One good thing about Community is that even if it's set in a college, it's not about college. It's about life. It treats college as a microcosm of life, with all it ups, downs, relationships, friendships, and other scholastic what-not.
Anyway, if you remember what happened in the season finale, you'd think to yourself, "How are they going to get themselves out of that mess?" And how are they, really? Let's find out.
1. "Anthropology 101"
Yes, we know. Yuck.
First on the agenda: Get the study group out of the mess that they're in. The mess created by Britta (Gillian Jacob)'s profession of love to Jeff (Joel McHale), and then his subsequent make-out session with Annie (Alison Brie). But you can't start a 22-episode season with awkwardness. So what do you do? Erase everything. Clean slate. And suspend your disbelief, even for just this episode.
And since this is the season opener, we're entitled to a really great end credits sequence. No, it's not "Donde Esta La Biblioteca?" That's so season 1.
2. "Accounting for Lawyers"
Annie murders a janitor while Troy and Abed watch.
This is where the season really starts. Clearly the star is Jeff Winger. Or at least the story revolves around him. He's the only one with a solid backstory. And that backstory is revisited when Jeff revisits his old world─the world of douchebag lawyers. And all that douchebaggery is balanced by showing Señor Chang (Ken Jeong)'s pop n' lockin' some robot moves.
3. "The Psychology of Letting Go"
Could've been sexier without their shirts on.
Señor Chang is actually trying to get into the study group. This is still funny, even if you had no idea that Chang was their Spanish professor last season. Anyway, what else? Pierce (Chevy Chase)'s mother died. The annoying Brit Professor Duncan (John Oliver) gets more screen time. And Britta and Annie make peace. But not after oil-wrestling. Yeah, baby.
Before I forget, the end credits sequence is great. I think that crazy female professor will become a regular here.
4. "Basic Rocket Science"
The study group's Armageddon shot.
And yes, Joel McHale is taller than Chevy Chase.
Yes, I'm not ashamed to admit that even I found this really weird. This is like the weirdest episode in a television series that I've seen. Ever. It sort of gives me an idea of the general direction where this show is headed. And it's nowhere. And at the same time, everywhere. I don't get this show. And that's what makes it fun.
5. "Messianic Myths and Ancient Peoples"
To be fair, long hair looks good on him.
If you're looking for a Community episode with a religious theme, look no further. Nothing gets more religious than having Abed (Danny Pudi) play Jesus Christ. This is really far out.
Dean Pelton in a Lady Gaga costume. Hilarious.
This show is really getting weird. Sometimes it reminds me of The Simpsons, in the sense that it doesn't care whether or not it has any semblance of narrative structure. And in this episode: Halloween (check out the new graphics in the opening credits.) And how do you say "Halloween"? Not with vampires. Not with werewolves. With zombies. But no, not really.
Also, great opening credits sequence. Halloween! Wait, I already said that.
7. "Aerodynamics of Gender"
Jeff Winger. Get it? Wing-er? Never mind.
Abed temporarily joins the girls as he proves to be a natural bitch (though biologically male). The guys, meanwhile, find their joy in a secret trampoline. So that's what a double bounce looks like.
8. "Cooperative Calligraphy"
Boys v. Girls
This episode is abt a puppy parade. I'm guessing it's a doggy fair or something. But they don't show that here. All they show here is the group's search (in vain) for Annie's missing purple pen. Which was taken by a monkey. I told you this was starting to become like The Simpsons.
Wait, they actually showed the puppy parade. At the end credits sequence.
9. "Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design"
Not in picture: hookah.
Conspiracy Theory class with Professor Professorson (Kevin Corrigan). Whose name used to be Professorburg, but they changed it when fleeing from the Nazis. Hilarious. The other part of this episode: Troy (Donald Glover) and Abed's mega blanket fort. For men.
10. "Mixology Certification"
Because Jehovah's Witnesses do not celebrate birthdays.
Happy birthday, Troy! And as our boy turns 21, Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown)'s relationship with everyone turns─how shall we say it─on the rocks. Yes, pun nailed! Also, that gay guy hitting on Abed was totally... eeew.
Meanwhile, Pierce Hawthorne now becomes my second favorite character after Dean Pelton (Jim Rash). Those scenes of him getting into the bar were so LOL.
11. "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas"
Yes. They're made of clay.
Christmas time means... what else? Christmas episode! And this time, they're clay-animated. Or to be more precise, stop-motion animated. Really great idea. But the story's kind of... meh.
12. "Asian Population Studies"
This episode has one not-so-new guest, and another new one. The new one is Andre (Malcolm-Jamal Warner), Shirley's ex-husband and bf. The not-so-new one is Dr. Rich (Greg Cromer), who almost had a totally gay moment with Jeff Winger. Seriously, that wet-in-the-rain John Cusack look was... eeew.
13. " Celebrity Pharmacology 212 "
Pierce Hawthorne as Marijuana.
Drug episodes are always hilarious. Sorry, not "drug episodes", but rather "drug-awareness episodes". Also, Pierce is so hilarious that I almost forgot he was one of the biggest comics of the 80s. The most hilarious moment of this episode was the children shouting "We want drugs!" and then Chang schooling them on the horrors of drug use. Brilliant.
14. "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons"
This is a Dark Elf. No, that's not racist.
Although I am an 80s kid, I never got the chance to play DnD. However, I have always loved the polyhedral (wow, that's actually a word) die, especially the 20-sided one. Pierce, meanwhile, is still on a roll. And I just love their character names.
- Fat Neil
- Jeff the Liar, son of William the Barely-Known
- Annie the Dayplanner
- Troy the Obtuse
- Shirley the Cloying
- Abed the Undiagnosable
- Britta the Needlessly Defiant
- Pierce the Insensitive a.k.a. Pierce the Dickish a.k.a. Grandpa the Flatulent
I really, really wish I could play Dungeons & Dragons. Friends, make it happen.
