'30 Rock' and 'Community' both take walks down memory lane: Who did it better?
30 Rock celebrated 100 episodes with gas-induced hallucinations, flashbacks, and bouts of nostalgia last night. Considering there are five seasons of material to take from and millions upon millions of quoteables, I loved hearing the classic Donaghy logic (“It’s after six. What are we, farmers?”), revisiting vintage Crazy Tracy (“I am a Jedi!”), and even got excited at the sight of dumb Dennis Duffy. But its earlier Thursday night sibling may have delivered a smarter approach to the hackneyed TV trope.
Community defied convention yet again, by creating a clip show out of entirely new scenes posed as memories each character had from earlier episodes this season. The visit to the past was triggered by the group’s 20th anthropology diorama (of themselves making their 19th diorama), and the random objects discovered by Annie’s Boobs. It’s been a hard year (Pierce is addicted to pills, Shirley got inadvertently knocked up, and Chang’s practically in the study group!) so this mundane task and random assortment of junk stirred up old feelings and brought up new revelations (Britta and Jeff have been secretly hooking up for months, Annie is still hung up on the “Annie” of it all with Jeff, Abed and Pierce share longing glances?) as seen through perfectly executed additional scenes we’d never seen before. But it was Dean Pelton’s individual memories that stole the show, including his multitude of elaborate costumed entrances and irrelevant news (“Greendale’s music department is flat baroque! It’s time to Tina Tuner the clocks ahead!”) and his own narrated cartoon that ran during the tag. Check it out below:
Which piping hot batch of memory pops was more to your liking last night, PopWatchers? Choosing between 30 Rock and Community is like choosing between chicken fingers and night cheese; each episode wasn’t a traditional clip show per se, but which would you choose to revisit again?
Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, and Tracy Morgan star in the Emmy-winning comedy. You want to go to there.