Glazomania: Redux – Episodes 25-31

Episodes We Can Kiss on the Mouth

Community2x02_0687

31. Anthropology 101 (201) (Average Score – 75.36)
(Average Grade – 3.31/B+) (Average Rank – 34.3) (High Rank – 2) (Low Rank – 61) (Standard Deviation – 0.490)
This episode deals directly with the fallout of Jeff and Annie’s kiss and Britta declaring to the whole school that she loves Jeff in Pascal’s. However, more importantly, it’s about the evolution of the study group. Ultimately, here, all these cards are laid on the table (the Jeff-Annie kiss, Britta’s declaration of love, etc.) and everything seems to blow up for the study group again (the best representation of this has to be Annie punching Jeff). However, Jeff lays it down that respect is necessary for humanity’s and, therefore, the study group’s survival: it is the most important tool. The Winger speech hammers the point home a little obviously, but it is necessary in letting the study group know that a web of support and respect can overcome all the deceit and manipulation that occurs here. It is a necessary step in their evolution. The plot beats of this episode and the themes expressed also remind me greatly of a future classic Cooperative Calligraphy. Also great is Jeff and Britta kissing (probably the grossest kiss by two people that attractive ever) with a great reaction shot from Annie. I also love the Wes Anderson homage in the opening sequence: a great re-introduction to these characters. And even though she’s obviously very over-the-top, I enjoy Betty White here.
– Stephen77

30. Environmental Science (110) (Average Score – 75.60)
(Average Grade – 3.33/B+) (Average Rank – 34.9) (High Rank – 11) (Low Rank – 61) (Standard Deviation – 0.537)
By the time Environmental Science rolled around, Season 1 of Community was really starting to get into a groove. It boasts a fantastic cold open, excellent pacing, fun one-liners, wonderful character building and a heart-felt lesson. Jeff’s position as leader of the study group is reinforced and tested throughout the course of the episode; after initially succumbing to his old crafty ways, he eventually goes on to not only spare the entire Spanish Class from the ludicrous assignment, but genuinely helps Chang as well. It’s a nice, if seemingly simple moment in his development that the show is better off for having. Additionally, the foundation of Troy and Abed’s bromance is made stronger in this installment through Troy’s dawning realization that friendship is a two-way street. Sentiment like this coupled with copious amounts of hilarity (such as Annie's Gravy Train and Pierce's recommendations of "tonguing") make Environmental Science a solid half-hour of television – it may not be a classic, but what it does, it does remarkably well. On top of all of that, who amongst us doesn't crack up at a certain climactic scene involving the rendition of a much-beloved children’s song interspersed with footage of a crazy Asian dude dancing the tango? Exactly.
– sll03

29. Digital Exploration of Interior Design (313) (Average Score – 75.67)
(Average Grade – 3.33/B+) (Average Rank – 34.4) (High Rank – 18) (Low Rank – 61) (Standard Deviation – 0.368)
"Digital Exploration of Interior Design" contains one of the highlights of Community's third season and arguably of the show as a whole – the excellent Britta/Subway plotline. It's brilliant on so many levels – not only is it unbelievably hilarious and an incredibly creative way to subvert product placement, but it's a pitch-perfect Britta story, perfectly capturing everything that makes her character so great. Also strong is the Troy/Abed story, which does a good job of crafting a very believable tension between the two that leads into the excellent "Pillows and Blankets". It even has some solid Shirley/Pierce material, turning them into an amusing comic duo and digging into Shirley's darker side. The only plot of the episode that doesn't work is the Jeff/Annie plot, which has some good lines, but ultimately goes nowhere and says nothing about either character, Without that plot, Digital Exploration could've been one of Community's best. The fact that it's still a great episode just goes to show how strong the rest of it.
– Roare

28. Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps (305) (Average Score – 76.91)
(Average Grade – 3.38/B+) (Average Rank – 32.2) (High Rank – 6) (Low Rank – 65) (Standard Deviation – 0.460)
Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps lacks an intensity and "texture" that Annie herself said a good horror story should have. The narrative thrust of Britta fearing someone may be a psycho is also half-hearted–it's treated neither as a believeable concern nor is it milked for all its horror potential, so the final standoff and the inevitable reveal that Britta had simply Britta'd it is anticlimactic. But what it lacks in functionality it makes up for with its fantastic individual set pieces and, in particular, the insight into Annie-Jeff and Troy-Abed. Previously the show had often cast Jeff and Annie as Beast and Belle and here that very dynamic is visualized through Annie's eyes. Annie sees Jeff as a beast to be tamed and views herself as uniquely qualified to do it, certainly above Britta, a skanky concubine Jeff used only for sex. Troy's story envisions him and Abed having to be stitched together and inside each others' heads for Abed to actually pay attention to him, speaking both to Troy's extreme emotional dependence and growing frustration with his emotionally unavailablebest friend. It also features the first "Daybreak" humming, the summoning of Beetlejuice, Abed's logical story, and NPR. For these reasons and more, Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps is another fine installment to the show's Halloween repertoire and the 28th best Community episode.
– LloydBraun

27. For a Few Paintballs More (224) (Average Score – 77.90)
(Average Grade – 3.43/B+) (Average Rank – 29.5) (High Rank – 8) (Low Rank – 65) (Standard Deviation – 0.692)
Despite the fact that paintball as a device for driving plot was starting to peter out, For A Few Paintballs More demonstrates some great sentiment, action, and humor that elevates it from being a mere retread of two superior episodes to something that can stand on its own.

This two part arc probably could have used a third episode to best tell its story. This episode has a lot of ground to cover, and the first half feels rushed as a result. However, as the episode slows down and takes the time to show what Greendale has come to mean to these disparate characters, major and minor, it comes to embody the importance of the show’s title. This is a show about a community, and Greendale is the place that allowed the community to thrive. The last scene also benefits from a slower pace, as it is allowed to breathe and tie up some long term arcs that have earned more than a casual glossing over.

All in all, this is a strong, funny, character driven episode that is only held back by a slight failure to marry the needs of a two part arc with the needs of season long serialization.
– SG Standard

26. Accounting For Lawyers (202) (Average Score – 77.92)
(Average Grade – 3.43/B+) (Average Rank – 30.8) (High Rank – 8) (Low Rank – 71) (Standard Deviation – 0.542)
Accounting for Lawyers at 26! Slow News Day? NO. This is an episode from the amazing period when Community was completely zoned in – the writers and actors were in complete sync and an episode that didn’t even stick out at the time as being noteworthy (especially when you think about what else came that semester) finds its way to a high placement, and deservedly so. The first episode to leave Greendale, this is an essential episode to understanding Jeff Winger and has grown in importance in retrospect after the events of Intro to Finality. Jeff’s origin story serves to contrast Jeff’s previous sources of self-worth with what Greendale has offered him – real bonds with people that care, even if those people want to sue strippers, pop and lock, and hunt people for sport. This is an episode that seems to be remembered by some most for the chloroform scene, which is too bad because the entire episode is full of quick Community dialogue at it’s very best (Bad Influence, Hat Club, Jeff lawyering the study group, etc.) and ends with a genuinely heartfelt scene on a dance floor.
– Los Pollos Hermanos

25. Curriculum Unavailable (319) (Average Score – 78.89)
(Average Grade – 3.47/B+) (Average Rank – 28.0) (High Rank – 5) (Low Rank – 69) (Standard Deviation – 0.622)
Community’s second clip show is such a success as it opts to take a different approach from the original. Instead of looking at clips of episodes that could’ve been, we get clips that explores Abed’s condition and the importance of Greendale and the Dean in the lives of the study group. The episode is central to Season 3’s serialization and, in retrospect, the study group rallying around Greendale and the Dean doesn’t really work particularly well for me (I also can’t help but think that Abed actually should have been committed to a mental institution). However, in regards to the clips, while there are more misses here than in Paradigms (i.e. Chang tasing himself and the Abed scream), most of the other clips are all very enjoyable and often laugh out loud funny: “how long does peyote last? Just asking for a friend”, “Troy and Abed and Annnnieee in the morrrrrrrrrrrning”, “its all-terrain, dummy”, and even the Dean has one of his better moments in the back half of Season 3: “GET OUT OF HERE! GET OUT OF HERE! GET OUT OF HERE! GET OUT OF HERE!” And then there’s the asylum scene which is fucking inspired and up there with the entirety of Remedial Chaos Theory and the Britta-Subway plot as the best thing in all of Season 3. It alone elevates this episode to such a high placement. Also fantastic is John Hodgman and his failed “Greendale is purgatory and I’m the devil” revelation. Ultimately, this episode is more enjoyable as a standalone than as a part of the serialization of Season 3.
– Stephen77