15. "Early 21st Century Romanticism"
If all librarians were this hot, we'd have more readers in this country.
Hello. That is one hot librarian (Maite Schwartz). This is the Valentine's episode, by the way, so we have... drumroll... lesbian love! Courtesy of Britta, of course.
This episode's action is split into two fronts. First, the dance. Lesbian showdown, which backfires, and Troy and Abed's attempt at dating the same girl. Second: Jeff's apartment, which started off as a Manchester United v. Liverpool match, then transformed into a house party, featuring the first appearance of... Magnitude (Luke Youngblood)! Pop pop!
16. "Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking"
Troy Barnes. Acting normal.
Pierce Hawthorne on his death bed? While that may seem like good news (one less douche in the world), it's also bad news if Chevy Chase leaves the show. Also, I don't think Pierce Hawthorne is capable of mind games. He's too thick for that. I don't know what the purpose of his bequeathing is, honestly.
Some of you might also find the handheld camera movements dizzying. That's because it's supposed to look like a documentary shot by Abed (hence the title). And finally, I now appreciate Donald Glover's acting. I wouldn't be surprised if he's Danny Glover's son. But he's not.
17. "Intro to Political Science"
Just like their morning show. But with actual onscreen titles.
A.k.a Greendale Goes Political. Actually, it's just a political satire. There is no promise at all of political awareness in any form. It's student body president election time, and the top rivals for the highest post are... Jeff and Annie! Almost thought it would be Jeff against Britta, but that's so season 1.
Wouldn't it be great though, if Abed and that female secret agent hooked up? Cool. Cool, cool, cool.
18. "Custody Law and Eastern European Diplomacy"
You just never know when Ben Chang is being serious or... normal.
This episode discusses race. This becomes especially important, in light of Shirley's pregnancy, with the possibility that the father could be Chang. Britta, meanwhile, flirts with Troy and Abed's new foreign exchange buddy, who turns out to be a war criminal. Great audio gag with the trombone there.
What's that you were singing, Britta? "♪Hit me with your genie's bottle / rub it all over me♫"
What song is that supposed to be? Is that a Britney Spears-Christina Aguilera crossover? Seriously?
19. "Critical Film Studies"
I wish I had friends like them.
Happy birthday, Abed! And for his birthday, he becomes another person. A "normal" Abed needs some getting used to, though. By the way, "normal" Abed means an Abed who can blend in as a fully functional member of society. A normal Abed, without the quotation marks, is the weirdo we all love. Also, hooray for the Pulp Fiction homage!
20. "Competitive Wine Tasting"
'Tis the season for electives at Greendale, and more 80s references with Who's the Boss? Oh, who's that hot Asian woman? IMDb says her name is Michelle Krusiec. Nothing Chinese about that, though. Another special guest is Stephen Tobolowsky, whose roles seem to be confined to either teachers or professors nowadays. And Professor Garrity (a.k.a. Professor Professorson from episode 9) is back, this time teaching his proper subject: theater.
21. "Paradigms of Human Memory"
A typical day with this study group.
Quite a lot of reminiscing going on here. These include the time they went to a western ghost town, their short-lived glee club stint, and─my favorite─Dean Pelton's wardrobe montage, coupled with all his puns on the word "dean".
|I ♥ Dean Pelton.|
Also, Jeff and Britta are having secret sex.
Hey, Abed's shirt looks familiar. Oh wait... it's this:
I want this on my shirt.
22. "Applied Anthropology and Culinary Arts"
This should've been their diorama.
Finally, Shirley Bennett gives birth... to a totally black baby. (Sorry, should've said "spoiler!") Pierce tries to buy the rights to use Troy and Abed's secret handshake, in hilarious Pierce Hawthorne-fashion. 1,000 o'clock. Hilarious.
There's also a hint at a possible romance between Fat Neil and Vicki. Again, thanks to Pierce Hawthorne.
23 and 24. "A Fistful of Paintballs" and "A Few Paintballs More"
If they were standing on a compass, I'd love to
go south on Annie. High five!
Of course the season ender has to be a double episode. It's paintball time again. Because Greendale can't get enough of paintball.
The first half, episode 23, is a western spoof. (I put everyone's awesome freeze-frame portrait on Tumblr). Annie, by the way, is smoking hot. She should always have her hair down like that. Fat Neil looks like a fat Shia LaBeouf. I'm guessing there'll be more of him in season 3. Episode 23 also has a western theme, and I just love the character intertitles (that is the right word, right, intertitles?). And it looks a little something like this:
Notice anyone missing? Of course. Pierce Hawthorne. The douche.
The second episode, which is the sequel to the previous one, also happens to be the season ender. And here they go full-geek with a Star Wars theme.
Annoying as he is, please make Magnitude
a regular guy for next season. Please?
Star Wars and paintball. Perfect combination. Want to know what's another perfect combination?
Abed and Annie. Wait, what?
Pierce Hawthorne, meanwhile, wins the battle for Greendale. But the season ends with him leaving the study group. Please don't leave, Pierce. You are quite possibly the funniest character in this show.
I was wrong. That crazy female professor from episode 3 never reappeared. That's okay. Professor Duncan gets more screen time, which is great, although he calls a television a "TV" and not a "telly", making me doubt if he's really an Englishman.
Season 2 also began experimenting with some slight changes to the opening credits sequence. Here are some of their alternative title cards:
I also don't understand why this show was in danger of being cancelled. This is one of the funniest shows of modern television. I commend the writers. Good job, guys. Now, on to season 3!
Community (Season 2). USA. 2010-2011.
Rating: Eight point eight out of ten.