Views on Tropes in Communist Media

Ciergan asks, 

A.V. Club link-,66270/#comment-394170249 (page 41)

"Should Community do another Christmas episode next year?  Could be somewhat tired like paintball by now.  Assuming NBC doesn't mandate a Christmas episode (which they probably do), I'd go for either an over-the-top theme episode or an episode for another holiday (Hannukah)."


  • I for one want to meet Annie's family. (Or necro-meet, as the case may be.)

  • Possibly a New Year's Eve episode instead? Subverting the usual conventions, of course. That would be progressive and kick-ass.

  • That'd be very cool. It would obviously be an entirely off-campus episode and it would also, perhaps, be a good way to explore various elements of some of the characters' personal lives not yet explored (i.e. as tabernacle mentioned, Annie's family, which I hope to meet sometime in the near future). 

    It'd be interesting to see the group together in the middle of the holiday season rather than them just finishing up the semester and entering the season.

    Plus I'm certain Community would pull this off with flying colours.

  • At first I thought possibly Troy and Abed's apartment would be a good venue for New Year's, but then it hit me…Pierce's mansion. 

    I hope you're reading this, Mr. Harmon.

  • Does anyone feel like casting the characters' various parents?

  • Bill Murray has always been the ideal choice for Jeff's dad, but that's wishful thinking. My second choice would be Betelgeuse himself, Michael Keaton.

    Somebody also suggested Susie Essman as Annie's mom. I would be so down for that.

  • Maybe Debbie Reynolds as Annie's, erm, grandmother–she did a great job as Albert Brooks's mom in Mother.

  • Funny, I was saying earlier that I would love an episode to be set at Pierce's mansion. And I gotta agree that Pierce's mansion would be an awesome setting for a New Year's celebration. Maybe we wouldn't get to meet certain family members (I'm particularly thinking of Annie, Jeff and Britta here) like I would hope, but it would undoubtedly make for a fascinating and entertaining episode.

  • I will go out on a limb and say Pierce owns the H.G. Wells time machine and that we're getting time travel (or sped-up "past watching" at least).

  • Ah sorry, haven't been keeping up on my comment reading. Great minds, eh?

    I'm trying to picture how many people would be at the party. So far I've come up with 3 scenarios:

    1. Just the core gang in the vast mansion. Lots of space for activites.

    2. Pierce invites everyone at the school. I'm thinking Magnitude could do something spectacular with these conditions.

    3. Each member of the gang invites a friend or two from outside the group. Could be a good opportunity to highlight how much each character has changed/reverts to their old self.

  • Oh that comment totally got buried a few pages back. I'm betting not many people saw it. But yes, great minds, indeed!

    It would also be relatively easy to set up given Pierce's loneliness and his general necessity for acceptance and friendship.

  • Loki100

    I would love to finally see all of Pierce's mansion. I'd also like to meet Britta's cats.

  • At some point in the show's run someone has to polish a monocle with a Hawthorne towelette.

  • Loki100

    Just as long as it isn't a cat monocle. That would be pretentious.

  • DavetheDouchebag

    I would love to see Pierce's mansion, but I don't think the show has the budget to pull it off in a satisfying way. Maybe if they had the mansion look intentionally cheap it would be sort of funny, but I think it would almost inevitably result in anticlimax.

  • Party Down was the cheapest show ever and they managed to make Steve Guttenberg's house look pretty good, so I'm not too worried about that.

  • Forgive me in advance.

    It was Gute enough.

  • They could always shoot on location in an actual mansion.

  • I'm in, too. I totally want to see the mansion.

  • I like it.  A New Year's episode could almost mine the same sort of raw, lonely emotional space that Christmases have done so well, but in a different way (everyone always feels like they ought to have cooler/bigger/more important plans for NYE, plus the requisite New Year's reflections on the past year or resolutions for the next).   A New Year's episode could feel a little like Mixology Certification, which to me is always a good thing.

  • The trick for Community seems to be making holidays sad. There's certainly potential there with New Year's Day.

  • Community does Christmas episodes really, really well. I would hate to see that go away.

  • That was my thinking until I saw the suggestion for a New Year's episode. The thing about a New Year's episode would be that they could take a new approach to the holiday season while still exploring similar themes that made the previous Christmas episodes so successful.

