It’s election day at Greendale, and things are going predictably haywire: Friends are stabbing each other in the back to get ahead in the polls, the media coverage is silly and unhelpful, and the secret service is just about everywhere. So pretty much like a regular election, then. Read on to find out the details:
- Director: Jay Chandrasekhar
- Writer: Adam Countee
- Cast: Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Donald Glover, Allison Brie, Chevy Chase, Ken Jeong
Episode Title: “Political Developments & Uncivil Disobedience”
When the Dean announces Vice President Joe Biden is going to be making an appearance at Greendale, everyone has to rush to elect a student president in order to meet him. Annie is really excited about the prospect of being president, so much so that Jeff decides to run just to spite her – and his charisma makes him an opponent to be reckoned with. Meanwhile, Troy and Abed are covering the election for Greendale’s Community TV station, and on the side, the secret service bodyguards assigned to protect Vice President Biden have targeted Abed as a possible threat.
- Election Night: For the first time since the Conspiracy Theories episode, the main Jeff Winger plot is actually quite good. The dynamic of Jeff’s charismatic douchiness and Annie’s passive-aggressive jabs works out really well as the duo is placed in yet another debate, this time against each other. While there’s a lot of fun interplay, the show-stopping moment is obviously when Annie pulls out Jeff’s Real World audition tape, where he manages to perfectly embody everything terrible about the 90s. The inevitable emotional resolution is also pretty touching, and it’s nice that the writers have found a space for these characters where they can care for each other without sucking face all the time.
- The Spy Who Loved Me: Abed’s romance with the CIA agent likewise provided both laughs and touching moments, although it was decidedly skewed towards the latter. It’s a great touch, as Abed is finally provided with some as extrospective as he is, someone who likes observing from the outside just as much as he does. Of course, since this is Abed, the entire thing carefully treads the line between heartwarming and incredibly creepy, but at the end it seems like about as healthy of a relationship as he can get.
- Check out the Sideshow: Although both Pierce and Troy are relegated to side roles, they absolutely make the most of them. Troy delivers the goods early on in a notch-related gag to start the episode, and continues by being perhaps the least-qualified political reporter ever to cover an election. Pierce, meanwhile, spends almost his entire time being the kind of hilarious asshole he’s always been; however, he does get his own chance to be poignant – in fact, he gets his own mini-story-arc. But most importantly, neither of them get in the way of the main plot or the subplot; they’re just there to provide jokes, not to muddy the waters.
- Biden His Time: We’ll save you the trouble of looking it up: VP Biden does not appear in this TV show. While we’re obviously not holding that against the writers, overall it seems like a missed chance for some political satire – they make a total of one (admittedly funny) gag about Biden, and then move on almost instantly. They absolutely could have done more with that premise, especially since Biden is well-known for his gaffe-ridden speeches. To make this clear, we’re not coming down on either side of the political spectrum here; there was just a golden opportunity to be funny and it was almost totally wasted. If they had cut the nonsensical, annoying “Momentum” bit, there would have been more than enough time to develop this one further.
- “Sizemore? More like Sizeless!”
- “I want to compare penises with famous people!”
- “Eat that, City College, and wash it down with a nice tall glass of suck it.”
- “Oh, Abed. Will your reality ever come out on Blu-Ray so we can enjoy it?”
- “Improving Greendale takes more than ideas, Annie. It takes time, gasoline, matches.”
- “I’m not the worker bee type. I’m more of a silverback gorilla with the claws of a lion, the teeth of a shark, and the quiet dignity of a tortoise.”
- “Guy’s just a mess. It’s like God spilled a person.”
- “Do you just constantly have your own little side adventures?” “Yep.” “…me too!”
- “Bring it on, Ponce de Leon.” “I’m gonna, Greg Muldunna! …he’s a real guy, he owns a mattress store downtown, you can look it up.”
- “Is there a specific reason you had to repeat the first grade?” “Well, from what I’m told, I didn’t know how to use scissors, I sat in the middle of the seesaw, and I always found the distinction between duck and goose to be very arbitrary.”
- “My platform will be one high enough to push Vicki off to her death.”
- “You smell like nice soap. I have to go.”
- “Y’know, I just had a dream that I was a regular president.”
While it is an excellent episode with the usual Community blend of pathos and comedy, this week’s installment is brought down slightly by a few bits that fell flat (Momentum and Leonard) and some that never took off at all (Joe Biden). But it’s still amazingly funny, and definitely worth watching.
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