Sleepy Hollow (2013)

Its my favorite time of year. The leaves are just starting their conversion to pretty, then moldy; the temperature is beginning to fall and the rain is encroaching ever so slightly. The time has come for scarves and boots and, best of all, new TV shows. I doubt I’m going to be able to watch them all (what with starting grad school and everything), but I’m going to do my darnedest. First up, we’ve got Sleepy Hollow. Now, I’m a fan of the story. The old animated cartoon was a favorite in my family for as long as I can remember. And the Johnny Depp version was one of the first movies where I actually noticed the actor. So, Sleepy Hollow is something I’m pretty familiar with. I was not sure what to even think when I heard that there was going to be a tv show. There was one thing that gave me hope: it was being created by the guys behind Fringe. And I love Fringe.

So, Let’s talk about the show itself. Its the story of Ichabod Crane who seems to die during the Revolutionary War, after cutting off the head of a British soldier. He wakes up in the 21st century with no knowledge of how he got there. At the same time he is crawling out of his grave, the sherriff of Sleepy Hollow gets his head chopped off, while a lieutenant watches. The lieutenant becomes our protagonist. She is the one who realizes that what Ichabod is claiming is real. She also has some connection with the Headless Horseman, its just not yet clear what role she’s destined to play. Ichabod has been sent to the future by his witch wife, Katrina, who is, apparently, trapped somewhere. The HH is actually the 1st Horseman of the Apocalypse. It is Ichabod’s job to save Katrina and prevent the HH from being reunited with his head, thereby beginning the Apocalypse.

This show seems like its going to be very convoluted. This is something the Fringe guys do pretty well, but, to be honest, season 1 of Fringe did not gel very well with the rest of the series, mythologically speaking. Here’s hoping, then, that they’ve planned this version out a little more clearly. I think Ichabod said something about 7 years. Was that some kind of timeline for the show? If so, that’s very optimistic. Fringe only lasted 5 years. I’ve not got a good handle on this show yet. It doesn’t seem overtly cheesy, along the lines of something like Once Upon A Time, but it may be more of a Grimm type show – something that just couldn’t make me care a whole lot after the first couple episodes. We’ll have to wait and see. I’ll watch next week, but after that, its really going to have to make me turn the TV on again.

One thing I might watch for – to see this dude who’s playing Ichabod’s reactions to the 21st century. I hope they don’t suddenly have him understanding life. One of the best moments of the episode was when he was fascinated by the automatic window.

Also – personal note – my tv apparently doesn’t receive Fox very well, so I watched the whole thing through wobbly lines. It may have distorted some of the effects and images. Its not a good way to watch something new.

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The World’s End

Now that I’m back in graduate school, studying media, I feel like I should at least attempt to maintain an online presence that isn’t simply me complaining about things. I’m going to try to blog about the movies and tv shows I’m watching (especially when we start pilot season).

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Today I went to see The World’s End. I was expecting it to be fantastic. Edgar Wight has become one of my favorites and Simon Pegg has long held a special place in my heart. I love Hot Fuzz and I enjoyed Shaun of the Dead, but my disinterest in zombie movies skews my perspective there. Let me say that The World’s End did not disappoint. You all don’t know me, but if you did, you’d know that I’m not much of a crier when it comes to movies. But this movie managed to make me get a little teary eyed. That is rare for a drama, much less an hysterical comedy (and no, I wasn’t crying because it was so funny). The World’s End manages to balance the humor and the pain remarkable well.

We have a group of friends who have returned to their childhood hometown to relive a single night – the night they attempted to drink their way down “The Golden Mile.” This wends it’s way through the twelve town pubs, ending at, of course, the World’s End. Back in 1990, on their last day of high school, the boys could not complete it. They’ve come back to attempt to find closure. Or one of them has. Simon Pegg’s Gary King is the immature, former leader of the gang who reunites his friends through a series of lies and trickery. It is clear that Gary has issues that run deeper than what he pretends, but I won’t reveal what those are here. Suffice it to say that the clearer Gary’s issues become, the closer I came to tears. The scene where he finally has to confront his torment is beautifully acted by Pegg, and perpetual companion Nick Frost, and was the source of the near-tears.

