COMMUNITY “Paradigms of Human Memory” Advance Review

Community (NBC) "Paradigms of Human Memory"

COMMUNITY “Paradigms of Human Memory” Season 2 episode 20 – Well, COMMUNITY has had a bottle episode and an animated Christmas special, so why not a clip show? Of course, since I’ve seen “Paradigms of Human Memory” early, I can tell you it’s anything but your average clip show. Instead, it’s an alternate look back at the events of season 2 using flashbacks we’ve never seen.

Only Community would create dozens of original flashbacks just so they can spoof the idea of the clip show while shedding new and different light on the characters and their ever-evolving relationships. The fun starts when the gang is making their twentieth and final diorama for anthropology class and a surprise visitor leads to a mostly naked Chang and then a trip down memory lane. The snippets we see are an awesome mix of adventures we didn’t know the gang even had and some deleted and extended scenes from prior episodes. Something especially cool is done with “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas.”

While this all starts out fairly light-hearted, things take a turn when Abed makes a surprising revelation and the gang turns on two of its members. Then comes an examination of a couple key relationships in what is both an ode to and a complete spoof of shippers. It’s just cheeky enough without being mean-spirited and as always, all avenues are teased and I’m all about a couple we see in a brand new light.

Humor-wise, this episode definitely hits its mark. The many spoofs (best Glee parody yet) and barbs (The Cape takes a beating) are all hilariously on target and as always, some of the funniest moments come when Community makes fun of itself or when the characters are skewered. The sequence when we see how “villainous” everyone is still has me giggling and Abed as a computer will never get old. Jeff’s speechifying hits new levels of awesomeness, Chang has some good moments, and then there’s the dean. I could not possibly love his dean-a-ling-a-ling sequence more, and “frankly my dear, I don’t give a dean” who knows it. Oh, and make sure you watch the closing tag because it is genius.

As always I love how Community weaves together character development and laugh-out-loud moments in creative ways. I’m not sure where “Paradigms of Human Memory” leaves the romantic relationships, and I’m not sure the writers want us to know, but there are some nice shout-outs to the different fan views. This is just an all- around fun and, of course, touching episode.

Taste of the episode:

“Is that a new stereotype?”

“There’s a much larger issue here. We are friends with a grown man that clearly believes in leprechauns.”

“I’m talking about the Annie of it all.”

“Let’s give them some examples. Troy, drop a beat.”

“This habitat was for humanity. Whoever did it, step forward.”

“Just because we’re good-looking doesn’t mean we’re villains.”

“It was a particularly small egg. That’s why I was asking.”

“Can we please stop fighting? We’re hurting innocent perverts.”

“Why do you always have to take what happens to us and shove it up its own ass?”

After you’ve had a chance to watch Community tonight on NBC at 8pm eastern/7 central, I hope you’ll come back and post what you thought. What was your favorite flashback? Where do you think the relationships are going? Let me know in the comments.

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