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Community “Advanced Advanced Dungeons and Dragons” Review (5×10)

20 Mar

Community-Advanced-Advanced-Dungeons-and-Dragons

“Advanced Dungeons and Dragons” was one of the all-time greatest Community episodes, showcasing the best the show had to offer and beautifully summing up what Community is about;  there’s just no use trying to rehash greatest hits, and thankfully, “Advanced Advanced Dungeons and Dragons” is able to maintain a sense of uniqueness as it delivers a flawed, yet entertaining, 21 minutes.

Much like with the VCR scenes last week, the Dungeons and Dragons game itself is incredibly fun to watch. I do worry that the show’s becoming over-reliant on these “event” episodes this year–especially with the animated one coming up next–but then again, seeing Buzz Hickey utilize his cop-like traits to interrogate Abed as hobgoblins? Priceless. Hearing Chang go “Times Square”? Hilarious. Seeing the Dean get metaphorically impaled as he tries to hug Jeff? Some other adjective.

As for the character arcs throughout, although the Hickey-Hank plot is fairly generic, it also showcases the skills of Jonathan Banks and David Cross; they both work with pretty standard stuff and transform it into something more unique and relatable, making the emotional beats hit and the make-up-of-sorts at the end feel genuine. The episode certainly isn’t without its rushing, though, and given that the Jeff-Dean relationship seems like a substitution for the Hickey-Hank one, the episode would be better off expanding a bit on Jeff-Dean as a segue into the other “father/son” (sorry, Jeff) conflict.

Hickey’s a really interesting character, nevertheless, as he’s the kind of person who may come across as gruff and callous, but does respect others’ opinions and genuinely wants to make things better. So much of this season has been about rebuilding Greendale, and by extension the Study Group, so it makes complete sense why we’d focus on a repairing of a father-son relationship. Again, the episode doesn’t pass with flying colors in this department, but I do like how Abed splits up the group; this allows us to zero in on smaller groups of people and more focused character interactions.

In the end, Buzz and Hank don’t completely reconcile, but what results is the one of the best possible outcomes. Escaping into a game may sometimes be the remedy, the quest you need to take to reveal the deeper problems you’ve been ignoring all along.

GRADE: B

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-“I hold Britta’s face in a puddle.”

-Oh man, Danny Pudi and Jonathan Banks are fantastic in that interrogation scene.

-I really like Hawthorne Mountains and Brutalitops Memorial Bridge.

-The tag is great, what with Abed playing D&D with stuffies.

-Annie! Hector the Well Endowed! Love the rest of the names, by the way: Dingleberry, Hilary Rodham Kitten, Joseph Gordon Diehard, etc.

-Nice direction by the Russos this week. Always great to have them on board.

-We’re off next week due to March Madness (my bracket’s actually going a lot better this year so far), but we return on April 3rd for the final three episodes of season 5.

Photo credit: NBC, Community

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4 Responses to “Community “Advanced Advanced Dungeons and Dragons” Review (5×10)”

  1. louisoc March 21, 2014 at 6:10 pm #

    How do you manage to keep up with your shows and pump out consistent reviews so quickly after airing and so well-written? This is the equivalent of some people’s full-time jobs, keep it up man, it’s great stuff!

    • polarbears16 March 21, 2014 at 11:25 pm #

      Thank you! Honestly, I don’t know how I do it; I guess I’m a relatively fast writer (when it comes to TV shows, of course, not work).

      I’m really enjoying your reviews as well. They’re fantastic.

  2. louisoc March 21, 2014 at 7:05 pm #

    Hang on, don’t tell me you get screeners, do you? That would be legitimately the coolest thing ever

    • polarbears16 March 21, 2014 at 11:25 pm #

      Oh, I wish. That would definitely be the coolest thing ever.

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