But I haven’t really told you the full story yet. You see, as they are dealing with child hood issues and attempting to drink their way across town, the friends discover that not all is at is seems in the little British hamlet. Robots have taken over the town. Well, they aren’t really robots. The endless conversations about what Robot actually means and what they should call these invaders are consistently hysterical. The guys become increasingly drunk throughout the night, because they are drinking throughout, and that makes their confrontations with the not-robots increasingly hysterical. The final confrontation between the two teams is well worth the wait, though the journey was by no means dull.

My own complaint would be in regards to the “love story” in the film. One of the guy’s (Oliver, played impeccably by Martin Freeman) sister (played by Rosamund Pike) joins them for stretches along the way. In the prologue, recounting the previous Golden Mile attempt, Gary and the sister, Sam, have sex in the bathroom of a pub. Every time Sam appears, Gary perceives flirtation and a desire to rekindle this relationship, even though she is expressing none of that. Soon after we are introduced to Sam, another of the guys, Steven (Paddy Considine) professes his love for Sam. She’s cool with that and suddenly they are couply. There is occasional tension between Steven and Gary for this, but there is little or no evidence for why this coupling should be desired or work at all. I fact, in the other two films in the so-called Coronetto trilogy, the major romance is between Pegg and Frost’s characters (and yes, I do realize that there was a vague romance in Shaun, but I’ve only seen it once, awhile ago, so don’t know how we’ll written it was). This relationship remains t the heart of of this film and I do feel like Sam’s character was a bit shoehorned in. Perhaps I’ll feel differently on subsequent viewings. And, on the plus side, I got to see Jane Bennett kick some serious robot ass.

I think that’s about it from me. If I think if more, I’ll let you know.

Community – Geography of Global Conflict

Annie is in her political science class and is called upon. When she begins to answer, the Professor corrects himself and calls on “Annie Kim” who is sitting behind her. Annie Kim is, essentially, the Asian version of Annie Edison. Our Annie takes Annie Kim to meet the study group and show her around. They are extremely competitive, but Annie denies it. However, when she finds a flier announcing that Annie Kim is starting a model UN at Greendale, Annie Edison’s idea, she freaks out. She finds the group in the cafeteria and tells them about it, while pretending (badly) that she’s fine with it. Jeff freaks out on her behalf and storms the model UN meeting. Annie K doesn’t deny that Annie E thought of the idea, but it was Annie K who actually made it happen, therefore, she should get credit. The professor offers a solution: a showdown between two model UNs, one led by each Annie. Annie E’s UN is, of course, made up of the study group (minus Britta). Jeff tells them all to simply do whatever Annie suggests. This works very well throughout the competition until someone in Earth-1’s group (the study group’s UN) farts but won’t fess up to it. They devolve into a fight about who caused the smell and Annie can see that they are losing. She starts to scream and has a hissy-fit on the table. Jeff yells at her and she storms out, completely embarrassed. Jeff runs after her. She is upset at herself for acting so childish, but Jeff blames himself. He’s been treating her like a child because it helps him hide his real feelings for her. Because of this, she hasn’t been able to grow. They go back to the model UN match to find that Annie Kim’s group is winning. However, the study group hasn’t left yet. Annie apologizes for acting so childish and they all stand up with her. Then Abed explains that they have come up with a solution so that they can still win. As the Earth-2 UN is debating, the study group bursts through the banner. They turn on a “television” with Annie E on it. She explains that Earth-1’s CERN laboratory has work out a way to get through to this other, parallel Earth and they are here to propose an alliance between the Earths, a United United Nations. Annie K objects, but the Professor overrides her objects. She refuses to accept the allegiance, but the Professor decides that the United United Nations is more in keeping with the goals of the actual United Nations, so Earth-1 wins.

Meanwhile, Britta finds out that one of her friends from her protesting days has been imprisoned. She starts to feel like she’s missing out and that she’s neglected that world. She vows to change and her first attempt at rebellion is to kick the trash can that new security guard Chang is guarding. He’s determined to bring her down. She is protesting outside the model UN summit and dumps paint all over a globe. Chang drags her to the guard’s office. The head guard lets her go, he doesn’t see that she’s actually broken the law and since she can’t say that she will (because she actually wants to go to school and get a job). But she throws a brick through the office window declaring her intent to almost break the law at the summit. The head guard hands Chang his taser and tells him to go get her. She bursts in at the end of the summit with Barbie sewn all across her body. She’s making a ruckus and Chang tasers her. They are both happy.

