Community “Competitive Ecology”: The Dangers Of Validation

If this review sucks it is Todd’s fault…..Stupid Todd

This week Community’s episode came with very little expectation since it is 304 not 303 which was supposed to be Abed and Troy’s house-warming party an episode I was super psyched to watch . I was pleasantly surprised since I wasn’t that excited to have a Chang-Centric episode. I think Ken Jong is at his best when presented in small insane doses but this episode proved how wrong I am.

This is how it is done bitches! the episode was absolutely coherent, both storylines of Chang and the study group were equally engaging and interesting. after a long hilarious speech from professor Kane about the simplicity and complexity of the present day Legos, The study group has to do a terrarium project and are pair with strangers which sparked something I never thought of before, they never really hang out with anyone else other that each other and they don’t really want to. I prepared for they story and what was coming: the study group will team up with the strangers and hate every minute of it….WRONG after asking Professor Kane, The only sane human being on campus, they are allowed to team up with each other, cut into the break ups scene each one breaking up with their “stranger” partner each breakup to fit each character…as audience we are back to the comfort zone with the group teaming up in pairs leaving Pierce alone with Todd the victim in this mess.

The group pairs up in the most expected way possible; Jeff and Annie, Abed and Troy,Britta and Shirley and Pierce and Todd. well Todd wasn’t exactly expected …then we think we know where the story is going to go Jeff and Annie have nice moment and a fight as usual, Troy and Abed have a weird amazing adventure, Britta and Shirley bicker a little then Shirley teaches Britta how to act like a normal human being and so on…WRONG those perfect pairs don’t work well together so the group works really well as a group but as pairs on a mission there are problems, Annie is frustrated by Jeff’s distraction, Troy and Abed have nothing to talk about since they are together all the time,Britta is annoyed by  Shirley (I hate it when people talk about their babies too ).

Britta and Troy meet outside in what seems as a romantic encounter only to discover they want to team up with each other,they are overheard by Annie and Abed who I guess were trying to do the same thing..(this is the second time Annie was more than willing to ditch Jeff and I can’t help but wonder why?) they are overheard by Shirley and Jeff who are furious who are overheard by Pierce and Todd…God that was exhausting . Jeff calls a meeting in the study room (our and their comfort zone) to discuss the “Todd problem “, the funny thing about Todd is that I felt about him the way the study group did, in my mind he was in the way every time he talks i”d feel like shut up extra…why are you talking?! so I find it interesting that the group is going through its crazy self-involved dynamics with a stranger in the middle. I loved the scene that comes next, they are in the study room and Todd is sitting that stayed empty  for two seasons (excluding the Jack Black episode) feeding a turtle. They are all uncomfortable with this invasion of space by Todd the “random” “non-grouper” .The fact that they kept saying no offence was really offensive .The scene in the study room is brilliant, the charatcters act like we always known them to ; jokes are passed around equally and appropriately and this scene becomes a team work an evidence of what happens on a set when the cast is in total n sync. There is something that I need to point out; Jeff and Shirley are said to be around the same age which I guess means she is about 5 years older and Jeff is about 33 or 34 years old and I seem to remember Abed being 30 in season 1 so Abed and Jeff are close in age why would Abed consider him old?

