18 May, 2012

Review - COMMUNITY 3.22: 'Introduction to Finality'

Evil Abed gets a little rape-happy with a saw.

Shirley and Pierce's disagreement leads to a legal battle in Greendale Summer Fun Court.

Plot
Season 3's three-episode finale night ended with the lesser of the bunch but still a solid episode that delivered closure and some character growth.

The gang, minus Troy, is in summer school and preparing for finals when the dean tells Shirley and Pierce that Subway is leaving the campus and that their sandwich place will replace it. But when the two can't agree who should sign the single line contract, the two face off in an in-school lawsuit that pits not only the two business partners against each other, but Jeff against the lawyer who ruined his career. In the end, Pierce and Shirley decide to cooperate.

A secondary story has Troy in the AC repair school, missing his friends, and solving the apparent murder of Vice Dean Laybourne (I will believe he is dead when I never see him again).

Troy gets to shine a bit here as he not only solves Laybourne's murder, but also demonstrates his natural air conditioning repair skills that make him the messiah of the school. The new Neo of the school then changes the rules so that he can live off-campus and continue his AC studies while still remaining in the study group.

The tertiary plot is Evil Abed's attempt to carry out his evil timeline mission, complete with a Terminator like first-person perspective; a total emotional dress-down of Britta; his general bad attitude; and a funny bit where he tries to use a bone-saw to remove Jeff's arm but is foiled by a lack of an extension-cord and then Jeff's speech about goodness.

After Abed takes back his body from Evil Abed, he shuts down his Dreamatorium so that Troy can move back in, but secretly keeps a smaller cardboard version in his own space.

Oh, and Starburns faked his own death. Called it!

Well, I kind of called it.

Quotables
Abed notices Evil Abed standing in the doorway of the Dreamatorium.
Abed: This can't be good.

Evil Abed: When the world gets bad enough, Abed, the good go crazy. But the smart (pause), they go bad.

Britta tries to give therapy to Evil Abed but realizes things aren't going the way she wants.
Britta: You know what? Maybe I should talk to Good Abed instead.
Evil Abed: Where I come from, his name is Lame Abed.
Britta: And you come from?
Evil Abed: The darkest timeline. You might call it the Britta of timelines, where everything is the worst. Jeff has one arm there. Annie shot Pierce. Troy can't speak.

Evil Abed: Do you know what kind of person becomes a psychologist, Britta? A person that wishes deep down that everyone more special than them was sick because 'healthy' sounds so much more exciting than 'boring.' You're average, Britta Perry. You're every kid on the playground that didn't get picked on. You're a business casual potted plant. A human white sale. You're VH1, ROBOCOP 2, and BACK TO THE FUTURE 3. You're the center slice of a square cheese pizza. Actually, that sounds delicious. I'm the center slice of a square cheese pizza. You're Jim Belushi.

After Troy gets Murray to admit to murdering Vice Dean Laybourne, the AC school nutjobs decide to exact their own form of justice.
Troy: No! No! Take him to the police. He murdered someone. Take him to jail. You guys are weird.

After Jeff wins the case, he receives praise.
Annie: Jeff, that was great!
Shirley: You were like a white Blair Underwood.

Rating
If I had to rate this one, and Dan Harmon's expired contract with Sony says I do, then I'd give it:

87 out of 100

It was a mostly standard episode of the show but worked as a nice ending to the season. And though this episode wasn't as great as the previous few, the season as a whole delivered on more levels than I ever imagined. And so I feel comfortable proclaiming season 3...

THE GREATEST THIRD SEASON OF ALL TIME!

If this is Dan Harmon's last season as showrunner (and I promise to turn hatefully against the show next season if it is), then he has gone out a champion. Sure, the Emmy voters may never figure this thing out, but they didn't get THE WIRE until it was gone either.

UPDATE: It is official... Dan Harmon will NOT be back as show runner.

COMMUNITY is THE WIRE of half-hour comedy!

If I had to rate this season, and damn hell skippy I do! I'd give it:

98 out of 100

Yeah, if you add up the episode grades they don't actually equal to that but I don't care. It's my site. My grades. My rules. Deal with it.