Questions and Quotes that struck me:

When Annie is freaking out about Annie Kim’s model UN, she’s fiddling with her straw very nervously, loudly. Troy subtly exchanges her cup out for one without a lid. Its very funny.

Troy’s country is Georgia and even though he knows its the country, not the state, he still uses a southern accent throughout the summit.

Garrett is reading the scenarios and he does them in this hilariously panicked voice.

Britta’s protests are so very bizarre.

The montage of the summit is shown through floating heads of the Annies and Garrett.

Troy is so excited at the prospect of meeting Boutros Boutros Ghali.

Chang and Britta exchanges occur as the soundtrack is “Hello” by Lionel Ritchie

A Note about Jeff and Annie: Of course, this is a Jeff/Annie heavy episode. My favorite bit is when he calls her “my Annie” (as opposed to Annie Kim) and it seems like no one, not even Annie, notices.

Jeff re: Britta’s protesting: “Don’t worry, she’ll be bad at it.”

Annie Kim: “Is (Jeff) your father or your lover?”

Britta explains her new school supplies, including a see-through yellow pen you use to color in words, Shirley says: “Highlight?” Britta: “Probably the [new] backpack.”

Pierce keeps calling Jeff’s country: “Ur-a-gay”

Jeff to Abed: “No one’s cutting away.” “Ok, here’s my plan.” Cut.

Jeff: “But here’s the thing” walks away.

Community – Biology 101

And we’re back. Season 3 picks up in the next year of school for Greendale, but with the study group in the same place they were at the end of last season/year: Pierce is still out. The episode begins with a song about how they’re going to be fine. It turns out that Jeff is imagining an answer to a question about how they’re going to be without Pierce. Jeff says that Pierce is gone and not coming back. Then Pierce walks in and announces that he’s back. He’s been meditating with his church all summer and has changed. Jeff yells at him, says he can’t come back, then tells the group that they have to evolve beyond taking classes together. They all leave to go to Biology class. There, Professor Marshall Kane (The Wire‘s Michael K. Williams) introduces himself but keeps getting interrupted by Jeff’s cell phone. He gets so fed up that he throws Jeff out of class. Jeff is upset and goes to the study room, trying to find another class for everyone to take. The group throws his own words back at him, saying that they don’t all need to take the same class anymore. He is shocked, but leaves. On his way out, Pierce appears, pleased because he someone got thrown out of Biology and he got the spot. Jeff is furious. He is eating lunch alone in the cafeteria, but the group joins him. They carry on, but clearly don’t need Jeff. He leaves, angry. He meets Chang in the hall and Chang offers to hang out. But when he reveals that he’s living in the school’s vents, Jeff knows he has to get back in the class and the group. He goes to Professor Kane and tries to bribe him, suck up to him. He finds a picture of a black man and Pierce on the prof’s desk and thinks he has proof. He takes the photo and runs off down the hall. Again, he meets Chang and Chang takes the picture and dives into the vents. Jeff chases him, just as the security team releases “Monkey Gas” into the vents. Both Jeff and Chang pass out. Jeff has an hallucination where he is in the study room, he sees himself eating his cell phone, then he turns into Pierce. Then he’s old in a hospital bed. The table from the study room is upended in front of him, ala 2001: A Space Odyssey. As he reaches for it, he turns from Pierce back into himself. He goes to the study room and yells at them for excluding him. He confronts Pierce about the picture, but it is not of the Professor, but of a rapper. Jeff gets angry and leaves the room, only to come back a few minutes later with an axe and attack the table. The study group finds Jeff later and he confesses that he didn’t want the group to evolve, he just wanted Pierce out. Annie is upset and asks Jeff to no longer be her friend. Pierce confesses to the group that he bribed the Professor to kick Jeff out. The group begins to vote Pierce out, but Jeff stands up for him and Winger’s about friendship. They decide to let them both stay. Jeff takes Pierce aside and confesses that he knows Pierce lied about bribing the Professor, Pierce says its because he knew Jeff had a hard time being the bad guy. Annie is worried about how Jeff will get back into the class, but then Starburns is kicked out for proposing that he and the Professor join forces ala Breaking Bad.

