08 March, 2013

Review - COMMUNITY 4.05: 'Cooperative Escapism in Familial Relations'

I am writing this review the day after and that means I know that it pulled in a solid Nielsen rating, up against the results show for AMERICAN IDOL and a new episode of THE BIG BANG THEORY.

If something changes in the later updated ratings, I will maybe note it here.

Now, let's get to the episode.

Since I am a bit pressed for time, let me just quickly note what worked and what didn't work.

What Did Not Work
About 90% of Shirley's party felt like tired writing.


Abed had only rare occasions of feeling like the character we've come to know in previous seasons. His character has taken the biggest hit since the ousting of Dan Harmon, likely because Harmon took such special care and put so much soul into the character. Not the current show runners nor their writers seem to have figured out how to make it work.

What Did Work
Jeff and Britta were excellent in this one. Had they just made it about them, I'd have given it a very high score. The writing felt alive and fresh.

Jeff's meeting with his dad, their interaction, and even his half-brother all worked and didn't feel forced (well, maybe one scene where Jeff expresses his emotions felt a bit forced but I don't want to nitpick too much since I loved the rest of it).

While most of Shirley's party didn't work and the "Shawshank" bit failed, the payoff at the end did make me laugh.

Jeff has romantic chemistry with all the ladies. Troy doesn't. This episode just accentuated the lack of chemistry between Troy and Britta.

If I had to rate this one, and Britta's Britta says I do, then I'd give it:

77 out of 100

After subtracting 50 Dan-Harmon-is-god points, it is a 27 out of 100.

Had the other half of the episode not bombed, it could have been a 90+.


  1. I'm finding it harder to get a handle on what's going on with the ratings until I see the Live + 7's. The last numbers I have (2/14 ep)were a 0.9 Live, 1.2 Live + Same Day, 1.8 Live + 7. Half of the people who watch timeshift it.

    It is always possible that because there were so many reruns later in the night, people who normally don't watch until another day, watched last night. We don't know if the show really gained viewers vs. the same viewers watching sooner.

  2. I did really like the Jeff, Britta and his Dad stuff. That was pretty well done. I agree that the Shawshank stuff fell flat.

    And Jeff does have good romantic chemistry with pretty much every lady on the show. From the start of the whole Troy/Britta thing, i never really got that.

  3. The fact that Troy and Britta have not kissed this season really baffles the mind. Ascwith Chuck, you cannot force chemistry, otherwise you come accross as hacks, like Fedak. What were they thinking with shaw and Sarah? Ugh, fucking stupid dumb show runners who have n idea.

  4. I think Britta had great sexual chemistry with Jeff's brother ;-) I like it when she and Jeff bicker and tease each other, but I hope they don't go back to being a couple, because they are awful and boring together. Much like Troy and Britta.

    In fact, they should stop with the romantic pairings altogether, because they are all terrible in this show. The only pairing I ever kind of liked was that of Annie and Abed's impersonations.

    As for the episode, it gets a big MEH from me. The best part was Jeff confronting his father. I didn't find it particularly entertaining, funny or good, but it was watchable compared to the story (to call it something) at Shirley's house. It did have some semblance of a plot and the writers squeezed whatever little they had in their brains to tell it and it seems there wasn't anything left for Shirley's Thanksgiving. What the hell was that shit?