Published on May 27th, 2015 | by Vyctoria Hart5
Community Season 6 Episode 12 “Wedding Videography” Review
The penultimate episode of season 6 of Community kicks off with Garrett (Erik Charles Neilsen) proposing to this girlfriend of sixteen months, two weeks and four days via a surprise PowerPoint presentation in Jeff’s law class. Much to Jeff’s surprise the attractive Stacy (played by Community creator Dan Harmon’s wife, the podcaster Erin McGathy) says yes. Abed is on hand to film the proposal, as ‘proof’ for Garrett’s family, and then goes on to frame the rest of the episode in a documentary format. Britta explains “[f]or those of you who don’t know Garrett, he’s a guy we don’t really know that we’ve known for like six years at school. The funny looking guy.” This rather mean treatment of the main subject continues through much of the documentary as the committee gather in Annie, Abed and Britta’s apartment to get ready for the upcoming wedding. Annie has invited Frankie to get ready with the other girls but the older woman is clearly very uncomfortable, having no concept of small talk or how to hold a normal, girly conversation. Frankie is so bad at social situations that she was once, literally, stoned for being so off-putting. When the boys burst into the apartment and chivy the girls along with their drinks because they’re going to be late, Annie reveals that she padded the time to ensure they would be on time and there is no need to rush. Whilst Abed films Jeff doing a piece to camera on the nature of the group’s dynamic (Jeff calls it ‘synergy’, Frankie calls it ‘co-dependence’) the rest of the group play a mean spirited impression game called “Celebrity Garrett Wedding” in which one person impersonates Garrett and the other a celebrity picked out of a hat. The game is blessedly cut short by the realisation that no one has kept an eye on the time and they genuinely are late for the wedding.
As Todd officiates over the wedding with a speech about the possibility that he or any other guest might be God, and the couple exchange rather uncomfortable vows (including Garrett criticising Stacy’s choice of words), the group totally fail at making a stealthy arrival. Between Annie and Britta trying to out shush each other and Chang falling over a hedge, breaking a chair and laughing loudly at Garrett, all eyes are on them. When the party moves to the wedding reception Garrett’s mom (O-Lan Jones – Edward Scissorhands, The X Files) confronts the committee about their behaviour and asks them to get some perspective and not ruin the entire night for everyone- “I don’t want my son to kill himself so do what you gotta do”. Horrified by this the group agree to split up and endeavour to be the best wedding guests ever. Britta takes to the dancefloor alone, becoming more and more extravagant. Annie becomes too helpful, taking Stacy’s wheelchair-bound MeeMaw around the dancefloor, then panicking that she hasn’t done the same for Garrett’s Great Aunt Polly. Elroy reveals to Abed that between 2006 and 2009 he was an addict, and in trying to be a good guest he has relapsed- he’s addicted to encouraging white people. A hold over from his time in the IT industry Elroy has found that white people are so negative to themselves and each other that they will love anyone who encourages the smallest thing, from the way they spoon up meatballs, to having a drink in a glass. This soon gets out of hand and results in Elroy singing karaoke to a random guy about his choice of trousers.
When Garrett’s older brother Bones (also played by Erik Charles Neilsen) becomes too drunk and rowdy to give the best man’s speech Jeff decides that this is the perfect opportunity to redeem the group with his brilliant oratory skills. Given that he will be following a maid of honour speech describing the bride’s first sexual encounter, this doesn’t seem like a difficult ask. At first things go well, Jeff is snarky but funny, he points out that the group attended the wedding as outsiders but have come to know the two families, or ‘clans of outsiders’ as he calls them. He points out all the things they have in common, people on each side who have shared interests in cars and photography, and the fact that they both have 90 year old relatives, MeeMaw and Great Aunt Polly, who grew up in the same town. He invites the bride and groom to bring these two women out onto the dancefloor to meet each other. But they aren’t two different women. They’re the same woman. And thus, Jeff reveals that Garrett and Stacy are actually cousins. In the the ringing silence Garrett’s mom faints. A short while later the group is gather around a table at the much subdued reception, arguing about what they’ve done in ruining the wedding and who is the worst. They conclude that they are really the worst when they’re together, with the Dean saying – “I was a great Dean before you guys [HA!} you can’t disprove it!” As the group comes to the conclusion that they should disband, Chang disagrees. He feels he is at his best when he’s with them, and whilst some take this as proof that they definitely should disband, Chang decides to take action. When Garrett takes the microphone to announce that the wedding is over, and that whilst first cousins can legally marry in Colorado their families feel that they should get an annulment instead, Chang steps forward. He points out that their family is so screwed up they thought they were two families and Garrett shouldn’t have to take one for this crappy team. “It’s you against the world, you won’t win, but you get to make your move, not them.” If they want to be married then they should stay married. Garrett drops to one knee and asks Stacy to be his “legally incestuous wife”, when she says yes he tells the guests to “stay and eat cake or go to hell!”
It was nice to see the background characters getting a bit more love than usual, and for the main characters to finally get their comeuppance for their pretty appalling treatment of Garrett most of the time. Each of the individual bits to camera where a great opportunity to see more of the characters internal thinking, especially the newer Elroy and Frankie, who didn’t entirely understand what Abed was doing but went with it anyway. Keith David definitely needs to sing more on the show, probably not about encouraging white people though. The reveal about the couple’s familial relationship was a bit obvious as soon as Frankie and Annie started arguing about who was who after Annie danced with MeeMaw but the way Chang handled it was unexpected, he spends so much time unable to function that it’s extra effective and satisfying when he manages to be competent. The faux behind-the-scenes footage at the end of the episode, with the Community writing team placing the blame for the “season six incest episode” squarely at the fictional feet of writing assistant Briggs Hatton (Superegos podcaster Matt Gourley), was a funny touch. However I’m not sure whether this was deemed necessary since some states have prohibited or outright criminalised first cousin marriage, despite the practice being legal in much of the rest of the world. Perhaps I’m over thinking it, given that the episode also involved another scatological Britta backgroundscene and the revelation that Abed can only tell Annie and Frankie apart by smelling their hair. What other bizarre things will be revealed in next weeks season finale?