As all this happens, there are actually two other story lines happening. First, the Dean has decided that this will be a whole new year and he won’t tolerate any hijinks. He starts by commanding the security guards to rid the vents of the monkey that living in them (hence the Monkey Gas used to knock out Chang and Jeff). Then he summons Vice Dean Laybourne (John Goodman) to his office to discuss an espresso machine bought for the air conditioning annex. The Vice Dean asks Dean Pelton to come to his office the next day. Once there, he breaks down the variety of ways that the air conditioning annex is actually better than Greendale and why Dean Pelton cannot boss him around. The Dean then reports to the study group that absolutely nothing is going to change. In fact, it turns out he can’t actually pay for the monkey gas, nor can he pay for the security guards. He offers them vouchers for classes and only the head guard takes it. Then Chang falls out of the vents in the ceiling and confesses that he’s been living there. Dean Pelton offers him a job in exchange for room and board. Chang takes the security guard job.

Finally, Abed finds out Cougar Town has been moved to midseason and believes this is a death sentence for the show (if only he knew). Britta shows him that Cougar Town is actually based on a British sitcom from the 1990s Cougarton Abbey. Abed is hooked until the 6th (and final) episode when everyone on the show drinks hemlock and dies. Abed freaks out then shuts down. The rest of the group tries to revive him, but nothing works until Britta finds a show that has been on the air since 1962. Abed watches the first scene and declares that its “the coolest thing” he’s ever seen. He’s back.

Questions and Quotes that struck me:

Does Jeff really hate Pierce that much? I get that he hates him, but to be actively forcing him out of the group? Is this just since the near-death stunt he pulled?

We definitely have a shifting couple-paradigm here, there are distinctive Jeff/Annie and Troy/Britta dynamics here.

Evil John Goodman voice is awesome.

Annie’s attempt to revive Abed involves putting chapstick on him.

Dean Dean Dean Dean Deaaaaaan!! The Dean is trying to look professional, so is wearing a 3 piece suit and a goatee. It doesn’t work.

A Note about Jeff and Annie: In the opening musical number, Annie and Jeff sing a line together about how they’re “gonna sleep together,” and remember that this is Jeff’s dream.

To be or to not be Brittad: Troy describes Britta, after she “breaks” Abed: “You are human tennis elbow. You are the pizza burn on the top of the world’s mouth. You are the opposite of Batman.”

Jeff to Annie: “Can it, boobs!”

Jeff: “The table is magic!”

Community – For a Few Paintballs More

There is a bit of a problem with classifying this second part as one particular genre. Its essentially Action. But most of the episode is a direct Star Wars homage, which would be fine, if it stuck with that. Unfortunately, there are several parts that don’t jell quite so well.  But that’s okay. The episode opens like Star Wars: with crawling titles and the stormtroopers blasting open the door and walking in with the evil mastermind. In this case, its the Dean of City College. As Troy and Abed look on (in the C3PO and R2D2 roles), the reveals his plan to bring down Greendale through the Paintball tournament. Troy and Abed gather all the remaining Greendale students in the anthropology classroom and reveal the City College plans. They try to rally the troops to helping them, and promising that whoever wins gives the money to Greendale. The group won’t go for it, especially after Abed turns against Troy, calling dibs on the Han Solo roles. It isn’t until a small robot with a bomb attached to it enters the room and Magnitude sacrifices himself on it (in the greatest death scene ever), that Jeff steps up and rallies the Greendale students. Troy is upset that Jeff took the leadership role away from him. They try to come up with a plan, but Troy and Jeff have competing views on the subject. Annie, acting as Princess Leia, unites the two plans: Troy is going to take half the group and draw as many of the city college students as he can into the library, where they will drop paint on them through the sprinkler system. Jeff will take the other half the group and storm the ice cream truck on the quad, taking out the machine gun. The plan does not fair well. Garrett gets stuck in the ventilation shaft, stopping Troy’s group escape plan, while the machine gun takes out most of Jeff’s troops, including Jeff himself. Troy tries to make it out, but fails. Abed tells Shirley to activate the system – no one’s going to make it out. Shirley makes run for it, flipping the last fire alarm on her way to the door. She barely makes it, as the City College students round the corner on her and the sprinklers go off. Across the library, Abed and Annie are out of ammo and know they are going down. They get caught up in their respective roles and kiss as the sprinklers drop red paint on them. Britta and Leonard are the only ones left on the quad. He goes down easily and she watches as everyone else comes to watch her final stand. Except that she’s not actually alone! Shirley pulls up on the golf cart. Britta climbs in and they take down the rest of the City College students, including the machine gunner. They climb out of the cart to celebrate, and are taken out by two last stormtroopers, hiding behind the truck. Then a third storm trooper walks up to congratulate them and shoots them both – it is Pierce. Throughout the episode, he’s been hold up in the Dean’s office giving information to the City College Dean. Now he wins the game and gives the money over to Greendale.

