‘Community’ season 6, episode 6 review: When email hacks go haywire

Is “Community” in its biggest slump at the moment since Dan Harmon returned to the series? We would not say that just yet. We thought the Chang / Dean Pelton episode was thoroughly entertaining, and some of the best work that Ken Jeong has ever brought to the show.

However, last week’s story of convicts on campus was a good idea without much payoff, and we feel the same way about this week’s installment, which felt in many ways inspired by the Sony email hack, which is made even funnier by the fact that this is a Sony TV-produced show. Bonus points for using a meta premise. A “hacker” (who turned out to be a little kid) was protesting an offensive comedian appearing on campus, and he threatened the entire Activities Committee (the new title of the Save Greendale Committee, which in turn is new title of the Study Group) to either cancel the gig, or risk having their emails exposed. They did not cancel the gig, and as a result at least some chaos ensued.

What came from here were a series of funny revelations, including some of Chang’s shenanigans and Elroy’s awkward computer models. Somehow, though, we envisioned things getting even more absurd than they were. We had some conflict and a few funny jokes, but all things consider for this group, they kept this pretty well together. The fact that the comic that they were standing up for was a terrible racist hack made the entire premise all the more ridiculous. They stood up for a case, but it was a really terrible person at the center of it.

The issue with the episode is just that there really was not that much in the way of payoff. There’s nothing in here that will be memorable to us down the line, and some of the characters felt off during the episode. Britta was not the whole Britta we remember, and for some reason Abed has just felt off in general the past few weeks. We’ve always missed Donald Glover, but this is one of the first times that we’ve felt his absence was a gaping hole, since his character would have fit perfectly into this mess.

There’s still a whole lot to like about “Community,” even after ho-hum episodes like this one. It’s still creative, and it tries to come up with scenarios that have not been completely done before. The problem is that for some reason, we just have not been as excited to watch the show this week after the last episode, and now we feel the same way about the next one after this. Grade: C+.

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