Community “Pillows and Blankets” Review

Community Pillows and Blankets (3)

It’s time to pick a side, Community fans! Pillows or blankets? You have to pick one you guys! That’s my All Tomato for you people. Meaning you have to take the whole tomato!

Tonight’s installment, “Pillows and Blankets”, continues the two-parter from last week. As one of the only episodes in the history of Community to not have a fake class name as the episode title, it was clear that the installment was going to be different. Community has had plenty of “special episodes” in the past, and most of them have been great. “Modern Warfare”, “Advanced Dungeons & Dragons”, and “A Fistful of Paintballs” all come to mind. It was clear that “Pillows and Blankets” was trying to join the ranks of the elite Community episodes, but something about it just wasn’t resonating with me.

The first thing that everybody is going to notice is the overall change in the tone for the episode. In the vein of the famous Ken Burns documentaries, we have a lot of very serious sounding narration and a lot of still photographs that are slowly panned over. I liked the idea of doing this for maybe a few minutes, but after a whole episode of it it definitely started feeling a bit stale. I mean, we’ve already had two episodes in the past that were trying to be documentaries, so it really didn’t feel as fresh as past installments.

I think it boils down to this: It felt like they were just trying too hard. I think what really set past episodes apart was that it all felt so effortless. They fit into their parody scenario and made it look so easy. It fit the established tone of the show and didn’t feel forced or uneven. That wasn’t the case here. I’m glad that Troy and Abed are friends again, and it was nice to see a little bit of character development from Jeff, but overall the episode came off feeling a bit desperate.

Random Thoughts:

– I loved how the first photo of Annie started on her boobs and then panned up. A great riff on the photo panning of Ken Burns documentaries.

– I like how it was revealed that Leonard actually fought for the North Korean Army in the Korean War.

– Were you having a hard time placing the voice of the narrator? Then maybe you, like me, have been playing a lot of Mass Effect 3 recently! It was character actor Keith David, who you’ve probably seen before in a couple movies.