Thursday, February 4, 2010

Review - Community Season 1 Episode 15 Romantic Expressionism

Romantic Expressionism is the best episode of the series (my opinion). It combines everything great about the show that we've seen over the last 14 episodes into a single episode. We got the ensemble cast for a long period of time and they clicked perfectly, it finally dealt with some of the recurring elements, and the stories were pretty good.

Britta's ex Vaughn is back and he's all over Annie. She's entranced by him and completely forgets about Troy. Jeff and Britta decide to be Annie's Greendale parents, and prevent her from getting wrapped up in the hippie culture. They induce Troy go pursue Annie and they succeed in breaking up Annie and Vaughn, only Annie hates that Troy did that to her, and hates Britta and Jeff for getting him to do that.

This results in one of the best scenes of the series. Everyone is at their study table, and all sorts of things come out. Everyone is just throwing statements out there. Britta doesn't want Annie to be with her ex. The kiss between Jeff and Annie at the debate is discussed at length, and doesn't get resolved, but their feelings are mixed on the issue. Jeff told Troy specific things about Annie, but Troy told specific things about Britta. Annie talks about Shirley referencing Jeff's buns. Shirley mentions Abed and Troy's relationship. The scene goes on and on, but there is a point to every comment. There is logic behind what everyone is saying, and that's the scary part. This stuff isn't the figment of imagination, or Community's pseudo-fantasy world. Events did transpire that make their weird comments seem oddly relevant. Jeff concludes that they aren't a family, so that doesn't prevent them as seeing the other group members as potential sexual partners. They all start looking at each other, and as they do, they start forming pairs in their minds and reacting to it. It makes you consider them also, and it's fun to think of these things are compare your reaction to theirs.

With everyone's issues out in the open, Vaughn delivers another song and we get another oddly sentimental scene where Annie and Vaughn reunite with the permission of Britta. Earlier, Jeff and Britta bond over manipulating Troy and Annie, and talk about babies. It's heavy-handed but not as much as it used to be. It felt much more natural in the progression towards them getting together.

Since the focus was on the main story, the subplot was small and effective in getting a few laughs in a short period of time. Troy, Abed, Shirley, Senor Chang, and Pierce watch Kickpunchers to make fun of it. Everyone's jokes elicit laughs except for Pierce's. After watching Kickpunchers, Pierce vows to make them laugh, hiring the college sketch comedy performers to make material for him. When they watch Kickpunchers 2, Pierce rattles off jokes in about 2 seconds. Obviously his jokes are canned, but he succeeds in making people laugh by tripping over the popcorn. The end of the episode features Abed and Troy filming their version of Kickpunchers. Abed is the damsel in distress and Troy is Kickpuncher. They go off to film a sex scene before the credits roll. Could a gay relationship happen? Just a thought.

Score: 9.6/10


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