Review: ‘Community’ – ‘Herstory of Dance’

Senior Television Writer
04.04.13 83 Comments


A quick review of tonight’s “Community” coming up just as soon as I’m in an all-girl kazoo band…

We’re now into the second half of season 4, and “Herstory of Dance” felt pretty typical of what the new creative team is trying to do with the show – and also of the ways in which they’re struggling.

It’s a pretty straightforward campus hijinks episode, but – like so much of this season – one largely devoid of laughs. When the most consistent source of comedy in an episode comes from a minor guest character who barely speaks (quirky girl Kat), things have gone awry. Two weeks ago, Abed got stranded in a running gag that never went anywhere; tonight, it was Troy’s turn. And the old “let’s have our characters go through a tired sitcom trope while discussing how it’s a tired sitcom trope” gimmick didn’t work any better than it usually does, on this show or elsewhere.

Throughout, there were attempts to add some emotional weight to the wackiness – through Britta’s shame over always screwing things up, Pierce’s frustration with Jeff’s bullying, and Abed’s realization that he had blown it with Rachel the coat check girl – but they usually felt shoehorned in. I’m glad anytime Pierce gets to be something other than oblivious bigot, but his rescue of Britta didn’t land the way I felt it was supposed to. And even though Troy and Britta are supposedly in a relationship together, it feels like she’s been spending more time this season connecting with Jeff than her actual boyfriend.

I’m glad Sophie B. Hawkins got to show up and play both of her hits, but overall, “Herstory of Dance” was fairly underwhelming.

What did everybody else think?

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