Community Season 4 Review “Herstory of Dance”

Yikes. They really Britta’d this episode, didn’t they?

Ok, ok, so it wasn’t that bad, but tonight’s installment “Herstory of Dance” was definitely one of the weakest episode of Community in recent memory. With a few goofy storylines throughout, and not many laughs to be had, I couldn’t help but feeling a bit disappointed overall. It wasn’t all bad though, but I couldn’t just leave that perfect opportunity to use “Britta’d”, now could I?

So we start out the episode with Dean Pelton barging in to the study room with something to announce to the group and, guess what? – He’s dressed in full costume! I’ve mentioned before in my reviews how silly I think it is that the Dean has a ridiculously elaborate costume in just about every episode, as his penchant for costumes and Jeff Winger were always much more closeted in past seasons. Anyway, he decides that it’s been too long since Greendale had thrown a dance, so he decided to throw a Sadie Hawkins Sock Hop. And of course, Britta being Britta, she decided to boycott the dance and throw her own rival Sophie B. Hawkins dance in spite of the Dean’s party.

Britta throwing the dance had its funny moments, with Troy’s behind-the-scenes escapades being my favorite parts, but the real focus of the episode was Abed’s side-plot.

Abed’s character has been pretty inconsistently written over the past four seasons, as the writers never really seem to know what they want to do with him. Is he going to show real growth? Is he ever going to learn how to interact with other human beings? Or will he always just be a well of pop culture references and fast-talking in-jokes? I’m always interested in character development, so I was glad to see him come to his friends and tell them that he’s making a conscious effort to grow as a person and learn to interact with women. The idea of both Annie and Shirley setting him up on a blind date was sweet, and Abed deciding to turn it into the classic sitcom trope of being on two dates at once was classic Abed, but I wasn’t really a fan of either of the girls that he was set up with. So thank goodness for Brie Larson!

Brie Larson was perfect as Rachel, the snappy coat check attendant who was basically a female version of Abed. You might recognize Larson from United States of Tara or Scott Pilgrim, and she’s an awesome comedic talent who just so happens to be gorgeous. It’s very rare that the Community producers can line up a guest star that can keep up with the fast-paced comedy of the show, so I hope to see more of Larson as the show continues.

With only five episodes left of this season, and possibly for the whole series, I’m really hoping that Community will go out on a high note. The puppet episode next week looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun, so let’s hope they keep the momentum going as our fourth season comes to a close.

Random Thoughts:

– As I’ve already mentioned, I’m not a big fan of the fact that the Dean dresses up like every week, but I will admit that his costume tonight was the best that we’ve seen so far.

– Even though the rest of the show hasn’t been quite as funny anymore, Troy is just as funny as ever. For some reason his “wacky ice” line and his difficulty balancing all of the cups behind Britta’s back gave me the biggest laugh of the night.

– I wonder if Sophie B. Hawkins was a fan of Community before tonight?