At the end, the study group convenes in the library to decide what class to take next year. Pierce comes in to get something and they try to lure him back to the group. They apologize and tell him to come back. He refuses. He’s done with them. He leaves, but Jeff predicts he’ll come back – he doesn’t.

Questions and Quotes that struck me:

I like that, right off the bat, the clothes have shifted. When Troy and Abed walk out, they are no longer wearing their western clothes, but have shed just enough to be out of that genre and into the Sci-fi, action one.

Abed is nice enough to point out to everyone that we’ve moved from the Western to a Star Wars scenario

City College’s flag is of a cleverly disguised penis.

Where did those headsets come from?

Who exactly were Jeff and Troy playing in this Star Wars homage? Neither was either Han or Luke. And then Troy dies like the dude in Platoon. Confusing.

Troy Barnes: Another mention of Troy’s mad plumbing skills

To be or to not be Brittad: In an interesting twist, Britta becomes the last man standing (more or less, she is eventually joined by Shirley)

Battle cry on the quad: “VICKY!!!” Shouted by Vicky herself.

Troy: “An unstoppable juggle-knob.”

Abed: “I’m calling dibs on the Han Solo role before Jeff slouches into it by default.”

Community – A Fistful of Paintballs

The paintball episodes of this show are the best, aren’t they? There is little way to top “Modern Warfare” from last season, but they do make a valiant effort in these two. The first of the two part finale is done in the style of a Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western. The action mostly follows Annie. The episode opens with her saving Fat Neil. A card flashes onto screen introducing her as “Ace of Hearts.” She has to take out Fat Neil as well. She goes to a hide out in the science lab and cooks some beans over a Bunsen Burner. Then an alarm jangles. She turns to look and when she turns back, Abed is eating the beans. He’s dressed as The Man With No Name (Clint Eastwood) and his title card says “Jack of Clubs”. Jeff wants to see Annie and has sent Abed to get her. He wants her to join their team. She goes, reluctantly, and helps Abed save Jeff from the Math club. Jeff’s title card says “King of Spades.” He’s got a plan: he’s heard that Pierce has a stockpile of ammunition and he wants Annie to help him get it. She fights with Jeff about how Pierce has been treated this year. At the height of the fight, they are interrupted by a new player – the always awesome Josh Holloway. He’s decked all in black with a wide array of guns and ammunition. And he’s wearing spurs.

Throughout all of this, we see flashes of how the war began, told with diffused lighting and little dialogue. The end of the year picnic was underway, themed old west. It was sponsored by an Ice Cream company. There would be an end paintball tournament, but the Dean has been assured that the end prize would not be so extreme as last year. He hands the microphone over to the mascot, who announces that the prize is $100,000. Chaos ensues.

