Review: ‘Community’ – ‘Advanced Documentary Filmmaking’

03.14.13 6 years ago 90 Comments

A quick review of tonight’s “Community” coming up just as soon as I workshop a blackface Senor Wences bit…

I wasn’t crazy about all of “Advanced Documentary Filmmaking,” which like a lot of this season’s parody episodes didn’t seem fully committed to the bit. (We randomly got yet another cop show parody within our documentary parody, for some reason, even though we know very well how Troy Barnes acts both when he’s on camera and when he’s pretending to be a cop, and this wasn’t quite either.) But there were some funny moments like Britta failing to record Shirley’s emotional confession (“I was dead for three minutes!”) or Jeff responding to Chang’s “What are you having?” with a self-righteous “None of this!”

And I quite liked the scene where “Kevin” admits that Chang was kind of a terrible person and that anyone would want to forget being him. Not that Chang has been the show’s most successful or consistent character to begin with, but the new creative team were handed an extra-smelly bag of dog pooh with what Chang did at the end of last season. I could respect the idea that the only sane way to deal with it would be to start over from scratch, keeping Ken Jeong but ditching the problematic character he’d been playing for three seasons. I’d have even been okay with the idea that Changnesia was a lie Chang had invented because he’d realized what a monster he’d become and felt this was the only way anyone would tolerate him…

… so of course we had to get a tag scene that completely undid everything that happened previously in the episode, revealing that not only was Chang faking, but for nefarious purposes, in conspiracy with some unseen partner. (My guess would be Dean Spreck, given that City College is the last place we saw Chang last season.) Blech. No interest in Chang continuing to play deranged supervillain. At all.

What did everybody else think? How do you feel this documentary compared to the previous two? Did you like the final reveal, or would you rather Kevin be real? And given the circumstances of Chevy Chase’s departure — and his frequent complaints that Pierce was just written as an oblivious, bigoted clown — how did you feel about the material he got to play tonight?

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