Community – Season 6, Episode 3: Basic Crisis Room Decorum
It has been several seasons since Community was consistently laugh-out-loud funny. I don’t expect the glorious highs from the first two and a half seasons but since season five’s ‘Reboot’, I have come to expect entertaining, well written content again.
Of the three episodes that have aired thus far since Community’s move to Yahoo screen, Basic Crisis Room Decorum is easily the weakest. City College, Greendale’s long-time rival, is planning to air an ad that reveals Greendale gave a bachelor’s degree to a dog. Annie is alerted to the crisis in the middle of the night and gathers the group together so they can come up with a plan of action before the ad airs at seven am.
Meanwhile, the Dean is being ‘Catfished’ by a Japanese teenager who he believes is actually Jeff. The Dean’s obsessive infatuation with Jeff is always hilarious, but when it takes centre stage as it does here, it can veer into cartoonish territory.
The idea that the Community College awarded a degree to a dog is so ridiculous, yet such a typically ‘Greendale’ thing to do. Annie and Frankie team up to find out the truth about Ruffles’ (the dog) alleged credentials, while Jeff, in typical lawyer fashion, aims to twist the truth to undermine City College. It’s a plot that might have worked better as a throwaway joke rather than an entire storyline, as it offers nothing new or interesting to say about the characters and the stakes don’t feel all that high.
I’m still not sure how I feel about new characters Frankie (Paget Brewster) and Elroy (Keith David). Brewster is likeable enough, but she mostly comes across as an amalgamation of Jeff’s pessimism, Abed’s stoicism and Annie’s competence. Elroy seems to only crack side jokes and he contributes very little to the chemistry of the former study group.
Dan Harmon still hasn’t figured out what to do with Ben Chang since he was fired from teaching Spanish in season one, as he exists mostly to lurk on the outskirts of the group and make a fool of himself. However, like in this episode, Chang is enjoyable in small doses.
Not a great episode this week, and I found myself truly missing the Troy and Abed tags that previously closed out each episode before Donald Glover’s departure. I was really hoping The Butcher and the Baker spinoff parody from 6.01 would become a recurring trend.
Review by Tegan Lyon
Community is available exclusively on Stan