Can we please get another round of applause for newest episodes of Community? Thank you. Now we may proceed. “Pillows and Blankets” was everything we expected and yet not at all. Like the paintball episodes that came before it, “Pillows and Blankets” will go down as one of the best episodes in Community‘s history.

The Players:

The Plot:

It’s the battle between Blanketsburg and Pillowtown, or rather, the battle between Troy and Abed. Insults are hurled from both sides, and the study group choose sides. Pierce becomes Abed’s secret weapon; while Shirley gets named Blanketsburg’s Second-in-Command. In the end, it’s up to Jeff to put an end to this chaos, but not before he incites wars on both sides.

The Good:

  • Parody of Ken Burns: “Pillows and Blankets” can best be described as a parody of the Ken Burns documentaries on PBS. The episode included everything – found footage, cell phone footage, black-and-white snapshots, personal interviews, voice overs, you name it. The writers really outdid themselves here. They knew what they were going for and they committed 100%.
  • Voice Overs: Besides the deep-voiced narrator (Keith David), there were other voice overs by the cast. The best came from Annie and Jeff who traded texts like love letters in a Nicholas Sparks novel. The Facebook posts were also a nice touch.
  • Honest Comedy: Okay, a pillow fight war is silly. Of course, it’s silly. But everyone (even Jeff, eventually) approaches the matter with seriousness and that’s where the comedy comes in (not to mention the whole this is one giant parody and that’s funny in and of itself). The characters aren’t making jokes, they are being serious, really believing that this is a war worth fighting for. It’s ridiculous but hilarious.
  • Happy Ending (SPOILER!): In the end, we do get our happy ending. It’s a simple resolution thanks to Jeff’s magical friendship hats. At some point you do begin to wonder if things are really okay between Troy and Abed, but you’ve got to remember that these guys ARE best friends. They share a Dreamatorium for heaven’s sake. They are Troy and Abed and nothing, not even the Greendale Civil War of 2012 can come between them.
  • Worth Noting: A few good things worth nothing – Chang recruits merciless teen interns to fight on behalf of Blanketsburg; Pierce looking like the Michelin Man; and Jeff’s Hello Kitty journal.

The Bad:

  • I’ve got nothing. Sorry, but an episode like this deserves to go into the Book of Guinness World Records.

The Quotable:

  • “If there’s anything I’ve learned at this place is that a film crew means disaster.”
  • “Do people go to classes?”
  • “Just because something is in black and white doesn’t mean it’s good.”
  • “The Rambo titles never made sense, and neither does war.”
  • “Leonard likes this post.”


This is when Community works best: when it takes risks and makes the whole episode into one giant cultural reference. Last night’s episode was pretty awesome. It’s also nice to know that the writers still have new ideas in their old bag of tricks.

Rating: 10/10

“Community” airs Thursdays nights at 8 p.m. on NBC.

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What did you think of last night’s episode?