Community 5.08 "App Development and Condiments" 3/6/14

5.01/5.02 “Repilot”/“Introduction to teaching”
5.03 Basic Intergluteal Numismatics
5.04 Cooperative Polygraphy
5.05 Geothermal Escapism
5.06 Analysis of Cork-based marketing
5.07 Bondage and Beta Male Sexuality

Crazy, but funny. The 60s/70s sci-fi decor was hilarious. And Jeff’s ethnic humour comedy routine was great.

OK, Zardoz and Logan’s Run references I all got but what was up with the mustard?

That was quite amusing. Loved the differences in clothes based on what level you were. Britta being listened to when mustard was on her face was great too.

I really liked this. Beyond the 70’s Sci fi tropes, Jeff’s non comedy comedy routine was perfect (it had all the beats and pacing of a routine but was basically nonsense), the parody of social networking, focusing on Shirley but calling her out. Good all around.

“I’m a psych major. Words are my weapons!”

“I’m a security guard. Weapons are my weapons.” brandishes taser

Funny to see Steve Agee and Brian Posehn together again. For those who didn’t watch it, they played a gay couple on “The Sarah Silverman Show”.

A show that Harmon wrote for and was eventually fired from.

This episode also had the great Mitch Hurwitz (Arrested Development) and Tim and Eric (Tom Goes to the Mayor, Awesome Show, Good Job!, among other things).

I kind of liked the show, even if it wasn’t particularly funny. Most of the jokes were funnier in concept than execution.

Loved the episode. One minor nitpick: At the start, Jeff says it’s Tuesday. At the end, Jeff says it’s Saturday. But according to the text overlay, the events at the end happened 8 days after the introduction of the MeowMeowBeenz beta. So it should have been Wednesday, not Saturday.

Good catch.

I loved it as well. Community is back, with a vengeance. Six seasons and a movie!

I enjoyed it.

It seemed like the text overlay didn’t sync up with the rest of the episode, though. At the end the dean refers to the last few days, not more than a week, and as The Controvert points out, the Tuesday/Saturday thing. It feels like they wrote the episode to span only a few days, then added that text overlay after the fact.

That’s a trivial quibble, though. I’m just kinda of curious what the development process was like. It feels like the episode was probably cut down from a significantly larger episode.

I generally really like the episodes where the entire campus commits wholeheartedly and without question to an insane concept.

That was terrible. On par with some of the crap they pumped out last year. It felt like they came up with the idea to parody Logan’s Run, etc. first and then tried to shoehorn the idea into a plot. Everything felt forced because of that, and when you’re trying to hard to be funny, you’re never funny.

Even of the name of the App irritated me. Meow Meow Beans? Oh, I get it because there are cats on the internet.

The only worth while scene was the one near the end when you realize Britta is just as power hungry as anyone else.

If you don’t like the high concept Community episodes, then perhaps this isn’t the show for you. I give them mad points for trying something different, even if it can be hit or miss at times. I think this episode was a hit, for the most part. Although it did try to cram a lot into a half-hour, but then again I like it when shows are ambitious.

As for the name “MeowMeowBeenz”, it strikes me with having a certain amount of verisimilitude. If you are even vaguely conscious of the internet startup culture, you know many of the names that are chosen are whimsical or nonsensical. Part of it comes from the domain name prospectors that snatch up all the regular names on the speculation of being able to demand a king’s ransom for them later.

It does look like everybody involved in the production put in the effort and crazy hours to try to pull off something great. The thing that struck me was how much better the Buzz Hickey character was at being the inter-generational foil than Chevy’s Pierce Hawthorne. Well, maybe “better” in the sense of “not an anchor dragging down the show”. I think Chang is still a bit of a dud, but at least Ken Jeong has the good sense to stick with the show, realize he is part of something legendary.

I thought this was out without a doubt my favorite Community this season. I read three reviews that were all negative. I don’t care though, I enjoyed it.

