NBC’s ‘Community’ season 4, episode 2 review: Costumes and confusion

Community“Community” season 4 is turning out to be akin to putting a volcano in the elementary school science fair: it it ends up making this huge eruption, then you’re going to be overjoyed and spend much of your time jumping up and down. However, odds are that you are probably going to be happy even if you see a little bit of smoke just to remind you that the thing works.

There’s no questioning that this is hardly the show that it was for the past two seasons so far, as the pure “meta” moments have been replaced by obviously asides to the audience, and the writers are relying more on old references than creating new ones. However, we do think we would be horribly cynical if we were to not point out that “Paranormal Parentage” did have its moments worth smiling about. There were some pretty great panic attacks from some of the characters, it was nice to see Giancarlo Esposito back in, and Troy and Abed’s wonderful homage to a personal favorite in “Calvin & Hobbes” is something that was surely appreciated (especially in that it was not blabbed about over the course of the night).

As a matter of fact, putting the Greendale 7 outside of the study group for an episode was beyond important. This proved that these characters can exist in an environment beyond a community college, which could be important given that we are in the characters’ senior year and it is possible that a season 5 could happen. With that being said, we are missing Chang, though we had about the perfect dose of Dean Pelton. (A little Dean goes a long way.)

Now, we turn to the issues with the half-hour, and they range from the awkward to some we are still confused over.

1. It’s strange, but Troy and Britta had more chemistry when they weren’t dating, even to the point that now the only reason we know is because the show tells us. We also thought that Troy was maturing somewhat, but now he is some sort man-child again. To an extent, we feel bad for the genius Donald Glover, who seems to be playing a different character every season.

2.Are there more “awws” this season than usual? It’s strange, but we found this line in particular to be funny last year, but very annoying now.

3. Somebody feel free to put a correction below, but didn’t Britta tell Troy and Abed about “Inspector Spacetime”? You could argue that maybe she never actually watched it, though, but just pretended she did / assumed that it was something that they would like. Nonetheless, this was a strange moment in the episode given that it is still Abed who is the biggest “Spacetime” fanatic of all.

Overall, did this episode work for you? In case you have not heard Dan Harmon’s thoughts on the first season without him on board, you can find out by heading on over to the link here.

Photo: NBC

Love TV? Be sure to like Matt & Jess on Facebook for more updates!