Review: ‘Community’ – ‘APP Development and Condiments’

Senior Television Writer
03.07.14 72 Comments

NBC

A quick review of last night's “Community” coming up just as soon as I own stock in Trivial Pursuit's Baby Boomers Edition…

“APP Development and Condiments” ticked most of the boxes required for a good high-concept “Community”  episode. It had an emotional character story at its center, as Jeff tried to get Shirley to acknowledge her manipulative ways (and vice versa), along with a more humorous character subplot in Britta exploiting the power of mustard on her face to start a Che-style revolution against the app. And it pushed the concept to its limits, presenting a fully-realized sci-fi dystopia with nods to “Logan's Run” and “Zardoz,”(*) among others.

(*) Yes, Star-Burns' costume was one that was worn by Sean Connery in an expensive and terrible '70s sci-fi opus. Warning: clicking on that link will likely scar you emotionally. 

And I appreciated the extended Shirley spotlight; as she noted last week, she hasn't had a lot to do this season, and she and Jeff always make an interesting pairing, even as every Jeff/Shirley storyline has to pause at some point to wonder why they don't interact more.

But aside from “Arrested Development” creator Mitch Hurwitz's guest performance as party-loving Koogler, this is one that felt more clever than funny most of the time. Troy's farewell episode did a better job of blending jokes in with the homages and world-building, and doing two of these kinds of stories in the space of four episodes – even if there was an Olympics break in the middle – is probably too much.

What did everybody else think? Five MeowMeowBeanz? One? And are you going to downgrade my rating because I didn't like this as much as last week's Jeff/Duncan/Britta outing? Or will noting the “Sarah Silverman Program” reunion of Rob Schrab directing Brian Posehn and Steve Agee in a Dan Harmon-produced show distract you while I do a stand-up routine about how 2s like apples?

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