COMMUNITY “Basic Rocket Science” Review

Community (NBC) "Basic Rocket Science"

COMMUNITY “Basic Rocket Science” Season 2 Episode 4 – Dean Pelton assigns the study group to clean Greendale’s flight simulator and Pierce accidentally locks them in, leaving Abed to rescue his friends when they are towed away in the “Basic Rocket Science” episode of COMMUNITY.

When Community does a parody, it goes all out. Right down to the score (how many variations of the Apollo 13 theme did they use?) and Abed’s victory cigar, “Basic Rocket Science” has it all, including Right Stuff slo-mo walking (“You guys are walking in slo-mo?”) and Steve Buscemi in Armageddon-type space madness. Not to mention the Abed-led mission control (Poor Chang–trying so hard again for nothing) and the team’s descent to earth and huge hugs at the end. I especially love the obligatory realization that teamwork is the answer. “Our school may be a toilet, but it’s our toilet and no one craps in it but us.”

Anyone hungry for some KFC? The 11 Herb and Space Experience so Greendale can be the first community college to pretend to put a man in space–awesome. “We are forty light years outside the Buttermilk nebula, although it’s possible–yeah, it’s a sticker.” Hee. Those huge pilot controls/joysticks kill me, as does Atari Colonel Sanders and the need to keep the herbs and spices balanced, but my favorite image is the spacebus careening around the corner at the end.

E. Pluribus Anus. They got me–I really thought Annie tattled, but hilarious that Jeff did because “Terrible Dean” didn’t realize it was a butt flag. Given what we learned about him tonight (“Those aren’t thumbs.”), I’m not entirely sure how that’s possible. Love the dean’s “You’re all just full of snickers, aren’t you? Well, just pack yourselves in peanuts and be truly satisfied.”

Annie was going to transfer? That feels sort of random to me, and I’m not completely sure I buy that she would sabotage Greendale, but I love her driving at the end (love that Troy felt skinny, too). “Come on you family-sized bucket of bolts!” Troy was made to be a pretend astronaut/captain, and how much do I love that Abed had an astronaut’s suit in his dorm room?

I don’t think there could possibly be a better way to close out the episode then Troy and Abed hurtling through space in cardboard box spaceships, and naturally Abed’s box has a flux capacitor.

There isn’t much in the way of plot or character development (although we get an interesting whiff of a Troy-Britta thing), but wow, it’s a ridiculously fast-moving half hour of fun. So creative and full of laughs–my hat goes off to the Community writers.

What were your favorite bits in “Basic Rocket Science?” Do you like the theme episodes or would you rather stick to episodes that move characters and plot forward?

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