COMMUNITY “Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking” Advance Review

Community "Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking"

COMMUNITY “Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking” Season 2 Episode 16 – Pierce winds up in the hospital after taking too many pills and the gang rushes to his side. I had the chance to watch “Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking” early and it’s a trip down the rabbit hole of psychological warfare, Pierce-style.

“And so it is bequeathed.” Community has used many different methods to get into its characters’ heads, but Pierce’s gifts may be my favorite so far. What initially looks like “A Very Special Episode” quickly becomes a hilarious roller coaster of attempted emotional torture. It’s fascinating to see the effects of the gifts on the different study group members. Some–like Shirley–are pretty much what you would expect; others–say, Jeff–are perhaps a bit different. Then you have the surreal–i. e. Troy. All are awesome in their own way.

There are some great random moments during the journey: We learn Pierce’s nickname for Britta, words I must now use are coined, a plan to resurrect Firefly is revealed, and ‘Ferris Bueller’ gets a terrific shout-out. A few lessons are even learned and at least one is the right lesson. Donald Glover has yet another standout episode, as do Joel McHale and Gillian Jacobs. This is the best Britta episode in a while, I think.

There is a nice skewering of the documentary format, of course, and I’m not sure this particular episode could have been done any other way because it adds the right touch of raw emotion and gives a feeling of puppet mastery. Also, the talking heads are classic.

A taste of the episode:

“Yeah, Jeff. What are you, Abed?”

“My third wish would be a million wishes, but I’d just use them all on a million signed pictures of LeVar Burton.”

“Wouldn’t know; I haven’t thought about myself in years.”

“I was never one to hold grudges. My father held grudges. I always hated him for that.”

“And don’t you dare intercut this with footage of me freaking out.”

“What does THAT mean?”

“Set phasers to love me”

“Well, more fish for Kunta.”

Community has set the bar so high for itself at this point that I keep expecting it to fall short. So far, though, it just hasn’t. This episode has a ridiculous amount of humor- both obvious and subtle-and it goes deep into the characters for some real pathos. Layers are stripped away and it gets more than a little raw, especially for Jeff and Shirley. Pierce is as much tragic as diabolical and I love how the show keeps tying its threads together.

After you’ve watched the episode on NBC tomorrow at 8pm eastern/7pm central, I hope you’ll come back and post what you thought. What were your favorite/least favorite moments?

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