 

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http://www.avclub.com/articles/digital-estate-planning-the-first-chang-dynasty-in,73676/#comment-764240994 (page 717)

 

Discussion:

  • Hopefully, this post stays here. I posted this twice now; the first time it disappeared.

    Here's where these episodes were on my list:
    43. Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps
    35. For a Few Paintballs More
    32. Digital Exploration of Interior Design
    30. Anthropology 101
    26. Curriculum Unavailable
    25. Accounting For Lawyers
    23. Environmental Science

    Not much deviation between my list and the final product. Once again, I think I made a few mistakes here: in retrospect, Horror Fiction should be higher and Curriculum Unavailable should have been lower on my list.

     
  • Looking at the high and low ranks, it's amazing how diverse tastes are and how many episodes were in both the bottom and top 10 for people.

     
  • They are always interesting to look at.  On this update alone,  I can't believe someone put Accounting for Lawyers as a bottom 5 episode. 

     
  • Me neither! Not just bottom 5, but last apparently. Also kind of can't believe someone had Anthropology 101 at #2.

     
  • Yeah, I really like Anthro, but Number 2? Wow.

     
  • yeah, that bothers my dark soul a bit. afl is one of the best ones on the main jeff-storyline.

     
  • Hard to believe there are still 71 ranks this far into the list. Especially for AFL. It's the first 71 rank I totally can't fathom.

     
  • Plenty of episodes I like here:

    61. Curriculum Unavailable
    52. Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps
    44. For a Few Paintballs More
    30. Accounting for Lawyers
    24. Digital Exploration of Interior Design
    23. Environmental Science
    16. Anthropology 101

    In retrospect, I think I underrated Accounting for Lawyers and overrated Digital Exploration of Interior Design, but otherwise I'm happy with the ranking. Anthropology 101 is a really fantastic episode, and I think it tends to get overlooked.

    The daylight savings "joke" in Curriculum Unavailable is one of my least favorite things that Community has ever done, along with the tag of Virtual Systems Analysis.

     
  • DavetheDouchebag

    Yeah, those jokes are both really lame, and personally, I find them borderline offensive. 

     
  • Even if they were based on accurate characterization (which I don't think they are), they would still be incredibly mean-spirited.

     
  • 45. For a Few Paintballs More
    43. Horror Fiction
    40. Curriculum Unavailable
    39. Digital Exploration
    29. Environmental Science
    26. Accounting for Lawyers
    24. Anthropology 101

    I think I definitely underrated Anth 101 and Accounting for Lawyers.

    The lowest episode on my list that is still out there? Pillows and Blankets

     
  • 52. Environmental Science (really underrated this one)
    34. Accounting for Lawyers
    29. Digital Exploration of Interior Design
    24. Anthropology 101
    22. Curriculum Unavailable
    18. For a Few Paintballs More
    17. Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps

     
  • I was so hoping to be the high rank for Horror Fiction, but I guess putting it at #9 was not quite enough.

     
  • This is double disappointment after being only one point away from the high rank on my beloved Psychology of Letting Go.

     
  • sorry about that. i just love it more.

     
  • Only by the tiniest bit! Aww hell (Chewie) I'm just glad it's loved these days at all.

     
  • Psychology of Letting Go AgreeaThreeway!

     
  • Lots of your friends can disappoint you, Scrawler, but only on this board will we make the effort to disappoint you twice!