56 comments:

  1. I think Dan Harmon is gone.

    Now, switching to my favorite topic of ratings, all three episodes got a 1.3 A18-49 rating, but they weren't identical for other demos. That means there were some folks who didn't watch all three. Oddly, it was the first one that had the oldest audience.

    8:30 Episode
    Median Age: 40.6
    A18-49 Rating: 1.32
    A50+ Rating: 1.1

    9:00 Episode
    Median Age: 34.6
    A18-49 Rating: 1.34
    A50+ rating: .62

    9:30 Episode
    Median Age: 36.2
    A18-49 Rating: 1.34
    A50+ rating: .72

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Man so close to a 1.4 :(

      What's the median age for viewers on Friday nights ? Is there still a sizable chunk of younger viewers ?

      Delete
    2. At least it was on the upside of 1.3 and not like a 1.25.

      Delete
    3. Chuck's median age got older when it moved to Friday by about four years. The season 4 finale had a median of 48 vs. 52 for the season 5 premiere.

      Delete
  2. Great finale, it was crazy fun. I knew Star Burns wasn't dead:) When i saw him i was like "Yes!". Cant wait till next season even though it could be its last, which i hope it isn't. #sixseasonsandamovie !!!

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  3. FUCK !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Harmon is gone and now Chris Mckenna too . What a FUCKING gut punch !

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  4. Fuck you, Sony.

    Fuck you, NBC.

    Dan Harmon was the heart and soul of COMMUNITY. How can you take away the most creative mind of the show (well, the top 2) and think ANYONE ELSE can come in and make it work?

    Fuck that.

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    1. Dan Harmon is a genius no doubt but I think him being an asshole has finally won out of him being a genius. I always feared that with Dan...the studio would put up with him as long as Community ratings were high enough or the show was on the whole well run that they could deal with his assholeness. But he has been over budget, under rated, a lot of writers have left citing him as being incredibly difficult to work with, he has burned his bridges with NBC and Sony and he publicly said fuck you chevy in front of all the cast and crew and in front of Chevys family and the whole world. Dan has become an embarrassment and as much as I love his show and what he has done...can anyone really blame Sony and NBC completely! Yes they are at fault but there is no smoke without fire and they have asked Harnon time and again to compromise and make Community more accessible and he has not and that has cost him. Sony is known to do anythin, anything! To keep it's shows on air for syndication purposes (Rules of Engagement and Till Death) so Dan had to go. I guess Chevy can now say Fuck you Dan Harmon!

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    2. Fuck NBC.

      Fuck Sony.

      AND FUCK YOU MOST OF ALL!

      Thank you for your comment, though.

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    3. Oh and Sony owns Breaking Bad and Justified too....all shows that have show runners that can play nice and get ratings needed for their respective networks and can hold interviews where they behave themselves and do not tell their cast members to go fuck themselves in front of the whole world! Who do not play tape recordings of personal messages by his cast and who know how to respect people on a basic human level. A genius yes, an asshole always.

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    4. "A genius yes, an asshole always."

      So he's just like you... except he's a genius.

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    5. Sorry I posted that last response before I saw your reply. You welcome for the comment...#sixseasonsandamovie!

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    6. I think that is why any company big or small make a concertive effort to hire people who are not only capable of doing a job but are capable of getting along with their collegues and fellow human beings. Things they call soft skills, yes companies rarely push the bounds of awesomeness but they remain stable because everyone is on the same wave length. Dan being a maverick must have been unsettling as hel, he said what he wanted to say without filter, he did whatever he wanted to without filter and I guess the only soft thing about him was his belly. He will find work on HBO or AMC or another network who value genius above the organisation itself.

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    7. I'd rather work for a brilliant tyrant than a asskissing fucktard who makes what we do easily replaceable.

      Those who run networks and studios like a corporate machine are the problem. Not the mad geniuses who ruffle their feathers.

