30 March, 2012

Review - COMMUNITY 3.13: 'Digital Exploration of Interior Design'

COMMUNITY season 3... is this the best season of a half-hour comedy ever or what?

The showed pulled a CHUCK and did a Subway heavy episode that should have been a paid advertisement. And if Subway did pay them for it, then they are either the coolest company in history, or the biggest bunch of idiots who can't tell when they're being punked.

I'm going with the coolest company in history because no one could be that dense.

Plus, I love their food. I will now accept my free $100 Subway gift card, thank you very much third-party consulting firm that runs their Twitter account.

In this two-part episode, we have several story lines. Let's break them down in a way that makes this article easiest to write.

1. Subway has set up shop in the cafeteria of the school, where Pierce and Shirley were going to run their own sandwich shop. The two oldies volunteer Britta to their cause to bring down the evil corporate bullies.

2. Due to a Greendale bylaw issue, a human being changes his name and status to 'Subway' and attends the school as a student. This is a stroke of genius in writing as it both tackles the legal recognition of corporations as people and the age old question: which came first? My corporate overlords or my feelings?

No? That's not an age old question? Well, it is now.

3. Britta, in her attempts to spy on Subway, falls in love with him when she discovers that the pre-corporate-puppet version of him is her dream man. The two eventually end up on a secret and twisted sexual rendezvous inside Abed's pillow fort. This leads to Subway corporate stepping in and whisking Britta's dearest love away from her.

4. Speaking of which, Abed and Troy wage war when Troy's competing fort of blankets gets closer to a world record, requiring Abed to decide whether to allow his pillow fort to be taken down, or to strike back hard. Vice Dean Laybourne steps in on both ends to try to drive a wedge between the two friends, so he can finally convince Troy to join him in his evil air-conditioning master plan.

5. A lesser story line involves Jeff's attempt to apologize for wronging someone he thinks is dead and Annie's underhanded attempt to make him appreciate her more. When things don't work out the way she wants, she angrily storms off.

6. In the end, Britta is sad; Subway isn't that good looking; Jeff is confused; Pierce is high on ink; Annie still has huge jubblies; and Troy and Abed prepare for an all-out war of the forts as Vice Dean Laybourne plots.

Now, let's get to... QUOTABLES!

Shirley, reading from the Greendale bylaws.
Shirley: 'Any business operating for profit on Greendale's campus, must be at least 51 percent owned by a registered student!'
Britta: That's too bad, dean. I don't recall seeing Subway in my Pre-Menopausal-Post-Feministic-Experiential-Marketing class.
Subway: (appearing) Actually, I'm on the wait-list for the Pre-Men-Post-Fem-Exp-Mark.
Britta: Who are you?
Dean: Gang, meet Greendale's newest student, Subway.
Troy: Your name is Subway?
Subway: Yep. Using a groundbreaking, but surprisingly legal process known as 'Corpo-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... (produces his identification) Subway.

When Shirley and Pierce allude to Britta's sexual looseness as an asset in their attempt to take down Subway, she reacts.
Britta: Okay! This conversation is over! I am not a whore! And, not that I've done the math, but if I were, I'd by the super classy kind that gets flown to Dubai to stay in an underwater hotel!

When Subway stands next to Britta in line for the school cafeteria lunch, she battles his corporate puppetry.
Subway: What do you recommend?
Britta: What's it to you, meat pusher?
Subway: Sounds like you might be a vegetarian. You should try Subway's Veggie Delight.
Britta: You should try reading Orwell's '1984.'
Subway: I have. It's a great book. It really awakened me in high school. I think kids should be forced to read it.
Britta: Me too. Anyway, you're living it. You're a human puppet with big-sandwich's hand up your ass. Is this what you dreamt of being?
Subway: Unfortunately, I'm not allowed to discuss my former life. Or engage in any non-platonic relations, practice religion in public, or eat any non-fresh unhealthy food like that found anywhere outside Subway.
Britta: (referencing the food he just picked out) Why you getting all that?
Subway: I wanted to stand next to you for a moment. It was worth it. Like a good book by Orwell. Or a Veggie Delight.

The Dean tells Troy that his blanket fort is nearing a world record and that only Abed's pillow fort stands in his way.
Dean: Abed will destroy his pillow fort and Troy will expand his blanket fort into the space. Everyone wins! Except Abed. But you know, not everyone can win.
Abed: Is that what you want, Troy? For me to destroy my pillow fort so that you can set your record?
Troy: It is.
Abed: Magnitude! (Magnitude arrives at attention like a dutiful soldier) Evacuate Fort Abed and prepare for self-destruct.
Magnitude: Sir?!
Abed: Do it. We're done here.
Magnitude: Pop-pop, captain.

If I had to rate this episode, and the Greendale bylaws say I do, then I'd give it:

95 out of 100

The surprisingly subversive nature of the Subway story line really elevated the quality of this episode for me. Plus, the secondary plot-elements (or was the fort building the main and the Subway the secondary) made for a deep and interesting reflection of the strength of friendship versus the need for individuals to declare themselves. I cannot wait for next week's episode.

So, what did you think? Comment below.... or die trying.


  1. I can't recall a product placement as imbedded in the plot as this one was. Pure genius.

    Gonna buy a sandwich today for lunch.

  2. "yahoo do yo think I am ? e . I lived in NEW YORK ! "

    " you never lived anywhere . You're a weapon designed for sex ! "


  3. Looks like Chevy has finally started another fight...it was bound to happen. According to various sources at Deadline and an interview Chase did with Huffington Post...Chase and Dan Harmon are locked in a bitter feud.

    (1) http://www.deadline.com/2012/03/chevy-chase-in-feud-with-community-creator-dan-harmon/

    (2) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/31/community-chevy-chase_n_1393823.html

    Apparently Chase did not want to do a scene on the final day of shooting and so Dan Harmon at the season 3 wrap party stood up and said Fuck you Chevy Chase and tried to get everyone else to say Fuck you Chevy too. Chevy left a message which Dan Harmon shared cursing him for being such a dick infront of his wife and daughter and basically two crazy ass nutjobs are getting down and dirty.

    I have heard that Chevy can be an asshole and if you read Dan Harmons interview with the AV Club he can be an absolute bastard too and he drinks like an alcoholic and has major mood swings where a bad note session with the studio and network will have him in his car crying wondering if he can still continue.

    So two narcasists at it and the blow out will be nasty...


    This is all a publicity stunt and they are just trying to drum up ratings for a definate chance at season 4. Who know? This is Hollywood after all!

    1. I'm more disappointed in Dan Harmon than Chevy.

      Everyone knows Chevy's a dick. But Harmon doing that in front of his family? That's just... fucked up. Hell, doing that in front of the crew is fucked up.