Community Season 4 Review “Conventions of Space & Time”

Community returned this evening with the third episode of it’s somewhat polarizing fourth season, as our study group makes their way to an Inspector Spacetime convention! After hearing about this ridiculous show for the last few years, it was great to finally see some other fans besides just Troy and Abed!

The opening scene tonight was pretty fun, with Britta making a stealthy and acrobatic escape from Troy’s bedroom, but it felt like it was something out of a completely different show. From all of the Community fans I’ve heard from so far this season, it seems like half of them are absolutely hating the fourth season while half of them are still holding out hope. While I wouldn’t say I’m hating this season at all, it’s goofy scenes like this one that really remind me that I’m watching a show with a new creative team behind it.

Well the group makes their way to the InspectiCon, and they are quickly greeted by a couple guest stars. Matt Lucas guested as Toby, another Inspector Spacetime fan who was trying to steal Abed from Troy. I guess most American audiences would recognize Lucas from Bridesmaids and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland movie, and he was quite funny in his small role. I hope we see more of this con man, as it would be great for Troy and Abed to have an arch enemy to deal with.

I wasn’t sure about Troy and Britta dating at first, but I really did enjoy them quite a bit more tonight. Britta really seems to know how to handle Troy, and she knows how important his relationship with Abed is to him, so I’m glad that she’s not trying to come between them or anything. Sure, she gets a little exasperated at the end, but it was understandable for her to feel that way at that point.

Annie’s whole storyline where she’s geeking out about being called “Mrs. Winger” was a little annoying. This storyline did introduce us to our other guest star this evening, Battlestar Galactica’s Tricia Helfer, as she was playing the sexy Inspector Spacetime fan that Jeff was hitting on. I just feel like Annie has made such great strides to be more independent in the past couple seasons and has tried to distance herself from just being the young pretty girl that’s in love with Troy and/or Jeff. It looks like her and Jeff’s relationship is hopefully going towards a regular friendship, so I hope that’s the case.

Overall I did enjoy tonight’s episode enough, but I’m still definitely not feeling like we’re back to the “Old Community” quite yet. I know that not every episode of Community’s first three seasons was groundbreaking comedy, but there are so many parts of these first three episodes that just feel totally out of place.

Random Thoughts:

– One of my favorite parts of the episode was the extra who played the waiter shaking his head disapprovingly at Jeff. It was such a little thing, but his furious expression was hilarious to me for some reason.

– I’m not sure why Jeff said to take out your phones because “You’re only going to see this once”, and then rips off his shirt. Hasn’t he ripped off his shirt, like, a thousand times?

– Do you guys think that Pierce and Shirley’s story tonight was supposed to be a commentary on Community itself being forced to make their show more “broad” or “mainstream”? Or was it just a commentary about American TV in general?