     
  • Not a lot of people end up disappointing you twice. Just us and probably Obama.

     
  •  I'm a little disappointed Lloyd didn't mention Magnum in his writeup. That is all.

     
  • Meh. That is all.

     
  • I forgot to add the group name and the sponsor, but I like the name Stephen added. Good job! I do want to kiss these on the mouth. 
     
    And this list is presented by Subway! That's an obvious one. 
     
    Man, we're really at some episodes to adore here. I love these all. That asylum sequence is one of my favorite on the show ever, Horror Fiction is a lot of fun, Anthropology has some of my favorite Annie moments ever ("The make-out meter in … National Review." Briskly walks away). The subway plot is one of my favorite TV plot ideas ever. I wrote the review for Accounting for Lawyers; it's a great character study. For a Few Paintballs More is the Star Wars … war on campus. And we have the Dean awakened by something….

     
  • Lloyd and I came up with the title. We realized there was actually a kiss in every one of these episodes except Accounting For Lawyers.

     
  • Chloroform counts as a kiss to me.

     
  • Among the other titles considered

    Kiss Kiss Chang Chang
    The Trial of Henry Kissinger
    A Kiss From Some Hos

     
  • Stephen put a lot of work copying and pasting the standard deviations. Discuss those or you're not getting any dessert. 
     
    Subway fingering has a really low deviation, while For a Few Paintballs More and Curriculum Unavailable has high ones. It's really a big difference given that they have similar overall scores. People just really agree Subway is an above average episode, while there are more divergent/varying views on the other two episodes. Thoughts? 

     
  • SpongyandBruised

    I would like to think fingering Subway counts as deviant.

     
  • According to people here, it's not, so that should tell you something about the Communists.

     
  • it's been 13 years since i had any sort of math or science classes. remind me what standard deviation means and why it is significant?

     
  • Square root of   (  Sum of the differences between each score and the mean score divided by the number of scores )
     
    It shows you the spread of the data. It's a very basic measure. Typically you should have most of the data contained within two or so standard deviations. 

     
  • I just realized we have the standard deviation of the pre-transformed scores. (I adjusted the scores so the highest possible would be 100. I thought it would be intuitive that way.) The ones we have now are still useful because you compare them to each other, but I'll post the ones in the unit system we're using soon….

     
  • I think with CU it may be because there is one segment that is awesome (Greendale Asylum), while the rest isn't bad, but definitely not quite so awesome.  For some, including myself, Stephen (as he notes in his review), who else?, that segment is awesome enough to elevate the whole episode.  But that is a tough standard to meet.  For others, perhaps it's not quite that awesome, or perhaps no one segment could be awesome enough to overcome the other segments' deficiencies?

     
  • 62. For a Few Paintballs More
    56. Curriculum Unavailable
    44. Digital Exploration of Interior Design
    28. Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps
    22. Environmental Science
    9. Anthropology 101
    8. Accounting for Lawyers

    I'm not a fan of FFPM. I don't like how it drops the pointed group story from the previous episode and unravels into a mess of fan service and a pointless escalation of the war. Pierce's story falls by the wayside. I will never understand why the group went through the trouble of kicking Pierce out in such a dramatic way only to take him back because he gave money to the school. Pierce's reason for rejecting them, though, was totally compelling. But then, that was brushed aside too by 301. Compare that to how perfectly Anthro 101 handled the mess left over from Pascal's.

    I'm not crazy about CU either aside from the asylum sequence. The jokes in the flashbacks just don't stand up to those of Paradigms. I can't get those awful Greendale class jokes out of my head, and Chang tasering his balls.

    201 and 202 are elite episodes.

     
  • Ranking twins (not really, but you have the correct general order).  Anth 101 and AFL are definitely the cream of the crop in this group.  FFPM will always be one of the most strangely overrated episodes to me, I just don't get the love for it.

     
  • After all, we are all purpose agreeabuddies.

