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'Community' recap: Touchdown!

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community_lYes! Community‘s sixth episode, titled “Football, Feminism, and You,” was a solid success from beginning to end. Interestingly, the show now seems to be afflicted with the Star Trek curse; that is, its even-numbered episodes trump the odd-numbered ones. Of course, Abed would say that the Trek curse is no longer relevant after the misery of Nemesis and the victory of J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek. Nevertheless, I made my point. So on to last night’s show, which I’m pretty confident in calling Community‘s best so far.

The best scene: For the three or so minutes that Jeff and Troy were on the school’s football field, Community was on a flat-out roll, serving up some of the sharpest writing on any program this year. First, Jeff had to convince Troy to visit the field. “Maybe you and I should go check out the Greendale Thunderdome,” Jeff said. Cut to a football stadium so pathetic it might as well be used for soccer. Jeff reassured Troy: “The dome arrives later. Comes with thunder.” Jeff then continued his attempt to persuade Troy to join Greendale’s team, which led to this marvelous tennis-match of an exchange:

Jeff: I’m saying you’re a football player! It’s in your blood.

Troy: That’s racist.

Jeff: Your soul?

Troy: That’s racist.

Jeff: Your… eyes?

Troy: That’s gay.

Jeff: That’s homophobic.

Troy: That’s black.

Jeff: That’s racist.

Troy: Damn!

I have to give credit to Joel McHale, who delivered each of Jeff’s juicy jokes with the theatrical conviction of another Joel — Joel Osteen. “The scoreboard lights up,” Jeff exclaimed. “There will be a scoreboard there,” he adds upon noticing the absence of one. When Troy reminded Jeff that Annie was against the whole football idea, Jeff countered: “Annie said Benjamin Button was compelling.” Zing! And then Troy asked Jeff how he knew his nickname was T-Bone. “Because you’re a football player and your name begins with T,” he revealed.

The best line: Annie was quizzing Troy for an astronomy exam. “What does a star turn into after it collapses?” she asked. Jeff strolls in with the answer: “A movie of the week.”

The second-best line: Dean Pelton and Pierce were attempting to design a school mascot that was as “ethnically neutral” as possible. Jeff noticed many tiny photos of Seal on the deal’s wall. “Is that Seal?” Jeff said. Dean Pelton responded: “That is our human color wheel. It goes from Seal to Seal’s teeth.”

Troy’s cathartic realization of the day: “I know I ended up here (at Greendale) because things weren’t that great out there,” Troy explained to Jeff. “You should try accepting where you’re at, man.” That was an unexpectedly wise and contemplative moment for such a quickly paced comedy. And it’s true — we often fantasize about some ideal life we could be leading while neglecting to appreciate the life we’re experiencing right now.

Britta’s cathartic realization of the day: “I peed alone my whole life!”

PopWatchers, were you as smitten with last night’s episode as I was? What did you think of Abed’s self-conscious decision to “lay low” for the show? And, ladies, is the women’s restroom truly this sacred place where all of your problems get solved?

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