The Return of Community

Like many fans of Community, I have been eagerly awaiting NBC’s return to Greendale.  The third season had some great episodes, but was hit or miss to me as a whole.  While I was glad to see all my favorite characters, the episode fell flat for me.

The plot of the episode revolves around “The Hunger Deans” – a convoluted series of games set up to figure out who gets to take The History of Ice Cream class.  If more attention and runtime were devoted to this bizarre series of challenges, the episode could have felt a bit tighter.  Unfortunately, the writers shoehorned another storyline taking place entirely within Abed’s mind, which may be the biggest missed opportunity in series history.

The main problem with this journey into Abed’s brain is that it mostly seems unmotivated past its initial gimmick.  It’s where we start the episode, which, after nearly a year of waiting for a new episode, it’s frustrating to realize our return back is a figment of a character’s imagination.  Abed is an interesting character and we’ve seen inside his head before and it has worked (Season 2’s claymation Christmas episode is one of the best), but here there seems to be no rhyme or reason to why we are seeing this vantage point and it just comes off as disjointed.

NBC hasn’t done Community or its fans any favors, pulling the October 18th original airdate out from under everyone.  If this episode aired four months ago, it may have been just a mediocre episode, but waiting until February pushes this further into a slight disappointment.

I hold out hope that further episodes will be stronger, but the Community fans outcry for “six seasons and a movie” seems like a far-off dream.