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    8. The upside is you are not creating Modern Family or any other generic comedy, you get an awesome series called Community. Also it must be a source of pride for those who stick it out knowing they are producing something unique and awesome and smart. If Community just had some Emmy wins under it's belt or just any award recognition Dan may have survived. The Vulture article and Sepinwall article say that this is not the first time a genius has left a show and I guess it may not be the last. I will say this for Sony though...they put up with him for 3 years. Whoever owned West Sing put up with Sorkin for 5 I think. Fox kept arrested development for 3 years and Fringe for 5 and NBC has kept this show for 4 and Chuck for 5...evil bastards but they did some things right.

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    9. I started out the week thinking this was inconceivable, but then had several conversations that convinced me otherwise. In just a few days I went from "they can't do that" to expecting them to do it.

      The show will never be the same, but they don't care.

      Business will never change. I thought it might be different in this case, but it wasn't.

      All this talk about social media and fans being much more aware of showrunners and their importance and it didn't make a difference. Extremely disappointing.

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  5. Sony simply pussied out. They can't believe for two seconds that they are going to get to 100 episodes with this show on Friday. So, this is an insane move on their part. Stomach the guy for 13 more episodes and at least retain the genius the show has delivered.

    Not only has the show now lost Harmon, but they also lost ALL of their veteran writers. This is many times worse than what happened to CHUCK in season 4. At least they kept their show runner and writers who knew the characters best. All this show has now is replacements.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Agree. NCIS has gone through 3 or 4 show runners but it is a basic show that does not need much thought and is run on auto pilot...they can keep goin on and on for years. Community will at best get a full season and that will only take it up to 93 episodes. They will need a season 5 of 7 or so episodes so why not just let Community with Dan Harmon get 22 episodes to graduate Jeff and the rest of the class? Why bother doing what they have done. Idiots.

      Delete
    2. Well, COMMUNITY doesn't need 100 to reach syndication but what Sony has said about the new show runners and reaching a wider viewer base (by essentially cutting out all the genius from the show) is to suggest they think they can somehow grow it.

      That's ridiculous.

      This has to be one of the dumbest moves in recent history. Dan Harmon is the show. Everyone else just serves his vision. You can't fake your way through that. You can't even watch every episode 100 times and become a professional fan and then spec-write your way to greatness.

      The show officially died at the end of this season. Whatever is delivered in season 4 is nothing more than fan fiction.

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  6. What I do not get is why do people think this is because of Chevy Chase and Chevy won?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Are you just that out of the loop or do you think the very out-in-the-open spat between Chevy and Dan had NOTHING to do with it?

      Because I can tell you, it definitely had SOMETHING to do with it. Though, maybe not on the level some people think it did. But it is part of it.

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    2. That is what I meant, everyone thinks that Chevy got Dan kicked out of Community. I do not get that at all, yes Chevy is an ego maniac who loves to stir shit up but for fans to say this is all Chevy's fault are wayyyyyy off. This is Sony's final decision pure and simple.

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    3. It's not really that simple. NBC could have also stepped in and tried to keep Harmon on... and lots of other things could have been done. But did Chevy go to Sony or NBC and say "it is either him or me"?

      Doubt it. Chevy isn't all that valued anyway as a member of the cast... nor liked. It comes down to corporate mentality executives thinking that they can do whatever they like whenever they like because they are pussies who can't handle creative genius.

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    4. Since most fans sees Chevy as the least important part of the cast, it's hard to determine what the suits think. I think HGF is right in that the public spat had SOMETHING to do with it.

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  7. I think I'm more concerned now about what the mood will be like on set next year . All the cast minus Chevy have been fiercely loyal and credit everything to Harmon . I know they are professionals , but I'm not going to lie and say that it doesn't concern me to some small degree .

    So Harmon , Goldman , Donnovan , Mckenna , Russos ( were already gone ) .

    If MEGAN GANZ leaves that will be the last straw !!

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    Replies
    1. The thing you should be concerned about is that the show will suck ass because none of the main writers are left. Megan Ganz may have written a couple of excellent episodes, but she is not going to keep this ship running in the right direction.

      The show is dead.

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  8. Mo Ryan has come out and shitted on Sony and NBC! So yay for her for being the first pro to come out and call the shitty executives for being shitty and warning that a shit storm is coming. Comic con is gonna be interesting. The article reminded me of her ire with Fedak back in Chuck season 3. Do not mess with Mo Ryan!

