Quick Take: Community, “Documentary Filmmaking: Redux”
“Some flies are too awesome for the wall.” – Abed
Review: Community, “Documentary Filmmaking: Redux”
(S0308) Allow me to take a moment to address NBC’s midseason schedule changes, and the glaring absence of Community on said schedule: W.T.F.? Well, fear not fellow Greendale groupies, because the genius of Community is with us for another three weeks, and once it returns, we’ll still have it when the rest of the good shows have concluded. The tragedy of the postponement doesn’t quite measure up to the turmoil that’s boiling at Greendale, either, as the Dean immerses himself in directing a new commercial for the college.
In his characteristic oddball fashion, Abed decides to document the experience, prophesising the Dean’s inevitable loss of sanity, and the consequent campus fallout. Abed watches on as Britta and Troy are driven apart by forced hugging; he stands obsolete from the sideline while Annie develops her own sort of Stockholm-syndrome towards the Dean; he even fails to intervene when Jeff immerses himself far too deeply in his role. Kudos for such an immediate follow-up to the Dean dressing up like Jeff – I was convinced that Jeff was going to shave his head – but Chang as understudy to Jeff’s Dean and his casting as Jeff is almost too much for me to handle!
Elsewhere, Pierce retreats to a rental trailer while he waits for Greendale to supply him with one of his own, eventually annexing the one they get for Luis Guzman – who actually shows up – and then gets carted off to Hollywood, where we see that he isn’t much different than Jeff Garlin, who also sneaks in a brief cameo.
Abed’s vision not only as a filmmaker, but as a character that may or may not be acutely aware that he’s in a television universe, guides his “fly that’s too awesome for the wall” style of filming. He eventually pieces together a saving grace commercial from an amalgam of the footage that he and the Dean shot, allowing the Dean to save a semblance of dignity following his psychological meltdown. Abed’s comments on storytelling are deeply intuitive, hinting of a bigger picture than just presenting Greendale as a place where everyone can be accepted.
To clear up the speculation: Abed wasn’t breaking the fourth wall and looking at a disembodied camera at the end of the episode – Pavel is in the room with him, also filming. His knowing look is no less significant, however, as Troy and Britta linger behind after the study-group hug. Abed has addressed the nature of relationships within the group before, but now that his best friend is involved, he may not be the “objective storyteller” for much longer. I’ve speculated that Abed is secretly a mastermind who invited the members of the study group according to some sort of plan based on their personality chemistries and clashes – the “Trotta” relationship (or is it Brittroy?) is definitely not a part of the plan.