“Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television” can be read two ways: The last time we’ll ever see the Save Greendale Committee, in any format, or a #SixSeasons set-up to the #AndAMovie promise. It works both ways. I don’t need to know what happens to the group without Annie and Abed for it to be satisfying, but I wouldn’t protest if they came back, with Elroy, Troy, Shirley, and Buzz Hickey in tow. It was a funny season finale that doubled as a rewarding series finale.
And it was very Community, with the newly-dubbed Nipple Dippers pitching their dream seventh season scenarios. Here they are, ranked by how much I want to see them come true.
11. UGH, Britta.
10. Jeff and Annie have a kid now, though he’d be fine with a dog instead. Community hasn’t cared about their romantic relationship for seasons now; it feels like the only reason they keep up with it is out of fan service obligation. An entire season of Jannie would be exhausting.
9. *farts* “… and so on.” Give Frankie a break. She’s still learning.
8. “My set-up lacks awareness, but my punchline doesn’t know.” The characters no longer tell jokes. They break down the process of delivering set-ups and one-liners, and, as everyone knows, there’s nothing funnier than someone explaining a joke to you.
7. “It’s the original Annie. But I’m grown up, and I’m hot, but not little girl hot.” Britta (and her glasses), Original Annie, and Abed work at Greendale, Jeff’s the dean, and Frankie’s a lesbian. Every episode ends with a giant hug, sort of like this one.
6. “… and the rest of you are the redhead ones.” Jeff’s dream would get depressing in about 16 seconds. But those first 15 seconds would be pretty great.
5. I could watch Jeff choking Abed clones for hours.
4. “Lots of things can be forced, like a human head through a six-inch drainpipe.” Todd’s crazy.
3. “Britta, your parents have been murdered. The police won’t touch it. They’re calling it a double-suicide.” This one pretty much already happened.
2. Ice Cube Head can follow Rick & Morty on Adult Swim.
1. “Y’know, hallelujah, and church, and singing, and street wisdom.” Shirley’s back, and everyone speaks like the broadest version of themselves. Also, Jeff takes his shirt off. This is a really good version of the show for people who like when improv players get amnesia midway through a bit.
The genius of the pitches was how they were filtered through the personality of the person pitching them. Jeff and his redheads, Britta and her I’m-the-worstness. They may have seemed random, but they were built on truths that we’ve seen reinforced time and time again over the last six seasons. “Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television” acknowledged how tiresome they should be by now, even though they’re not. Yes, Jeff’s self-loathing pompousness is more unintentionally sad than intentionally funny, but it didn’t hurt the season as a whole, which I’d rank higher than 4 (obviously) and 5. Bringing in Elroy and Frankie added new wrinkles to an old shirt, and the writers, freed from the antiquated constraints of broadcast (like how two different characters said “f*ck” — no graphic nudity, though), had fun ironing them out.
“Satisfying.” I used that word in the first paragraph, and it’s the one I keep coming back to. That’s what this episode, and this entire season, was. It didn’t have to happen, but it did, and it wasn’t an embarrassment, like Netflix resurrecting The Killing. It was good, even great at times. But most of all, it was satisfying, and that’s all you can really ask for from a show in its sixth season.
Now how about that movie? Or at least a board game.