Community Review – “Basic Crisis Room Decorum” S6E3

In this the third episode of the sixth season of God’s own TV show, Community, it opens with Annie, having successfully organized her to-do lists, received troubling information and assembles an emergency meeting of the Save Greendale Committee to, well, save Greendale. Apparently dogs can get college degrees. Events ensue.

Pros:

“Hank” Hickey: Annie has some fun names in her phone. Apparently Hickey still roams the earth. Damn I loved that character.

Jeffrey, best friend of Dean: The best running gag in this episode.

Community - Basic Crisis Room Decorum

Drunk Diarrhea:  I wasn’t aware drunk diarrhea was a thing.

Chang: I think Chang might be the real star of this season. Perhaps the slogan of this season should be “insanity replaces heart” as Chang has become the only real source of heart… but he’s also insane. More on that later.

Community - Basic Crisis Room Decorum

Dreamy Britta sequence: I really thought this was the moment the show was going to rip it off the rails. But this amazing sequence just ends.

Community - Basic Crisis Room Decorum 1

Goliath’s rant: Oh my god. I need more of this style of Community in my life.  I love when it almost turns on itself with its own post-modern indifference. Oh, and because this actor, no matter what he does with his life, will always be the voice of Goliath to me, that’s how I think of him. No matter what, he is Goliath.

You might be a genius: It’s amazing watching Abed be amazed by Chang’s filmography. Simultaneously, it’s horrifying to think about what Chang filmed. And then to think that he screwed it up (and himself, I guess) so badly that he has to redo it. I think this was the highest point of the episode. Except for maybe…

Post-credit sequence – many yes: It’s so weird and unexpected that the part most packed with meaning is the throwaway ending sequence. The father discovers the son has been playing pranks and cranking out huge phone bills. The whole bit was so beautiful and aching, and somehow that made it funnier than the rest. I’m not sure what kind of magic is being tapped here and when Goliath rants about how much easier it used to be unimpressed, but there’s something almost enlightening in seeing these profound moments happen in the midst of people trying to discredit a dog’s bachelor’s degree.

Cons:

Britta: What the hell’s happening with her character? I love her. I truly do. This episode doesn’t seem to know what to do with her, so it just shits on her, almost gives her something to do (when things get psychedelic), and then she just falls asleep. So disappointed.

Hope: This whole exchange: maybe it’s an expression of my own cynicism, but I hate conversations about hope in TV shows. I mean, will the outcome ever be Annie saying, “Wow, you’re right! Hope really screwed me over!” I honestly wish it would. I feel like hopelessness is, ironically, funnier (think It’s Always Sunny, orArrested Development). Hope deferred is rich comedic soil.

No heart: Not having Troy or Shirley is really creating drag on the show. They were both so pure and naive that it gave the show heart, and replacing Shirley with another Annie type is bogging this episode in so much analytically minded stuff that it feels like something we might have seen in the year of the gas leak.

Community - "Basic Crisis Room Decorum"

By the numbers: The fact that two of the protagonists have this conversation of the hope automatically pigeonholes the episode: there’s only one place it can go, and it’s not going to be the direction in which we learn hope is a lie only fool’s believe. Of course Annie’s values will be reinforced.

Predictions:

A home for Goliath: When I learned Goliath was on the show, Jesus wept. I love this guy and everything he and his magnificent voice have been in. But we’re three episodes in, and one of the core characters have yet to justify why they’re there. His big contribution this episode was asking, “Oh, were you close?” when Annie leaves the room in disgust. Which is funny, but I still don’t understand why this character is needed yet (other than de-whitening the cast a little bit). So… yeah… my prediction is that this guy is going to have to justify himself.


Hush Comics gives “Basic Crisis Room Decorum” a C because the season set the bar so high for garbage. If it weren’t for the year of the gas leak, it’d probably get at least a D, maybe an F. I was not impressed by this episode. Chang tore this bitch up, and is easily the funniest character now. But this episode was formulaic, a little short on the laughs, and didn’t really feel like it added anything. I think this is my least liked Harmon-episode.

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jh montgomery

I'm a guy with opinions. Some of those are about science fiction. Like a voice shouting into a hurricane of voices, I write about science fiction for Hush Comics. I grew up watching the original Star Trek with my mom in our basement. I have shockingly few memories of it, apart from the silver and gray grid covered VHS boxes old Star Trek tapes came in, but it left it's mark forever. My first memory of being in a movie theater was Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. A group entered dressed as the crew of Star Trek, acting the part (the man dressed in Vulcan robes addressing the man with a middle-aged lesbian perm as captain). I nearly lost my mind with the excitement of sharing a theater with Leonard Nimoy. No no, my mom would tell me: that's someone dressing up. Impossible. Later, I would walk in on my parents watching the wrong movie at the wrong moment and be mortally terrified of alien abductions from the age of eight to thirteen. This fear was so strong, I couldn't watch the X-Files until it came to Netflix. As a teenager, hearing the theme song coming from another room in the house would give me anxiety. Science fiction, at its best is the pursuit, and evolution, toward transcendance: cultural, technological, spiritual. Transcendance marked me early, and forever.

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