In my mass viewing of Community, I have learned two things make it funny: its characters and its references. This week’s episode had a Dungeons and Dragons theme (Which I always thought was a video game. Huh.) as the gang tried to include Fat Neil, who they think wants to commit suicide. The medieval references and Lord of the Rings-esque narrator made the meta-humor shine through, but the characters this week definitely lacked their usual laugh out loud moments (minus a few from Troy and Abed).
Pierce was the main feature of this week’s episode, and that’s enough to hold it back. Community best employs Pierce in small, racist, sexist doses. This marks the second week the major plotline followed him after he tried to make up for his Daddy issues with destroying Annie’s play last week. Two weeks in a row? What were the writers thinking? The only times I enjoy Pierce is when he thinks Shirley and Troy are related or when he’s accused Abed of terrorism. In larger doses he loses the humor and comes off as mean in a very unpleasing way.
Britta, too, is falling too far back into her abrasive, civil rights character. She has to be soft every once in a while or it’s too easy for everyone to hate her. When all the other characters groaned at her multiple times during this episode, it’s guaranteed the audience is groaning at her as well. Annie and Shirley basically only got to “aw” during this episode, and Jeff’s part was pretty insignificant.
Chang painted all black was great, and Abed creating a “well-endowed” role specifically for Troy was a nice touch. I will never get tired of their handshake.