“Community’s“ back in action with another religious-themed episode, but in contrast to the more philosophical comedic musings of the past, this one skips straight to casting Abed as Jesus in his own meta-film about making a film about Jesus. If you’re confused, just read on (and if you’re not, read on anyways.). Check out the review…
- Director: Tristram Shapeero
- Writer: Andrew Guest
- Cast: Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Donald Glover, Allison Brie, Chevy Chase, Ken Jeong, John Oliver
Episode Title: “Messianic Myths and Ancient Peoples”
When Shirley gets annoyed at how few people show up to her church, she decides that the best way to spread religion is to make a viral video. Logically, she turns to Abed to help her out. Abed goes absolutely nuts over the prospect and comes up with a super-meta-film that Shirley vetoes out of hand. He decides to go ahead with the movie anyway, portraying himself as Jesus Christ making the ultimate film about life and filmmaking (we told you it was super-meta.)
Shirley gets enraged at what she sees as blasphemy and tries to shut the film down, but that plan gets derailed when the Dean becomes interested in watching the movie instead of stopping it. Abed realizes that his movie is awful and Shirley destroys it for him, and then Abed makes Shirley a real Christian viral video. Meanwhile, in an unrelated plot Pierce starts pretending to be a stereotypical old man in order to get away with whatever he wants, but when his new friends steal a car, crash it, then run away, he decides it isn’t good for him.
- Jesus Christ, Abed: This episode totally hinged on Danny Pudi’s ability to deliver a convincingly awesome portrayal of a Jesus-wannabe turned filmmaker, and good Lord (no blasphemy intended) does he deliver. Maybe it’s his long, flowing tresses of hair, maybe it’s his hilariously enigmatic meta-talk/zen proverbs, or maybe it’s the faux-Arabic background “Aaaaabeddddd” and “Shirrrrrleeeeey” chanting – or (most likely) it’s all three. Whatever it is, it works, and the episode is great because of it.
- Well, this is Awkward: The post-credits closing scene is usually the single funniest part of any given episode of “Community,” and this one is no exception. Spelling it out would ruin it, so we won’t do that here; suffice to say that it contains a triple fashion faux-pas, and you should definitely watch it.
- Give Shirley a Hobby or Something: In a show with so many dynamic, multi-faceted characters, it’s disappointing that they haven’t really found a role for Shirley as anything besides a disapproving orthodox Christian. Granted, this episode’s religious bent did lend itself to that performance, but it feels like the writers can’t figure out what to do with the character except make her talk about God.
- Look at this Hipster: Pierce’s subplot about teaming up with other old people and causing mayhem was amusing for a few minutes until you realized it was a one-note joke: They’re old people, acting like teenagers. That’s it, right down to the disapproving “parents” (Britta and Jeff, duh) and the joyriding and the rebellious lines; it’s not really parody if you don’t actually do anything with the premise. Not to mention that Monty Python used basically the same joke to much greater effect.
- “Look, Dolly Parton eating a hot dog!”
- “Autotune God of Faaaaaarts!”
- “You’re not in charge of what I eat.” “That’s true. Britta!”
- “The game is jacks and deuces wild. Except if the dean comes in and then it’s bingo.”
- “Shut your mouth, fruit.” “Oh, unacceptable, and none of your business, and barely the whole truth.”
- “I don’t even believe in God but I love me some Abed.”
- “Uh, when did Pierce become awesome?”
- “Okay! Open your books, because Abed has broken the internet.”
While the Abed as Jesus scenes were inspired, the lack of characterization with Shirley and Pierce making the same joke over and over again brought everything down. Still worth a watch, but a letdown from last week’s excellent episode.
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What did you think of this week’s episode of Community?