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Community “App Development and Condiments” Review (5×08)

6 Mar

5x08_Promo_Picture_(3)I give this episode 4.5 MeowMeowBeenz.

Community can still bring it with the concept episodes, and “App Development and Condiments” takes that concept and runs with it, crafting a wildly entertaining 22 minutes of television. This is just plain fun.

The episode is certainly overstuffed, as it attempts to provide social commentary on whatever seems to come up; admittedly, this could use a few extra minutes to let the plot breathe a bit. However, the concept alone is already infectious, grabbing hold of the audience the same way MeowMeowBeenz grabs hold of the school. The show throws itself headfirst into this idea, and man, does it pay off.

As merely a vessel for social commentary, the episode’s still fairly effective. There are a plethora of things that are said here, and while a lot of it comes across as flat, a lot of it resonates. I especially like how identity ties into all of this, how who we are online is perhaps solely modeled by a number, a number that is manipulated by public opinion. I mean, hell, even as I’m writing this review, I’m blocking out certain things I don’t want you guys to know; online, you don’t get the full me.

Of course, this isn’t anything that hasn’t been said before, but where Community is unique is how the concept models itself around the characters, rather than the other way around. I like the relationship between Jeff and Shirley here, even given the way the conflict is manufactured; we haven’t had a good Jeff-Shirley storyline in a while, so I’m happy to see one now.

Yet, even though the episode explores various character dynamics, none works best than what’s done with Britta. This is a wonderful episode for her, continuing the season’s stripping of the “WORST” association and the show’s penchant for really taking her seriously now. Her arc ties into the larger theme of this episode–how easy it is to get caught up in a wave of ratings and artificiality–by detailing the fact that people will only listen to her if she has mustard on her face. It’s a nice, subtle storyline, and I love it.

Ultimately, the episode can get caught up in the concept a bit too much, but that’s also a benefit. This is a fun, engaging twenty minutes that’s all about the MeowMeowBeenz.

GRADE: A-

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-“Women are objects.” -Jeff Winger life lesson

-“My penis definitely does not need enlarging.” Perfect delivery by McHale there.

-Is this Community-“The Reddit Episode”?

-That’s Mitchell Hurwitz, creator of Arrested Development, as Koogler. He is an absolute delight here, and I hope we can see him again at some point. I doubt it, though.

-“I’m a security guard. Weapons are my weapons.”

-Everything’s wrapped up in this episode a bit too easily. Like I mentioned, this could use a longer running time.

-That’s Brian Posehn and Steve Agee at the beginning.

-The episode is also paying homage to various science fiction movies like Zardoz and Logan’s Run.

-Joel McHale is fantastic in this episode, especially in the talent show scene; although everything he says makes no sense, his enthusiasm and the crowd’s reactions make that a hilarious sequence.

Photo credit: NBC, Community

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