Tonight's series finale of COMMUNITY, an homage of any number of things, but mostly the 1979 comedy APOCALYPSE NOW, continues this show's trend of being too good and too smart for the majority of viewers. And that is why it has been cancelled and its remaining episodes deleted for good by NBC.
OK, so that first paragraph was total bullshit. Because:
- This was not the series finale.
- APOCALYPSE NOW was a dark, twisted, drug-hazed drama about the Vietnam War.
- This was more an homage to HEART OF DARKNESS the documentary (not the book) about the making of APOCALYPSE NOW, and it was way better than the movie.
- COMMUNITY has not been cancelled, only "benched" for the foreseeable future.
- NBC has no power to delete episodes owned by Sony.
Alright, so not all of it was bullshit. This show IS too good and too smart for the majority of viewers. But is this episode good? Or is it smart? The best answer to those question is... depends on what your definition of the word is... is.
The episode drops us right into a commercial for Greendale Community College which features none other than Captain Awesome himself, Devon Woodcomb from CHUCK! As soon as the commercial ends, it is evident we are watching Abed's documentary of the making of Dean Pelton's new commercial for which the school board has given a budget of $2,000. The rest is madness.
Production Day 1
Annie is given the job of script girl, or scrip supervisor, depending on who you ask. She explains the importance of her job to the camera.
Annie: A script supervisor is the person that tells everyone to stay on script and keeps careful notes to prevent logical inconsistencies. So, basically, the star.
Dean gives different roles to each member of the study group. Troy and Britta have to hug, which at first gives us a glimpse into the uncomfortable sexual attraction the two have for each other. Pierce is likely given something to do but he storms off in protest over not getting a trailer. Jeff goes totally method in his portrayal of the dean, bald cap, flamboyance, and all. Shirley is asked to deliver happy-threatening.
End of Production Day 1 - $173 Under Budget
When Luis Guzman calls the dean about some rights issues, he offers to appear in the commercial. This causes the dean to scrap the entire shoot and start over. During the commercial break, we get a CHUCK promo! Tune in... oh wait, never you mind. It has already been cancelled. Just download it illegally. Or do what the rest of America is doing and don't watch at all, then regret having skipped it for years when you finally catch it on some random cable channel while home from work with the flu and realize that this was the greatest show you never watched and then you run off to the Internet to cry about how the fact that it only made 5 seasons is proof that people don't like quality entertainment! You know, people like you.
Day 2 of Shooting - $6,125 Over Budget
The dean has gone totally mad, going as far as shutting down classes and using the PA for casting calls. He also has upgraded to tinted glasses and showing off his man boobies. Plus, he spends 12-hours failing to get a three second shot of Troy and Britta hugging. The future lovebirds (well, if the show ever gets more episodes of course), go to Abed the man-behind-his-own-camera for help.
Britta: I'm in Psych 101 and even I don't know what's happening!
Abed: The dean is going insane and taking all of you with him.
Troy: If you know that, then do something!
Abed: I'm doing everything I can. I only have so many cameras.
Day 6 of Shooting - $9,642 Over Budget
The dean is shooting a green-screen actor pretending to be a microscope. Chang has his own bald cap.
Day 8 of Shooting - Greendale Board Checks Progress
The dean is asked to work faster. He is a madman at this point and tells them if they don't like it to fire him.
Dean Pelton: I'm surrounded by assassins. My own school's paper has turned on me. But when this is all over, I'll have a commercial with Luis Guzman in it. And all they'll have are their words, and their fears, and whatever embarrassing photos they can get from my two-faced mother!
Day 9 of Shooting - $14,125 Over Budget
Annie has now lost her mind and become a member of Dean Pelton's cult.
Annie: The dean had his seventh epiphany today which has given me an epiphany of my own. The dean is a genius. He has to be. If he isn't, I've given almost two weeks of my life to an idiot. That is unacceptable! Therefor the dean is a genius and I will die protecting his vision.
Abed: Are you by any chance familiar with Stockholm Syndrome?
Annie: Is it something that the dean created? Because if not, I don't care.
Meanwhile Jeff has gone too deep into his method and become more dean than the dean. But the real dean doesn't like how much dean Jeff-dean has become and orders him to lose the bald-cap. When Jeff refuses, bald-cap Chang, the understudy, reveals his blond-wig hair and Jeff is fired. When the production team revolts, the shoot is halted.
When Luis Guzman arrives, the show goes downhill. Why does this guy keep getting work?
Shit, someone is going to cut me now, aren't they?
Total Days of Shooting: 12 - $17,125 Over Budget
In the end, Abed cuts the commercial using the dean's and his own footage. The board likes it. Jeff has a message. The study group hugs the dean. Troy and Britta hug longer.
If I had to rate this episode, I would give it:
82 out of 100
I would have given it a higher score but Guzman brought the entire thing down and sucked all the air out of it, like he does in everything he has ever been in and WHY DOES THIS MAN KEEP GETTING WORK?! He is like the wet sponge that dark matter's bastard child uses to scrub its taint.
Someone is going to stab me, aren't they?
Goddamn I hate Luis Guzman so fuckin' much.