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    1. Mo Ryan is great when she's on your side... and terrible to have against you. She is one of the few entertainment bloggers/journalists out there who seems to have NO FEAR when it comes to pushing show runners, executives, producers et al to answer tough questions.

      The fact that she wrote what she did should make for an exciting few weeks/months.

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  9. Is there any chance what so ever that Sony comes back to Harmon and reinstate him at some point before the season starts ?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Is there a chance there is a god who watches over us and decides our destinies and welcomes us into heaven if we've been kind of good and confessed our sins?

      So, the answer is... highly unlikely. But unlike with god, I guess public scorn could change Sony's opinion. I just don't think this will last for more than a few days. And that's what Sony thinks to, which is why they did it. They figure the majority of COMMUNITY viewers don't even know who Dan Harmon is and if they do, don't care, or don't give two shits about his level of genius and hands-on control of the show.

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    2. Well that goes the same with Lost or Chuck or BSG or Quantum Leap or any show....fans who moan or bitch or complain or threaten boycotts are not considered to be anything but the minority or insignificant tiny masses. These networks are dealing with 100's of millions of dollars they do not give a shit about a couple of online critics or a few angry blogs/bloggers/podcasters/vloggers/etc. I mean....shit....the Chuck people only resolved the will they won't they because they thought they believed at the time (when producing the episodes they did not know Leno would bring NBC to it's knees) they were certain to be cancelled in season 3. They did this even though fans went to bat for them and they still did not care and were willing to screw them ove. I mean yeah thankfully karma came into play and to save their reputations they kept them together but fans always come last when a series is being produced, always last. Which is stupid considering you need them for ratings to survive but whatever.

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    3. "Fans" always think what they want is what EVERYONE wants.

      Online fans who post on forums and blogs and whatever else, are the MINORITY of all show viewers. Not just the minority but the tiniest minority possible. I don't think they even represent 1% of the total viewer base.

      And that is why they shouldn't be listened to by writers.

      That's not to say that the tiny minority can't represent the majority opinion, but studios do their own more scientific internal testing to determine that stuff. And if it doesn't jive with the online opinion, they mostly ignore it.

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  10. I am very upset I spelled "too" as "to".

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  11. Just read an article Dan Harmon wrote for New York Magazine and he talked about the future. In the future he predicts NBC is not a big 4 network but a secondary cable network called the 'Cock', lol. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you or not knowing boundaries, lol. It was a funny as fuck article but you can now see why NBC may have not been rushing to his side in this dispute with Sony.

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  12. Dan Harmon mistreated his employees and some left, he was over budget, he rarely comprimised to make his show more accessible, he wrote and article in the New York Magazine in which he predicted that in the future NBC will be a secondary network and not one of the Big 4, he played voice messages from chevy chase and subsequently leaked them online, he said fuck you in front of his whole cast and crew and probably other guests and Chevys WIFE AND DAUGHTER and he said it multiple times and.,.......

    PEOPE ARE STILL SHITTING ON NBC AND SONY? The companies that gave him the opportunity to have a show on their network and their studio, that takes all the risks financially and reputation wise, who have employees of their own who live and die by the ratings and public images of their products, who have a responsibility to the advertisers and the shareholders and to their brand and to everything and everyone who is connected to them in some way or form. So no I do not have simpathy for this psychopath because he bit the hand that fed him multiple times and they have him three years to turn it around and be better and he refused. I am glad he is gone even if it makes community less of a show. You cannot shit on your employees/employers in public and expect there not to be any consequences that just does not happen.

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    1. This is a job where GENIUS is created, not widgets. Not bricks. GENIUS.

      You can't replace that. It's not like they were replacing a guy who had ideas about how to better transmit data over copper wires. It's not something that ANYONE can do, or do well.

      He created the show. He ran the show with a level of mad genius that has occurred in the business for as long as it has existed. The ONLY reason he is gone while others like him were kept around is because Sony saw an opportunity to do what executives love to do:

      DEMONSTRATE THAT THEY ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN TALENT.

