so are we.)
They get to work, with a stilted script and Annie as script supervisor (i.e. the deluded STAH). And OMG, Jeff is the dean. (Dean Pelton has some seriously narcissistic sexual fantasies. Get a room, Dean. With…um…yourself.) It’s scary how un-sexiest-man-in-America Winger looks as the dean. But yeah. It’s bad. And by bad, I mean good. Wherever you studied acting, Joel McHale, it worked. A-mah-zing. The flouncy little wrist movements in particular were uncanny.
Oh yay, Pierce the One-Percenter is protesting his poor treatment by sequestering himself in his trailer. That’s good news. Maybe we won’t see him much.
Know who we will see a lot of? Luis Guzman. Because proud Greendale alum Luis Guzman of Luis Guzman statue fame is featured prominently in all of Jeff-as-Dean’s scenes. That’s by Jeff’s design, because the wily lawyer knows Greendale doesn’t own the rights to its most famous student’s image (and will thereby have to cut all of bald, creepily Amish-esque Jeff’s scenes, which is just what he wants). But…foiled! Because guess what: Guzman (who you probably know from IMDB) wants his face in the commercial—and not just in statue-form. (Luis Guzman understands how important Greendale is; why don’t you, NBC?)
Now that an actual movie star will be featured in the commercial, a rewrite is required. The script’s got to be even Deanier! Fat Neil! Leonard! Classes suspended! It’s mayhem up in here, and the dean’s become Brett Ratner. JK. No, but he is a jerk. He keeps making poor Britta and Troy HUG each other, and Jeff’s been sitting around in his dean gear for a whole day. And we all know that when the clock strikes Unflattering Bald Cap, poor Jeff turns into a pumpkin. This is tantamount to torture.
Which leads us to our meta-bonus (this is an Abed production, after all): Not only is the dean going mad, so is the Jeff-as-Dean. What’s interesting is the way they’re going bats, which is opposite of how you’d think: The dean is all twitchiness, smoothies and douchey hoodies; method Jeff, without the protection of his perfect hair and Italian-leather jackets, is caving under the weight of his own insecurity. (Oh, Jeffrey. Let me console you. With my mouth.) Meanwhile, licensed psychology major Britta’s just about had it, and Annie’s in the late stages of Stockholm Syndrome. The campus is looking about as apocalyptic as it does during paintball. Things aren’t going well. Except…
¡Luis Guzman! But it’s too late. Everyone’s abandoned the megomaniacal dean. And between his fall from grace and the possum living in his office, he’s in a dark place. So dark, our Greendale-loving man in charge questions the intellectual prowess of his students (gasp!). But Luis’ got some words of wisdom: Worship this place; it changes people’s lives. Look at him—he was in Boogie Nights! And got laid CONSTANTLY in school.
Um, the dean’s naked. But hey, he got a commercial done! And you know what? It’s pretty terrible! Oh, but it’s good enough. (That could be the Greendale College motto, don’t you think?) And it’s all thanks to our resident fly on the wall/good guy/Dan Harmon stand-in, Abed. He’s the best.
Jeff looks good again!!! Squeeeee! Britta and Troy hug for reals. Pierce is in Hollywood (stay there). Jeff Garlin. Yup.
I thought tonight was another good one. But what did you guys think?