Thursday, October 21, 2010

Review - Community Season 2 Episode 5 Messianic Myths and Ancient Peoples

I have no clue what "Messianic Myths and Ancient Peoples" is supposed to be. It's less wacky than last week's episode and yet more surreal and bizarre. There could be thousands of different, unique interpretations of the episode from the religious overtones, film making from Abed, Pierce being old, and everything in between.

So here's my take.

"Messianic Myths and Ancient Peoples" is an intentional overload of meta, itself a bit of meta to challenge viewers and critics alike to think about what makes Community. Wherever you look, from professional publications to fan forums, the word once meta is used more than once in reference to Community. In fact, it's usually the biggest selling point of the show: the meta-commentary is clever and bitingly humorous.

But this episode contains the most meta we've ever seen. The word meta is used over and over again (maybe 50 times), and for good reason. Abed is making a film based off the life of Jesus that will forever transcend film through meta. In other words, it's Community, a show based off other comedies that will transcend television through meta. There's lots of weird buildup with Abed dressed up in a white robe and long hair, filming around school as the enthralled masses gather around.

Abed is the physical embodiment of meta, the guy people thinks is Jesus but actually is not, because Abed is not Jesus, as meta is not the Jesus of Community. He's actually beloved by everyone, unlike Jesus back in the day, and is seen as a hero rather than someone to shun. The resulting film is a failure in Abed's eyes and the experiment in the ultimate meta proves to be a failure and Abed's reputation is only saved because "God" makes Shirley destroy everything.

The lesson is that too much meta can be a bad thing. It might sound incredible on the outside, especially with the crazy mirror diagram, but ultimately is detrimental. The alternative, then, is increased expansion of the characters, which we do see in Pierce's old person subplot.

Again, this is what I think about the episode. I have no clue what's going on in Dan Harmon's mind, but it must be magnificent.

Score: 8.8/10
Related Posts with Thumbnails