TV in Review, Community, “Digital Exploration of Interior Design”
April 1, 2012 2 Comments
I’m not sure that product placement in television shows always does what the big businesses supposes it does. That is, I presume that the main thing that they want to do is to remind us of their ubiquity, but when Shirley says…
SHIRLEY: That should be my sandwich shop. It was my idea to put one there!
…I think “Yeah! F#ckin’ Subway crowding out individually owned sandwich shops and doing my close (albeit fictional) friend Shirley wrong. Bastards.”
And boy is the product placement woven into the fabric of the show.
SUBWAY: Using a groundbreaking but surprisingly legal process known as corporo-humanization, real people such as myself are now allowed to represent the collective humanity of business owners. I have contractually waved my birth identity and am now a man and student named Subway.
SUBWAY: But please don’t think of me as any less human than yourselves. I’m here to hang out, take weird classes, and party as hardy as my morality clause allows.
Or does it work? Do people leave the episode identifying Subway with the wit and whimsy of Community?
“Digital Exploration of Interior Design” is an episode of dislocation. Troy, Abed, and Annie have been kicked out of their room while their building is rid of termites.
ANNIE: I’m staying in the sleep study lab. All I have to do is wake up every three hours and go AAAHH! AAAAAAHHHHHHH! and I get two credits.
John Goodman returns as Vice Dean Laybourne, sowing dissension between Troy and Abed by casting aspersions on the friendship of the main characters in their favorite show, Inspector Spacetime.
Less of a friendship. More of a self-centered nerd and his naive obedient lapdog.
This episode worked for me. It wasn’t a Big Idea episode, but a fun and playful exploration of the characters. It had momentum from the start and was, yes, weird in the Community fashion, but not in a way that felt repetitive. Even more than the past couple episodes, I now feel like Community is back.
It is also doing well in the ratings, so its future is looking good, although have you heard about the tension between Chevy Chase and show creator Dan Harmon? Apparently Chase has acted true to his reputation, which is that of a difficult bastard, frequently telling people to “fuck off.” Still, Community watchers are divided on whether it justifies Harmon leading a “Fuck you, Chevy” toast at the season wrap party, after Chase had reportedly walked off set early and not finished one of his scenes. There’s even audio of the angry voice mail Chase left afterward.
Tune in April 5th for part two of Abed’s pillow fort versus Troy’s blanket fort! What will happen when the softest of sleeping accessories battle it out?
Season 3, Episode 13 of Community first aired on NBC on March 29, 2012.
Community, “Contemporary Impressionists”