Annie, Jeff, and Abed escape the new player, but come across an ambush set up by Britta, Shirley, and Troy. Pierce has put a bounty on Jeff and they’ve come to collect. Their title cards are Britta: Queen of Spades, Shirley: Ace of Clubs, Troy: King of Clubs. They take the others back to Pierce’s safe haven in the cafeteria. On the way, they explain that the new player they met is called the “Black Rider” and that Pierce is letting people relax in the cafeteria. Its set up like a saloon. Pierce does not have a title card. He provides the group with food and explains that he’s got a plan. He knows that the dean has a stash of ammo and he wants the group to go get it. He says they can split the prize evenly. Along the way, Jeff and Annie have another conversation about Pierce. This time, Jeff apologizes and Annie explains that she just wants the group to stay together, that they are her family. She saves Chang from execution by the cheerleading squad, but he gets away before she can take him out too. She chases him down and loses him, but comes face to face with the Black Rider. They banter and he takes the gun she borrowed from Jeff. He shoots her with it, but nothing comes out. He pulls out another gun, but before he can shoot her, Jeff and Abed appear. Annie kicks the Black Rider and he escapes. Jeff complains that the Black rider’s not that good looking. Annie realizes that the gun, which Pierce had loaded, was full of blanks. The others have reached the Dean’s office, and Abed, Annie, and Jeff join them. The Dean hands over the weapons, so that the  game will finally end, and Annie charges back to Pierce’s saloon. The Black Rider has been there. Everyone is gone, except Vicky and Pierce. Pierce comes out and Annie confronts him. He’s furious about his treatment over the last year, about constantly being excluded. They claim to have not purposefully excluded him, and he points out that they’d been playing cards without him just days previous. We’ve been cutting to this scene, without explanation, throughout the episode. Annie now explains that they weren’t playing cards, that they were voting. They were trying to decide whether or not to invite Pierce back into the group next year. The vote had to be unanimous – all black cards, but as we see (and as evidenced in the character’s title cards), there was one hold out – Annie. Now she’s furious that Pierce has betrayed her trust. She gives him a gun and they have a showdown. Before anything can happen, though, the Black Rider appears. Jeff challenges him and it becomes a Mexican Standoff. It comes to an end when Pierce fakes a heart attack. The Black Rider goes to his aid and Pierce shoots him. He takes a gun and runs away, vowing to not return to the group. They question why someone like the Black Rider goes to Greendale, but he says he only takes online class, that his boss paid him to come and ensure that no one won the game. They ask about the Ice Cream company, but he says its more than Ice Cream. Cut to Chang getting shot with a machine paintgun on the quad. The ice cream truck opens and stormtrooper-types spill out. We’ve changed genres.

Questions and Quotes that struck me:

I love that the guns in this episode are revolvers and automatics in the next ep.

Garret and Vicky are dancers in Pierce’s saloon

Have I mentioned that I love Josh Holloway, its hard to top Sawyer in terms of awesome characters, but the Black Rider is up there.

Dean Dean Dean Dean Deaaaaaan!! The poor dean is wearing a tiny cowboy outfit, but spends most of the episode riddled with paintball blasts.

A Note about Jeff and Annie: Jeff pats Annie in his way, again.

Jeff: “He’s not that good looking.”

Troy, after Jeff comments again about the Black Rider’s looks: “Dude, you have a problem.”
Abed, after Annie grabs a machine gun and takes off after Pierce: “She’s pretty awesome today.”

Jeff to the Black Rider: “You’re just an average looking guy with a big chin.”

Jeff: “Who wears spurs in paintball?”

 

Community – Applied Anthropology

An incredibly basic episode. While in Anthropology class, having an incredibly fake final exam that the Dean crashes, Shirley goes into labor. Everyone jumps to help, but when the Dean goes to get his car to drive her to the hospital, a riot has broken out on campus and he can’t get through. Additionally, an ambulance can’t get to them. The baby has to be delivered there. Abed, as you’ll remember, delivered a baby earlier in the season, so steps up. Unfortunately, Shirley doesn’t want him looking around “down there,” so requests one of the girls. Britta wants to be helpful, but vomits after seeing the baby emerge. Annie has a minor freak out and the Dean has no idea what to do (and they don’t ask any of the other girls in the class, who are just standing around). Finally, Jeff gives Britta a pep talk and convinces her to deliver the baby. She does so, just as the paramedics and Andre come running in. Additionally, Chang is trying to call dibs on the baby, claiming that Chang babies all arrive early and in bizarre situations. He tells Shirley these stories to calm her down. However, when the baby comes out, it is clearly completely black – not a Chang baby. Shirley decides that Chang was so helpful in the process that she wants to name the baby after him. Welcome to the world, Ben Bennett. (Oops)

The only other thing that occurs in the episode is that Pierce tries to buy Troy and Abed’s handshake off them and, in doing so, ruin it forever. However, the awesomeness can withstand anything, and they reclaim it for their own in the end.

Questions and Quotes that struck me:

I enjoyed how Starburns was awed by seemingly everything – the Dean Weekly magazine, the idea of a world food fair, etc

The fact that Shirley has Andre listed as “Sugar Boots” in her phone hurts Troy.

The class comments on how annoying it was that the Study Group is always the center of attention.

How do you solve a problem like Chang? Chang is pretty harmless here. He does take a shot of duck sauce at one point.

