Community: Pop Pop!

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I asked for more Greendale-based Community episodes and my wish was granted. Last night's episode took its time to get to the funny, though; it started with a slow rolling boil and found its way to a "gym montage/song about gym" sequence that was no less than brilliant. Despite its clunky opening, the episode was an overall success.

The Dean is trying to woo an incredibly rich, dumb potential student by getting the study group to help him make Greendale seem cool. The group has put together a fun day exploring the library (boring). It is brought up to the Dean et al that this guy, who is being dubbed "The Whale," might be looking for a party college complete with booze, frats and chicks.

Jeff is forced to divert Pierce from the hubbub for fear that he will get jealous over the attention being paid to The Whale and turn dick-like. The two wind up at a classic barbershop really hitting it off, so much so that they "might as well gay marry each other."

Annie, Brita and Dean meet their prospect, who was just given a Vespa by rival City College. The Dean panics and quickly turns Greendale into the party school that may win over the affections of The Whale. As is Community's bag, things get out of control.

The Whale is given everything his heart desires including a necklace from another student's neck and a foam/bikini party in the cafeteria. But it's all for the good of the college, right? This guy has big bucks! It's all fun and games until Magnitude, one of the best random characters on the show, appears at the party and delivers his perfect catchphrase, "Pop, Pop," and The Whale demands that he be given this catch phrase to call his own. Now this has gone too far.

Meanwhile, in the funniest side plot of the episode, Troy and Shirley are taking a P.E. course together; Troy, being a jock, is thrilled. Shirley is miserable; heavy-set girls and gym class aren't good friends. But they are both thrown for a loop because the class is actually a P.E.E class, Physical Education Education, where they are taught how to be P.E. teachers. Troy totally sucks at this.

The students are trained on how to put dodge balls away and set up ping-pong tables. They are offered a mock locker room ("mocker" room) in which the drama students pretend to be real gym students with stereotypical issues like their first periods and eczema. Naturally, yelling loudly at other people is one of Shirley's specialties. She is the best fake P.E. coach the real P.E. coach has ever seen. Troy gets locked in a mocker.

So Shirley decides that to build up Troy's confidence, she will teach him how to teach using the most helpless student out there...Chang. What happens is a perfect Rocky-style montage with a song about physical educators teaching physical educators how to be good physical educators, and it is amazeballs.

The weakest link of this episode was Abed's side plot. For some reason, Abed tries to start a fraternity against the Dean's wishes. They really have no place in this episode; all they do is pants people. Maybe there is some bigger picture for them, but I wouldn't mind if it went away forever.

If I graded episodes, I would give it a B-ish, which is not a real grade. I liked it, there were lots of good laugh-out-louders, it mostly fit the Community mold, and Brita and Troy close the episode in bed together. I hate that I keep waiting for this show to suck and that each week I have to defend it yet again. I love Community; it's a great show and like every television show out there, it's got to have some highs and lows. Even Mad Men has some crappy episodes now and then, and yes, I just compared Community to Mad Men. You may kill me now.

Great quotes: The Whale tells the Dean to "chillax," to which the Dean says he will neither "chill nor relax."

When The Whale agrees to go to Greendale, the Dean turns to Magnitude and reminds him that he always has the most poignant thing to say in such heart-warming situations, to which Magnitude replies, "Pop, Pop!"

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