    However, I can't see why anyone would have a problem with another Christmas episode given the show's track record with those. It's not like paintball, in that this is something that every show does, and, plus, Community does it better than any other show right now.

  • Yeah, I could definitely see a party at Pierce's mansion being cool. Maybe they could do a Christmas episode before the break and a New Year's episode after it.

    There are three holidays that Community does episodes for: Halloween, Christmas, and Valentine's Day (although it looks like we won't have a Valentine's Day episode this year, sadly). Each of them ends up showing how close the group members are to each other (always a worthy goal), but they each do it in different ways: Halloween is light-hearted, Christmas is kind of dark, and Valentine's Day is somewhere in between.

  • Bloomsday is unfortunately June 16th, so the show would probably be on hiatus, but they could definitely pull off an ambitious Ulysses riff, just to alienate as many people as possible and be as pretentious as possible (while still delivering).

  • DavetheDouchebag

    I don't think that Christmas would be tired next year, but I don't even believe that a third paintball would be tired either. I trust the show to pull these traditions off in interesting and new ways.

  • Spy vs. Spy [vs. (girl) Spy]!

    Funniest lineup? It has to include Troy and Abed as one spy, I would think. And maybe there's a MAD magazine / Mad Men joke there for Annie/Alison.

  • Is Paintball tired?  There are quite a few things they could still do with paintball…  And I enjoy seeing Community engage in genre parodies.  So far they've done thematic parodies of Musicals and Documentaries, but they haven't done any narrative parodies such as Mafia or Western.  

    I'm hoping for an Abed/Troy road-trip parody.  I really enjoyed the Britta/Shirley b-story during "Modern Movement", and think that a road-trip a-story parody has great potential.

  • Contemporary American Poultry had the Goodfellas homage.

  • Speaking of which – I'm halfway through Season 2, and so far CAP has been my least-favorite Community episode.  Is that weird?

  • Very much so.

  • Yes, Ludwig van Beethoven , that is weird.

  • It's far from common, Ludwig, but everyone has their own reactions. If you haven't OD'ed on the monologue-style from Goodfellas at this point in your life, that might hurt it. It's still a good character ep with a clever narrative, though.

    But you're a brilliant and unique composer, and I'm inclined to trust your instincts. (Also, can you hear the TV? That might be the problem. Try subtitles.)


  • Nothing delights me more than that most people here address me as if I were actually Ludwig van Beethoven.  Which I am, of course.  Da-da-da-duuummmm!

    So, I gotta ask a question: which episodes of Community are considered the worst? (And yes, I understand that many fans won't think there's been a "bad" episode – but what are your least favorites?).

    As for me, it's probably not a surprise that my favorite episode so far was AD&D.

  • I actively disliked Custody Law and Eastern European Diplomacy and Competitive Ecology. I also didn't particularly enjoy Competitive Wine Tasting or Applied Anthropology and Culinary Arts. With every other episode, I at least see the appeal, which is a better record than any other currently airing show has (Parks and Recreation excepted).

    The Politics of Human Sexuality isn't a top-10 episode, but every bit of it is competently done and satisfying. I can't find a single thing that anyone might dislike about it, so it's odd to see it cited as one of the worst episodes. Basic Genealogy is also one of my favorite episodes, but I've seen a lot of people say they didn't like it, even if I don't really get why (the only real complaint I've seen is that Katharine McPhee is unconvincing, which doesn't really bother me that much given how fake her character is).

  • There are debates on that subject, LVB.

    But closest to consensus seems to be the S2 ep "Custody Law", with votes counted for many around that period, such as "Competitive Wine Tasting", "Celebrity Pharmacology" and "Applied Anthropology and Culinary Arts".

    S1 is less clear, but I think "Politics of Human Sexuality" and "Basic Genealogy" are most often mentioned. The first season has less "essential" shows, so it's more a matter of taste on some of them.

    Also 302 and 303 ("Geography of Global Conflict" -The Model UN ep – and "Competitive Ecology".)

  • I didn't realize "Politics of Human Sexuality" was one of the most disliked episodes. I really enjoy that one. And I think I also like "Applied Anthropology and Culinary Arts" more than most, if only because I really enjoy it whenever Britta gets those little redemptive victories.

