Links to Dan Harmon’s Season 6 Communitary

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I still haven’t re-watched every Community Season 6 episode with the addition of Dan Harmon’s commentary tracks, so I decided to make a post with some handy-dandy links for easy access.

1. “Ladders
2. “Lawnmower Maintenance and Postnatal Care
3. “Basic Crisis Room Decorum
4. “Queer Studies and Advanced Waxing
5. “Laws of Robotics and Party Rights
6. “Basic Email Security
7. “Advanced Safety Features
8. “Intro to Recycled Cinema
9. “Grifting 101
10. “Basic RV Repair and Palmistry
11. “Modern Espionage
12. “Wedding Videography
13. “Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television

Community 6.13: “Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television”

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Community, “Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television” (CREDIT: Yahoo! Screen)

Even if there ends up being a movie or a season 7, I’ll still consider this one of the best series finales of all time.

This review was originally posted on Starpulse in June 2015.

“You saved my life, and changed it forever.”

Just as Jeff Winger was irrevocably changed by his friends forcing their way into his life, so too have “Community” fans been profoundly affected by this deeply personal show. This program and its lead character have always been marked by a push-pull between cynicism and sincerity. The guy who made a fake study group just to sleep with someone now cares so much that he cannot let go of the people he met through it. The sitcom that was so distrustful of institutions and deconstructive of all conventions ended the season (and possibly series) with the most heartfelt message from its creator about how much his audience has meant to him.

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Community 6.11: “Modern Espionage”

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Community, “Modern Espionage” (CREDIT: Yahoo! Screen)

This review was originally posted on Starpulse in May 2015.

“Do you try to evolve, or do you try to know who you are?” Season 1 ended with Jeff facing this dilemma. As the years have gone on, this issue has come to define his show as a whole. Season 6 has brought this conflict to a head. Do you try to evolve beyond paintball, or do you try to know who you are and recapture your original homage episode glory?

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Community 6.10: “Basic RV Repair and Palmistry”

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Community, “Basic RV Repair and Palmistry” (CREDIT: Yahoo! Screen)

This review was originally posted on Starpulse in May 2015.

It is quite the challenge to make a good sitcom episode based around boredom. But that was what Abed – and by extension, “Community” – was attempting to create for this road trip gone awry. He knows the difference between real life and TV, and when he has blended the two, he has done so in a way that felt natural, that is, as natural for someone as odd as him. But imposing explanatory flashbacks onto his actual reality is in physically impossible territory.

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Community 6.9: “Grifting 101”

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Community, “Grifting 101” (CREDIT: Yahoo! Screen)

This review was originally posted on Starpulse in May 2015.

“Grifting 101” is the first fully themed episode of “Community” Season 6. The typical Greendale shenanigans have been present this year, but not quite in a way that has overwhelmed everything for a half hour. The pop cultural references have also been there, of course. Just last week, “Intro to Recycled Cinema” took inspiration from “Star Wars” and its schlocky knockoffs, but it was not a full-on pastiche. Greendale was making a space movie, but it had not become a space movie. “Grifting 101” actually was a con man story that purposely mimicked the genre’s tropes. The elements lifted from “The Sting” – the hand-drawn chapter title shots and the ragtime version of the theme song – ensured that this is still a show that can be ambitious in this fashion.

 

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Community 6.8: “Intro to Recycled Cinema”

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Community, “Intro to Recycled Cinema” (CREDIT: Yahoo! Screen)

This review was originally posted on Starpulse in April 2015.

Greendale is starting to feel a bit like purgatory. It is not impossible to escape from (Troy is sailing around the world, Shirley moved on to assist a butcher, even Pierce got to die), but the remaining members of the Greendale 7 are here longer than they originally meant to be. And most of them do not appear visibly conflicted over their lack of definitive academic endpoints. Greendale was never going to give Abed the artistic freedom he desired in the move to capitalize on Chang’s newfound fame, and it was unreasonable for him to expect it to. But it is a comfortable place, and it may be time for Abed to find a way out and not be so comfortable anymore.

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Community 6.7: “Advanced Safety Features”

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Community, “Advanced Safety Features” (CREDIT: Yahoo! Screen)

This review was originally posted on Starpulse in April 2015.

Just one episode ago saw the Greendale crew at its nastiest.  That conflict was not resolved so much as brushed aside.  So it was quite the contrast to have the very next episode focused so strongly about everyone working to like each other.  But maybe that need to be liked explained why everyone was so upset about the airing of the hurtful secrets.  Or maybe everyone just learned a lesson about vulnerability really quickly.  Either way, “Advanced Safety Features” showed these people more convinced than ever about the value of vulnerability.

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Community 6.5: “Laws of Robotics and Party Rights”

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Community, “Laws of Robotics and Party Rights” (CREDIT: Yahoo! Screen)

This review was originally posted on Starpulse in April 2015.

Jeff Winger has mostly accepted that he has a big heart, and he has made peace with the fact that he is at Greendale indefinitely.  But there is a difference between accepting your station and actually doing the work of getting through that station.  Jeff may have learned to open his heart up just a little bit during his time at school, but when it comes to work, he still prefers going to great lengths to take the easy way out.  It would take something unusual to knock him out of this routine.  A convict attending his Law class via telepresence robot proved to be just the right unexpected development to touch several of his nerves and really set him off.

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Community 6.4: “Queer Studies and Advanced Waxing”

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Community, “Queer Studies and Advanced Waxing” (CREDIT: YouTube Screenshot)

This review was originally posted on Starpulse in March 2015.

“Queer Studies and Advanced Waxing” took the most advantage of Season 6’s lack of running time restrictions thus far, clocking in just under 31 minutes.  This made sense, insofar as there were three plots and only two of them were even tangentially related.  The structure of a typical modern network sitcom episode is generally not long enough to fully conclude the normal amount of three storylines.  “Community” was not being indulgent here so much as it was just finding the necessary legroom.  But even though each plot had enough space, it was not clear why Chang’s performance as Mr. Miyagi, the Dean joining the school board, and protecting a bird’s nest as IT work all needed to be in the same episode.

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