Dean Dean Dean Dean Deaaaaaan!! The Dean is being written up in “Dean Weekly” magazine. And the reporter seems to think he’s a good dean. He’s so pleased.

Britta: “I just yanked a little dude out of my friend.”
Andre: “And its a black person!”

Community – Paradigms of Human Memory

This episode, and the equivalent one from season 3, makes up the crux of my essay for a collection due out sometime next fall/winter. My point is that I cannot begin to talk about it here. Just a basic summary: The group is making their 20th diorama for Anthropology, while doing so, they begin to reminisce about their year. The episode is comprise of “flashbacks” which reveal a series of new adventures. Each adventure has the same basic components: the group fights, someone says they should keep fighting to get all the bad stuff out and they’ll never fight again, then they all walk out and say the group is breaking up, and then Jeff Winger’s them back together. The main story of the episode is following the same lines, but one major reveal occurs – Jeff and Britta have been sleeping together. After reviewing the year, they determine that it makes no difference and the study group gives them permission to continue. But neither cares anymore, so they go their separate ways.

Questions and Quotes that struck me:

Duncan is the glee coach? Or at least is playing the piano for them.

Haircutting regionals?

What is happening with the Robot and Pierce in a hot dog costume?

I actually want to see all these stories. I like thinking about the possibilities, which, I suppose, is the point.

How do you solve a problem like Chang? Chang bares all in this episode, dives into the ventilation system, and fights with a monkey. And at the end, they’ve all forgotten about him. Is this where he goes bad? I’m still waiting for the thing that turns him against them and puts him over the edge.

Dean Dean Dean Dean Deaaaaaan!! There is a montage of the Dean’s costumes from the year: A carnival/Vegas showgirl, Catwoman with a whip, Baroque musician, Tina Turner, a Roman, a Southern Belle

A Note about Jeff and Annie: Its funny because Annie is right, there has been something between her and Jeff all year, but it is not in those clips.

Chang dives into the vent, Troy says: “Its like a reverse cow birth.”

Jeff: “It was a particularly small egg, that’s why I was asking.” (if it made him look fat)

Jeff: “Abed! Stop being so meta!”

Community – Competitive Wine Tasting

Its that crazy time of year again when Greendale students choose nonsensical electives to round out their semesters. Pierce and Jeff take Intro to Italian Wines. Abed takes a critical analysis of Who’s the Boss. Troy and Britta take acting. First, Jeff and Pierce. In their first wine class, which is just an opportunity to drink, they meet a lovely Chinese woman. Jeff flirts with her and she turns him down. He’s very disturbed by this, but more so the next day when Pierce appears with her and announces that they are getting married. Jeff is determined to stop the woman from taking advantage of Pierce and grills her about a green card, a prenup, etc. She doesn’t want or need anything. She’s just marrying him. At the engagement party, Jeff discovers that she is actually from another moist towelette company that is trying to take over Hawthorne wipes. He outs her in front of everyone, humiliating Pierce in the process. Pierce later says that sometimes people get used, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t feelings between them. Jeff tries to defend himself, but Pierce knows the real reason Jeff was determined to break them up: he wanted to prove that Pierce couldn’t actually get a girl. Especially not one that Jeff had struck out with. In the end, Jeff brings the woman back and suggests that she and Pierce really should go out – they might be perfect for each other.

Abed’s Who’s the Boss class strikes me as a bit crazy, but then all the classes do. I guess it just strikes closest to home. Anyway, the professor begins class by asking, rhetorically, “Who is the boss?” Abed responds. The class just laughs at him. When he goes to the professor later to explain himself, the professor will not hear him. Abed knows nothing about the show, compared to the professor. Abed says he’s just being single minded. So, the professor challenges Abed to teaching the class. He does so and lays out exactly why Angela Bower is the boss, and in the end convinces the professor.

Finally, Britta and Troy’s acting class (lead by Prof. Garritty, last seen in “Conspiracy Theories”) begins with them each digging into themselves to find dark, personal memories. Troy doesn’t have one, so he makes up a story about his uncle molesting him. Also, he’s noticed just how hot Britta is, and he’s aware that she tends toward the sensitive types, so he’s playing for her. She gets so caught up that she kisses him. However, the story sort of cascades until Britta bursts out with his secret in front of the whole group. He then has to tell her he made it up. He also confesses in class, but Professor Garritty thinks that the pain of not having pain is painful in itself, so he applauds Troy. At the end, Troy auditions for the all black production of Fiddler on the Roof, Fiddla Please!