As they decide to make it a popularity poll things spiral out of control as Jeff discovers he is paired with Todd and Todd is the more popular individual, Shirley discovers she is the least popular one ,Pierce is overjoyed he is more popular than someone and Annie is the most popular of all because she’ll do all the work. This realization does not sit well with anyone, I loved the scene where Britta thinks she is more popular than Troy and Abed sets her straight. The circle of attack continues Jeff attacks the group, Annie attacks Jeff then Todd then Abed attacks Annie, Annie attacks Shirley ans her religiousness, Shirley attacks Britta and her delusional of being an animal activist, Annie attacks Britta for not dissecting  animals, Jeff stops the madness only to reveal how unbelievably self-centered he is only to to attacked by Pierce….Todd tries to leave which is what should have done a while ago and Jeff puts on his scary face, I love Jeff’s violent outbursts he is really scary when he’s angry. At this point the characters look really tired and I think it is not acting or make up the poor souls looked awful they must’ve been shooting really late. Anyways Jeff physically tries to attack Abed with Britta as a human shield, Jeff carries her out of the way (as the tag shows this must have been the closest she came to male contact) to chase Abed to take a look at the infamous ballot. Todd the unlikely voice of reason puts a stop to it and lets the group have it, and with that we are taught a lesson, he calls their love “weird and toxic and it destroys everything it touches”  this is one of many points that the show tries to make, the group’s relationship might be close but it is not necessarily healthy and I disagree what is a healthy relationship? they are selfish and unappreciative to anything outside their domain and I think that is normal when you have a group of people who accept you for who you are it might be unhealthy but it is necessary or we’ll be always alone trying to fit in, we all look for validation and when we get it and trust it, it can lift us up but also it can be a dangerous thing as we see the group hurts other people cluelessly if they were alone and not together they migh be more attentive and careful because it would be very important for them to be accepted. Through Todd’s outburst we discover that Todd is not an extra he is a character with a back story that is both interesting and touching. You’d think the group learned its lesson and they felt sorry for Todd, you are WRONG they detect Todd as the alien that caused an imbalance to their Eco system.In this episode one gets to see the group from an outsiders point of view, we the audience are not looking from the outside, we are one of them now…. close to a single tear running down Todd’s face as the group tears him to pieces behind him back.

I did not forget the Chang film noir story line, it was a fresh look at the Chang psyche, a trip to the unfortunate world of Chang’s mind. The episode presented an interaction between Chang and the Dean in what might be the best and only voiceover-off on TV. The events ran out in an insane unrelated pattern as Chang tries to connect unrelated events to random objects delivering the best ridiculous quotable quotes ever.

things I noticed after watching 3 times :

  • Chang’s manicane leg girlfriend thet he stole from the janitor, funny and sad something Community does really well.
  • “Dean low”
  • “who’s Nick Nolte?”
  • Michael K Williams speech about Legos
  • the group assumed Professor Kane heard about their adventures
  • Jeff’s half-hearted impression of Abed
  • the group makes awful background actors,the way they were hanging out by the water cooler as the dean and Chang talked was weird.
  • Annie looking for a beetle in the salad
  • “my own words rang in my head like a bell inside a head”
  • “the kind of arms that had elbows”
  • wardrobe people: Annie’s outfits are unflattering lately she is hot and now 21 come on change her wardrobe a little.
  • the weird fungi colony in the men’s bathroom
  • “maybe your gay friend should  mind his own business” Shirley definition of a homeopath
  • “Arizone backwards is still Arizona”
  • Troy’s logic of why he should be paired up with Britta
  • “the hair color concept intrigues me because that’s how I distinguish you anyway”
  • Jeff’s reaction to being called old
  • Abed’s reaction to anything
  • the study room table still has the ax cracks Jeff made in Biology 101
  • Chang’s board of “related events
  • “Oh No she’s got her marijuana lighter”
  • “who the hell are you always texting everyone you know is here” I have a theory Annie…his mom.
  • “don’t get your number 4 stink on this Todd “
  • Pierce’s face when Annie and Shirley are fighting about religious beliefs
  • “do they  have tiny little faces?”
  • “Pierce wake up Jeff is gonna heal us”
  • “I just had a terrible nightmare that Jeff was a pompous ass”
  • Annie passing out after failing the assignment…I have a feeling that one was improvised.
  • Britta’s obvious lack of action in her life “maybe i need to take one…..” Abed’s face.
  • OFFENCE TAKEN
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About lonestarjrs

Primary teacher who loves TV like crazy. I watch more TV a week than anyone i know. I usually have crazy pairings on TV that no one sees but me and a good eye for spoilers. Twitter account :http://twitter.com/#!/lonestarjrs

Posted on October 8, 2011, in TV and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Annie is still 20 and her conservative clothes are fine. They’re what make Annie Annie. And I really don’t see what you’re talking about when the group is in the background, nothing is strange about it.

    • they just hang around it’s kinda funny seeing those guys taking a back seat i mean Pierce is not drinking water anymore they discussed the water fee why not head to class?

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