NBC’s ‘Community’ season 4, episode 8 review: The Sophie B. Hawkins dance

CommunityThere have been times when “Community” season 4 has not been very successful of reminding us of the show’s season 2 brilliance, but at the same time, there have also been moments where we find ourselves rushing to its defense. Take, for example, the very charming episode airing Thursday night entitled “Herstory of Dance” (which is pretty fantastic in itself). What made this half-hour so entertaining, and also endearing, is that for the first time really in almost the entire season, the writers were willing to stretch the characters beyond where they have been in the past.

We’re sure, for example, that Abed actually having feelings for a girl in Rachel (the wonderful Brie Larson) is a polarizing choice, but we liked it. He’s not Sheldon Cooper and is some asexual human being; he does care about people and others, and just at times wears a mask of popular sitcom troupes in order to be understand.

That’s why it is capable for Abed to fall in love; we’re not saying that he and Rachel are going to be together forever, but it is understandable that he would really strive for something more beyond just what he has. Plus, the way in which the show handled the “romance” was brilliant, with him being so involved in his TV game of having two dates for the Sadie Hawkins Dance at once that he initially missed the moment. It felt like something Abed would do; not get things perfect, but circle back to the right answer.

The dance itself created a rare opportunity this season for Britta to have a win, even if she basically got it by lying to everyone after mistaking Sophie B. Hawkins for Susan B. Anthony while trying to throw a rival Sadie Hawkins for female empowerment. The fact that “Community” pulled this pop-culture nugget out is great in itself, even more so than the random “Awake” joke; then, getting Hawkins to have fun at her own expense was even more of a welcome treat. Britta’s win was largely a move by Pierce, who finally got something to do this season despite be a nasty bigot. He wanted to see Britta have a win, and he found a way to make it happen.

Was this episode perfect? No. The “Dean loves Jeff” shtick is old, we still don’t get Chang, and for whatever reason we’re really not seeing Britta and Troy together much despite them being a couple. Nonetheless, this is probably the most entertained by “Community” we have been all season, and we were able to turn off our analytical brain for much of this and just enjoy things as they happened.

Did you enjoy this episode? If you want to read some more “Community” casting news involving a certain “Gravity” singer, you can do so over at the link here.

Photo: NBC

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