  • @Stephen77, I'm sure everyone has their own list. I personally think Applied Anthropology" has value to the overall story, similar to "English as a Second Language", it closes out big chunks of the seasonal arc. But I've heard a lot of hate for it, and Harmon himself said it didn't really work.

    Again, I'm less sure on S1. With all the DVD watching, almost every seemingly awkward ep now has a few serious defenders. But, yes, this is my estimation based on reading precisely 4.5 zillion comments so far this season.

  • Yeah, definitely. I'm just surprised that "Politics of Human Sexuality" is disliked that much. I had always assumed it was considered a solid middle tier episode.

  • I meant S3 only, my bad!

  • Best episode in the entire series imo. Maybe just because I love Goodfellas so much.

  • They did a spaghetti western paintball parody in the second season. That might not be what you want but its something I guess.

  • Yeah, I meant s3 only, my bad for not specifying.

  • "…they haven't done any narrative parodies such as a Mafia or Western"

    Have you been watching this show, Wanderer?

  • Sorry, was referring to S3 only (and its 1derer sir.)

  • I want another paintball episode, just so Michael K. Williams can walk through the Greendale halls whistling "The Farmer in the Dell", just mercilessly paintballing people.

  • Is Leonard the Kenard analog?

  •  I don't know, Tabby, I would think Chang.  I'm not sure about this – it might not be Harmon's style to give the audience more than a nod to Williams' Omar.  I'll take what I can get.

  • I considered Chang… I was trying to distill the (lack of)prominenceXunexpectedness aspect, and Chang seemed too prominent (though it would certainly be awesome; I'm laughing now just imagining his gloating). [Agreed that we would either get just a nod and no more, or a full-on tribute–which would be impossible(?) as it would take a whole season. Maybe the sped-up time-machine viewing could help here, and we get a whole season of Community-Wire in sixty seconds. I will stop now because: budget, and fanfiction.]

  • The road trip sounds like a great idea. Haven't we heard that S3 paintball is guaranteed now? They found a way to make it fresh in S2, I have to trust they'll do it again.

    I see Harmon looking at it like "The rules say don't use a premise twice. We are therefore going to use it three times."

  • Huh? Are we watching the same show? A fistfull of paintball and contemporary american poultry.

    Though I'd love to see a road trip movie with ALL of them, you know like renting an rv or something

  • I was referring to S3 specifically, sorry for the implied generality.

  • If they were to do a third paintball (Which, according to some, is very likely to happen), I would want them to do a survival horror parody. Greendale holds a lock-in/school-wide sleepover event, when Vice Dean John Goodman decides to cause the Dean some trouble by initiating a game of paintball assassin. The study group is somehow isolated from the rest of the school and are slowly picked off (one by one, natch) by an unknown assailant. Maybe even throw in some contrived Saw-style traps that end with the victim getting covered in paint.

    Although I'm still convinced the [SPOILERS] Trobed Break-up Blanket Fort Civil War is going to be a substitute for paintball.

  • The Blanket Fort Civil War is going to be paintball; how else could they have a campus-wide civil war? (Honestly curious here, I really have no idea).

    Episode 1 is going to be everything just generally going to hell, and at the end of the episode Abed and Troy will decide to settle things with paintball because they're Abed and Troy. Episode 2 will then be the war.

  • I have no idea, now that you mention it. I never saw anything about the Blanket Fort 2-Parter involving paintball, so I just assumed that we would get some big pillow fight instead. Now I'm wondering how dramatic paintball can be when everybody's crawling around on all fours. They made it work in the chase scene in Conspiracy Theories, but that was just a short scene. Unless they make the fort big enough to walk around in, but then what's the point?

  • Given how this blanket fort is supposed to be of truly epic world-record scale, I imagine that it'll be possible to walk around inside it. Think like Troy and Abed's room in their apartment, but on a campus-wide scale.

  • Isn't Ramadan during the summer in 2012? That would be interesting and work with the hiatus.

  • Abed's not terribly religious, so I'm not sure how well a Ramadan-themed episode would work.

  • Kind of on topic, but did anyone else think for the longest time that Ramadan is always during December because of that one Simpsons episode where Krusty wishes his viewers something along the lines of "Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Crazy Kwanzaa, and solemn, dignified Ramadan"? Is that what happened with VDW above?

  • Hannukah episode would be awesome.