Questions and Quotes that struck me:

How does Jeff find all these crazy classes? Especially when the others don’t seem to.

Jeff asks Annie if she has grappling hooks. He sounds sincere. Why would she?

Veronica Mars shout out!

Seacrest Watch:

Troy Barnes: Troy has an irrational fear of auto flush toilets! Also, this whole Britta thing seems to come out of nowhere. We had the one moment way back at the beginning of the season, but that’s it, right? Also, the molestation is Butt Stuff. Ah Troy.

A Note about Jeff and Annie: Once again, we have a Jeff vs. Annie scenario. Its just explored very much.

To be or to not be Brittad: Britta really brittas secrets, doesn’t she?

Wu Mei: “Not interested. Please take weird haircut and stupid grin and go smell another dog’s ass.”

Troy first mentions Pierce’s “special gym”.

Chang likes Wine class because there’s “a room full of free coats!”

Prof. Sheffield: “I am not a fan. I am not a groupie. I am an academic.” (this should be my mantra, unfortunately)

Troy, recalling the previous episode: “Seems like yesterday that Abed and I dined and dashed here.” Question – is there only one fancy restaurant in Greendale?

Community – Critical Film Studies

Its Abed’s birthday and he has requested a quiet dinner with just Jeff. Jeff, on the other hand, has organized a Pulp Fiction themed surprise party. But when Jeff meets at the restaurant, Abed claims to have given up pop culture. He explains his adventures on the set of Cougar Town and the profound impact on him. He’s decided to be done with it all and move on with his life. He’s chosen to have this dinner with Jeff so that he can have his first real conversation. Jeff believes that this is all pointless on Abed’s part, that the world isn’t worth living in. Abed gets Jeff to open up and tell him an intimate story from his childhood. Meanwhile, not too far away, at the restaurant where Britta apparently works, the rest of the group is waiting for them. And not patiently either. Troy is being tested by Jeff’s present for Abed – a briefcase. Chang entices Troy into opening it and revealing that it is the briefcase from Pulp Fiction. They then accidentally set it on fire. Pierce gets fed up and bursts into Jeff and Abed’s dinner and yells at them. Unfortunately, he’s dressed as the Gimp from PF, so Abed realizes what’s going on. Jeff wants him to blow off the party, but Abed is suddenly very anxious to leave and tries to get the check. The waiter is reluctant and accidentally reveals that Abed is actually doing a My Dinner With Andre homage. Jeff is furious. The rest of the study group bursts in as Jeff leaves. He goes back to the diner and finds the destroyed briefcase. Abed follows him there and Jeff explains that he’s upset because he was just trying to make Abed happy, but Abed was only thinking of himself. Abed retorts that he was, in fact, just trying to reconnect with Jeff, who Abed feels has moved on past him. Jeff says that will never happen, that he doesn’t want Abed to change, that breakthroughs are overrated. Abed asks Jeff to return to the restaurant and pay the bill. Once there, he discovers the rest of the study group waiting to have the surprise party. They party the night away.

Questions and Quotes that struck me:

I’m curious about Shirley’s description of Pulp Fiction, what did she watch?

Abed’s description of his time at Cougar Town is vastly different then the real episode he’s in. There is an assumption that its all made up, but stilll.

Its curious that Abed told the waiter he was doing My Dinner With Andre, how is that normal outside of as a plot device?

I love that Abed’s really confused at what Troy’s present is – even though he just wrapped up a helicopter.

Troy Barnes: I love the end tag with Troy and Abed eating at the restaurant and then realizing how expensive it is. Abed’s very calm “I’m going to run” is awesome.

How do you solve a problem like Chang? Chang is at the party? Is he a part of the study group now? And he’s Bruce Willis?

To be or to not be Brittad: Apparently, Britta’s a terrible waitress

Britta: “What I have 3D vision now?”

Jeff re: Cougar Town: “If you want me to take it seriously, stop saying its name.”

Abed: “If I’m a person who watches Cougar Town, how can I be in Cougar Town?”

Jeff: “You don’t have to worry about being normal or real . . . the world is a sick place full of sick, sick people.”

Troy calls wine “no no juice.”