      And they're not. But they are talentless shits who are jealous of people like Dan Harmon. Always have been. And this is the result of his show not delivering the necessary ratings to provide him with what some in the industry call "fuck you power."

      But if you think this (Dan Harmon's behavior) is somehow a unique situation in the business, then you are very unaware of how things work.

      Delete
  13. Normal people make a living . The deranged make history . - Chris Titus

    Dan Harmon was deranged and I'm going to FUCKING miss that guy !!

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    1. YES!

      We talk about this a bit in the latest GOT podcast (toward the end)... and will cover it more in tomorrow's podcast. But well said... or typed... based on what someone else said.

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  14. I guess everything is moot now...he will be back though and I really hope it is for HBO. They have deep pockets and only care about a product that is smart.

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    1. Funnily enough, my plan was to talk about this exact thing on tomorrow's podcast.

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  15. So the Fucktards at SONY just renewed Rules of Engagement for 13 eps next year to get to 100 .

    Will Sony ( those finger banging chicken diddlers ) be as eager to get COMMUNITY to 100 ?

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    1. Sony doesn't have any ability to renew shows. So if you mean will they negotiate a deal with NBC to get to 100? I don't know about that, but I do think they will try very hard to get to 88.

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  16. Netflix will pick it up . If any show could help Netflix , it would be community . As long as its still watchable without Harmon .

    I'd like to see actual numbers of how many people watch it online rather than on tv .

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    1. Netflix is going to have a hard time picking it up when Hulu holds that license right now.

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    2. Then Hulu picks it up . Don't they already charge people for Hulu plus or something or the other ? If that's the case how many more people purchase Hulu plus if that's the only way to get/view new Community eps ?

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    3. You say that like it will just happen because you want it to happen. Nothing in the biz is that easy. You essentially have to create whole new contracts with people.

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    4. Fuck !!

      Just tell me hulu or netflix is going to pick it up for at least a year if NBC cancels it so I can stop wasting your time asking these stupid fucking question lol:)

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    5. We shall see... let's talk in six months. :)

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    6. Deal !

      If any show where going to survive making original episode for a online service like Netflix or Hulu you would have to think Community would be a big draw . Can you at least give me a little hope ? :)

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    7. I would say "I agree" but they fired Dan Harmon... so I don't really care.

      But sure... I could see it happening.

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    8. cool cool cool . I agree with about Harmon . I listened to all of the DVD commentaries recently and I'm just in awe of how much Dan put into the show . It's a real shame he won't be back . Todd VanDerWerff had a comment in an article he wrote about the situation in which he said ...

      " There is no Community without Dan Harmon , but there could be a show called Community that remains pretty good without Dan Harmon . "

      I'm going to take that approach going into next season . The genius may be gone , but perhaps maybe I'll still enjoy the show .

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    9. You will hear more from me on this subject... IN THE NEXT PODCAST!

      Should be out today or tomorrow... depends on when I finish editing it.

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    10. It has been a few days now since news broke of Harmon being fired/not having his contract renewed and only one critic has outrightly called NBC and Sony out, Mo Ryan. A lot of critics have tried to be balanced or have not attacked either Sony or NBC and just it will be disappointing and a show without Harmons vision which makes the show unique...but it will be a good show. You would think more people would be going after Sony and NBC but as you said on your GOT podcast...Sony probably hoped no one would give a shit and in a few weeks not many people other Han diehards will remember or know who Harmon is...sad. Sony got it right sadly, why is there not any more outrage?

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    11. As I said, Mo Ryan is one of the few entertainment writers who behaves like a real journalist. The rest are all embedded members of the media trying to gain favor or not burn bridges.

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    12. The funny thing is Mo Ryan still gets interviews with the top assholey show runners. The amount of times Mo has shit on Mad Men (specifically about child abusing cunt Betty) or when she went off at Fedak in season 3 they still gave her interviews later on and in Chucks case let her moderate a panel. So she is no ass kisser and they still respect her and gives her awards and interviews...that is a lesson fellow as kissing critics (cough*Todd Van Dewerffe*cough*Jace Lacob*cough).

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