     
  • DavetheDouchebag

    I like FFPM less than a Fistful of Paintballs, but still like it more than Modern Warfare. It's a bit of a mess compared to Fistful, but it has a suitably grand feel for a season finale (something neither of the other finales have), and it is an unusually strong episode visually. Certain moments, like the shower of orange paint that greets Annie and Abed's kiss, are quite striking. Most of all, the episode has a wonderfully patriotic mood in regards to Greendale that I love. There's a real triumphant mood when the anus flag is raised.

     
  • "There's a real triumphant mood when the anus flag is raised."

    …and that, my friend, is Community, in a nutshell.

     
  • But BRS already did the exact same patriotic mood/triumphant anus flag thing.

     
  • Agreeabuddiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiies!  Yeah…FAFPM is one I wish I could watch with someone else's eyes, because I don't get it.

     
  • I had CU in the high 60s and Accounting at 11. I love Accounting. 'All I heard was suck'

     
  • It seems like Fall Semester, Season 2 will easily be the highest rated half season on this ranking, I'm just waiting to see how much it wins by

     
  • I had CU right at 25th, Accounting and Environmental were a bit lower, and the others I didn't deviate too much.  Enviro's a funny one for me: I can appreciate it when thinking about it, and I see the justification for having it that high, but, I don't know, it just doesn't do that much for me (relatively).

    I think the Jeff-Annie plot in Digital Exploration has been criticized a little harshly.  It is rather insignificant, but the two of them still have a solid repartee as usual.

     
  • I was the high rank for "Anthropology 101" and "For A Few Paintballs More," two of my favorite episodes.

     
  • Why, hello there, FAFPM agreeabuddy! I thought I was alone on this.

     
  •  Speaking of which, who could have possibly had FAFPM at #65, and "Accounting for Lawyers" at 71 (lower than even "Wine Tasting," I presume)?

     
  • Dunno about FAFPM, but the low rank on AfL was me–it was #71, my least favorite episode of the show.  I just don't care for it–the jokes fell flat, the guest star (and his malady) were tonally out of place and almost incoherent, and (more than anything) I was just bored watching the episode.  (FWIW, I had CWT at 60.)

     
  • St dev
    CU: 14.35
    Accounting: 12.51
    FaFPM: 15.97
    Horror Fiction: 10.62
    Subway Fingering: 8.49
    Enviro. Sci: 12.39
    Anthro: 11.31 
    (It's just a constant factor you apply to each of the previous st. dev's we've posted, so no big harm.)
     
    Anyone want to explain to me why Environmental Science is better than, say, Early 21st Century Romanticism? Communication Studies? Investigative Journalism? I don't get it. Just wondering.

  •  This probably factors heavily into that episode's popularity.

     
  • I honestly didn't think that was truly beloved — just merely beloved. Even in the "worst" episodes there are things people love.

     
  • because troy and abed can carry a tune pretty well, and pierce is actually portrayed as competent.

     
  • I was the high rank for CU, in case anyone was wondering. It has exactly one moment that I do not enjoy (The daylight savings thing, as other have pointed out), but aside from that it's one of the flat-out funniest episodes of television that I've ever seen.

     
  • Tee hee, I was the low rank for FAFPM.  It's well-known that the Abed-Annie ship-teasing in that arc bugs me, but I just don't really love the entire two-parter.   Whereas Curriculum Unavailable took the clip show idea and went somewhere different, revisiting paintball did feel like a retread-because-the-first-one-was-popular to me.  As SG points out, there's just so much packed into the two-parter that nothing has time to breathe and so for me, it lacked the rousing, sentimental, hugging-and-learning-dammit feeling that made Pascal's and IDF satisfying finales.

     
  • Do you agree with me, buddy, about how it handles the Pierce story? I mean, the Dark Pierce Saga spanned the entire season as a major element. It got sidetracked during the weak stretch late in s2 but thankfully picked back up for the finale. But then the second part concludes with the group wanting Pierce back because he gave the paintball winnings (money he doesn't need) to the school. Come ON!

     
  • I don't feel as strongly about it as you do, but yes.  The spectacle of the paintball finale took precedent over creating some more meaningful and satisfying resolution to a story that had been so well-handled and carefully and lovingly played out over the rest of the season.