Assuming this is directed at me, Christ on a cracker can we please stop with this nonsense where any time anyone expresses a negative opinion of a single episode of a show someone has to chime in that the show, “must not be for you.” I’ve been a fan of the show since it premiered, and it has been the high concept episodes that have me raving to friends, family members and co-workers that it’s one of the most brilliant shows I’ve ever seen. It’s a brilliance born of Harmon and Company’s ability to take standard sitcom tropes and/or outlandish/seemingly unrelated segments of pop-culture and weave them so deftly and spin them out of control so subtlety that you’re left trying to explain how it makes total sense that an episode about a pair of friends building a pillow fort concluded with an episode long homage to the Ken Burns’ Civil War documentary.

Each of the previous high concept episodes had this one thing going for them: They did not require you to make a large leap of faith into absurdity. Harmon laid down stepping stones, often episodes in advance, grabbed your hand and before you knew it you didn’t recognize your surroundings. I did not feel that way about this episode. It reminded me a lot of episodes from last year where there was some sort of plot with a pop-culture parody shoehorned in, or vice versa.

I mean, if you want to get into it, where did these App creators come from and why were the necessary to the plot. We know Abed had been working as a programmer since graduating and seeing how he recently lost his best friend, the only person who really “got” him and enabled him to connect to the rest of the world, it would have made perfect sense if Abed had created this app as a way of trying to connect with people (or at least get quantitative feedback about his behavior).

His involvement from the beginning would have also helped me with the seemingly out of nowhere cos-play. In past episodes the costumes the characters wind up in are either pulled from their surroundings (pillow crowns, chess board armor) or part of the initial plot (wild west themed spring fling for paintball II). Here, they’re all of a sudden in high quality futuristic garb with set design to match. If Abed were the proprietor of the app, with his penchant for cos-play, ties to film/theater departments, and tenuous grasp on reality I’d have found myself going along with it only realizing in hindsight how bizarre it got.

It also would have given him and Hickey a chance to interact briefly about something tangential to their film partnership, but still touching on Abed’s “lack of substance”.

That’s not to say that Abed would have become the focus of the episode. He would have had about as much screen time, still toiling away as a 2.5 trying to figure out how to get people to like him, perhaps thinking catering to their baser caste desires is the key.

Otherwise, the story could have remained much the same, perhaps with a more specific focus on Britta trying to take down Shirley. That to me was the most interesting part, and it was only touched upon. I think Britta has this simmering resentment of Shirley. She (Britta) is in the midst of an existential crisis after getting demeaned by past friends, and must feel that she’s always tried to help people, animals and make the world a better place and yet gets labelled as bitter, strident and the worst. Meanwhile Shirley, a woman who has these sanctimonious views and will say things that are down right mean spirited, gets away with it because she has an ebullient personality. It makes sense to me that this confluence would have brought Britta a to the point of being a power hungry anarchist ironically shouting, “Listen to me! Don’t listen to anyone!”

Jeff’s plot could have remained the same trying to prove how much [del]everyone loves him[/del] stupid it is.

CoolBeenz is better.

I thought they put in at least as much effort to address your objections as they did for any other high concept episode.

  • The app designers were there as an agreement with the Dean to use the students as Beta-testers as FB did with Harvard. I guess Abed coming up with the app could have worked but it didn’t allow them to explore Abed wanting and trying to blend in and make connections. And small talk.

  • The costumes came as a result of the 2’s and 3’s wearing neutral colors so as to not stand out and remain safe out of one-ness. Plus the futurization of the decor was coming along nicely as per Annie.

  • Hickey was used to mock the artificial bump in popularity people get on their birthdays on social networks. I think this aspect is getting a little lost. Logan’s Run parody aside, there is a portion of it that is trying to satirize social networks in general and how contrived it can get when you get a like, poke, or post.

I give it a solid 3.

I’m pretty sure there’s going to be a real MeeowMeeowBeenz app any day now if there isn’t one already. This show has that kind of Fandom.

I agree. I still don’t get the mustard.