Culture

“Community” review: “Bondage and Beta Male Sexuality”

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Troy and Abed were such a tight-knit pair, so it comes as no surprise that despite the study group and whatever relationship he has with the coat check girl or whomever since Troy left, there still may be some adjustments for Abed to get used to.

There was some nice poignancy in this episode with him all alone on his way to see the Kickpuncher reboot with Troy, though if it’s anything like what critics have said about the RoboCop reboot, he’s going to be sorely disappointed. There haven’t been a lot of characters like Abed on TV. His social awkwardness and Asperger’s tendencies have always been a source of both great comic and emotional moments. The study group has always been sensitive and careful about “breaking his brain,” so to speak. Britta creating the “clones” in the final Troy episode is a good recent example of this.

Abed’s bonding and growth with would-be duck cartoonist Hickey was good therapy for both. Hickey is the type of character you’d expect to not jive with Abed’s behavior, but the gruff professor turns out to be a little sensitive himself. I’m not sure how the sometimes fragile Abed would’ve reacted a few years ago to getting handcuffed to a file cabinet and missing a hotly anticipated action film. But here, he turns Hickey’s punishment the other way by poking him about his duck cartoons. The harsh truths about Abed needing to accept and deal with the consequences of his actions (and being spoiled and coddled) is probably something Shirley, Annie, Jeff, and Britta would be hard-pressed to tell him. But it may end up being just what he and Hickey needed, as the two are now film writing partners.

Chang dealing with the “ghost” janitor/audience was very silly, but very funny. It provided nice little digs at one-person, black box theater shows (some of them do sound like just a guy yelling at his grandma on the phone) and M. Night Shyamalan movies.

And Duncan’s initially selfish pursuit of banging Britta with help from Jeff was a nice use of John Oliver and showed a different side of the character. He’s always been a welcome source of fake Brit-isms and overall humor (Dane Cook insults never go stale). But Duncan rightly not taking advantage of a weepy, vulnerable Britta after being dissed by her ex-activist friends was good development for him. Plus, his choice leads to him defining his friendship with Jeff, who’s now re-smitten with Britta. Better her than Annie. Just two study room scenes for her and Shirley, by the way. But the time needed to serve everyone else didn’t hurt things for this good, solid episode.