Television

Published on June 3rd, 2015 | by Vyctoria Hart

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Community Season 6 Episode 13 “The Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television” Review

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“School’s out, bitches!” and thus Leonard signals the beginning of the end for Season 6 of Community. Classes are over, the halls are empty, the school has some how survived another year and Frankie just won’t let the final meeting of the year end. She wants to rename the Save Greendale committee, since it’s done being saved, but after everyone votes for the name “Nipple Dippers” and the Dean shows up wearing every costume he owns all at once, it’s clearly time to repair to the bar.

Pitches

As Elroy leaves for a new job with LinkedIn and Annie announces that she has an internship with the FBI, Frankie asks Abed what he thinks will happened in the “seventh series”. Abed says it doesn’t matter, a few shows might last that long but not ones that are haemorrhaging characters because it’s impossible to maintain the original set up. Abed explains that in their case the set up is: Jeff – cynical one liners; Britta – absurd reactions; Annie – focus on the A story; Shirley – doesn’t trust A stories; Chang – “lizard, fire hydrant, Obama, CHAAAAANG!”; Frankie – voice of reason; and the Dean is just standing around in an adult diaper. If they vary from that they’ll be considered weird and if they stick with it they’ll be boring. The Dean disagrees, insisting that they could just be happy and grow together. Much to Jeff’s annoyance Abed challenges Craig to pitch it properly, triggering a chain of pitches from each characters. Craig’s pitch includes the innovation of having three black characters (though the execution is both racist and terrible) and Jeff with his shirt off. On the other hand Chang wants to add a horrifying, magical, ice cube man character to the committee. Jeff sees a nightmare vision of being trapped with Leonard and Garrett holding hands, ruled over by Seth Green in bunny ears, while Todd is his usual creepy self (“lots of things can be forced, like a human head through a 6” drain pipe”) . He soon realises that this will be his fate if everyone eventually leaves him behind. Suddenly Jeff is really enthusiastic for a seventh season and any situation he can contrive to keep the group together. So he pitches a plot where Britta’s parents are murdered (by Chang) and Annie has to return to solve the mystery. Britta obviously disagrees and pitches the idea of the school becoming a terrorist cell working against social injustice from international waters, complete with a depressing Leonard Cohen-esque version of the theme song. Every pitch has included the Dean still in a diaper, except Britta who would rather he become a transexual and forget all the ‘other stuff’ going on in his personality. Craig declares that he’d prefer the diaper thankyouverymuch. Finally Frankie fails at something, coming up with a pitch consisting entirely of learning things and Chang farting.

AnnieJeff

Television should be a comfort, Abed says, it should be joyful, effortless and fun. It should be ok for it to have a bad day, or to phone in an episode. It should also be ok to get on a boat with Levar Burton and never come back, as Troy did in season five. Otherwise what’s the point? Jeff thinks he has an ‘effortless’ solution – Abed, Chang and Annie become teachers, Britta can be the school psychiatrist, Jeff can be the Dean with Craig taking lessons in the art of being Dean. Unsurprisingly Craig is ok with this demotion if it means Jeff will order him around. Frankie would have to admit to being a lesbian though, to justify the fact that she hasn’t hit on Jeff yet. Abed says its all irrelevant, Jeff needs to stop clinging to #sixseasonandamovie because Abed is going to LA to work in television. Upset, Jeff leaves the bar for the committee room, first envisioning strangling endless Abed clones; then the ideal future he’d dreamed of for him and Annie, complete with tow-haired toddler and maybe a dog. However although that’s what he wants he realises he has no idea what Annie wants. Fortunately she’s followed him from the bar. She wants to grow up, he wants to be young again. He’s let her go in his mind, but not in his heart, regardless she’s still leaving. They share a bittersweet kiss only to be interrupted but the group one last time. They say goodbye to the committee room and Frankie encourages everyone to imagine their own perfect season seven, don’t tell anyone, don’t cut to it and it might just come true. Jeff’s involved a collection of identical hot redheads, so that won’t be happening, sorry Jeff! After a final group hug and surprise revelation from Chang, all that remains is the leaving montage and an unexpectedly dark spoof advert for Community: The Board Game.

ChangShout

So, here it ends. A shorter series than normal due to the move to Yahoo, but still a pretty good one, better than the fourth season but not quite as good as the fifth. The loss of so many well loved characters has taken it’s toll, though the brief cameo from Yvette Nicole Brown offers some hope for Shirley’s return in future. I personally enjoyed the new characters of Elroy and Frankie, but the former suffered from not having a clear role in the group and the latter was a little too similar to Annie rather than replacing the elements that were already lost. Frankie functioned mostly to keep everyone grounded and whilst I understand that the realistic approach was intention, it wasn’t as enjoyable at the weirdness of season five. The standout episodes this season were all the bizarre ones, even if the insanity of the VR system and the cheap sci-fi movie were framed in real world situations, the paintball episode was firmly rooted in the weird. The progress with bringing the background characters forward was nice and whilst I’m not sure I’d want Garrett in the main cast he’s an enjoyable regular, similar Todd is a little too frightening to see up close too often. The episode enders – Portuguese Gremlins, The Butcher and the Baker, Chang’s Karate Kid, this weeks existential angst – have been the best elements of the season as a whole and I was hoping that this episode might include more of this vibe in the various season seven pitches. Sadly the ideas weren’t as bizarre as they could have been, though I may never forget the sight of Craig Pelton in diaper! I hope that the viewing figures and audience feedback might give them the confidence to do something exciting next. Season seven, maybe not, as Annie says that’s out of our hands, but #andamovie? Maybe they can stretch to that. Here’s hoping.

Vyctoria Hart

Vyctoria Hart

Steampunk illustrator, disabled cosplayer, cat wrangler, maker of terrible puns. I draw under the name of Phantoms Siren.
Vyctoria Hart

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