Well. It was a long, hard, human-being-less winter. Without new episodes since Christmas, we hardcore sitcom nerds (we are around) have spent Community’s unwelcome hiatus obsessing over past episodes, commenting the shit out of any weird mash-up, and sniffing around the internet like some starving vent monkey that survives only on Annie gifs, slightly NSFW fan art, and cancellation rumors, and then crapping ourselves into a stupor each time NBC released some puny webisode. But at last, Community is back.
Shirley’s ex-husband Andre (Theo Huxtable) proposes again, and the study group kicks into wedding preparations. Unsurprisingly, Jeff and Britta are anti-wedding (or, as Jeff puts it, “Britta is pro-anti”). They have to have the wedding in the library because Shirley’s church does not condone 2nd weddings (or calico cats), and when Shirley tries to ditch out on a sandwich business opportunity with Pierce, Britta steps in to deal with wedding crap. Shirley asks Jeff to give a toast, and for everybody to be on their most normal behavior. Not wanting to disappoint, Troy and Abed decide to drain all of their weirdness in the Dreamatorium. And it works:
More Community, and 30 Rock, below the cut!
Meanwhile, Jeff struggles to write a wedding toast because he believes marriage to be bullshit. Annie tells him to look into his heart for inspiration, and there he finds scotch.
And Britta, despite her horrible attitude (and tendency to Britta things), turns out to be a gifted wedding planner, admitting that she comes from a long line of wives and mothers. (Annie: “Many do…”) Shirley is late to the rehearsal because she and Pierce are pitching their sandwich business to Dean Pelton, which pisses off Andre. Jeff and Britta drunkenly rant against the institution of marriage while confessing their deeply rooted fears, nearly getting married themselves. Normal Troy and Normal Abed quietly make an observation the sums up that situation, but also this whole goddamn show:
Shirley and Andre get over their stuff and get married at the rehearsal to save $70. When Abed is dancing like a regular guy, Troy sees the monkey pop out of the heating duct and realizes that the charade is not working, pleading to Abed: “WE NEED TO BE WEIRD.” Normal Abed, who is possibly the most unsettlingly bizarre variation on this character yet, says no. “This is hardly the time.” Troy sees the opportunity to invoke Abed’s true weirdness: “Or is it hardly…the space?” GAH. LOVE. I almost peed my pants.
Relating to nothing else, the episode ends with Pierce trying to serve himself frozen yogurt. The 30 quiet seconds he’s given alone on-screen might be the funniest Chevy Chase has been all year. It’s hard to see him as anything but an accidentally funny aging douchebag, but I guess he does have his moments.
SO. How did this episode stack up against our frothing-at-the-mouth-ingly high expectations? I say: OMG SO GREAT! And — holy shit — people watched it! There is no doubt that we TV-obsessed internet dorks are to be thanked for its triumphant return. People who normally would watch episodes online at a later date couldn't wait a second longer than they had to, and suffered through commercials to see it air live. But what happens now? Will the show's ratings stay up? Will it get too popular, play to the middle, deviating from what we consider perfect, in a lame attempt to draw in the dummies who should be watching The Big Bang Theory and by doing so become something we can't stand behind? I totally doubt it. The rest of the episodes of the season were shot when they didn't even know if they were going to be aired at all, so I'm guessing that some way weirder shit is on its way. And I cannot. Fucking. Wait. And hello internet, would you like to share your thoughts? I bet you do!
This show was also on last night. Too bad I used so many words to ramble about Community, because it was a fucking awesome episode! Dennis Duffy shows up at Liz's house on St. Patrick's Day, which she is trying to avoid, and causes all sorts of problems for her and Criss. Jack gets involved in a symbolic game of Colonizers of Malar with the writers. New page Hazel fucks up the ego balance between Tracy and Jenna while they're hosting a parade. Liz is eventually able to tell Criss she loves him, and Tracy points out that people like to see others' growth. This show has been doing a lot of winking at the audience this season. More than usual, which was already a lot. It's funny, though.
Andy and Erin's love affair is trying and failing to capture the sweetness of original Pam and Jim. Catherine Tate is a badass.
Up All Night
Okay, I doubt you're even reading this post anymore. Just go to the comments.