Community Review: Advanced Documentary Filmmaking

Community Advanced Documentary Filmmaking

Community Review: Advanced Documentary Filmmaking

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Abed shoots a documentary about “Kevin” and everything Greendale is doing to help him with his Changnesia.

Best Moment: I loved that they blatantly called the institute for the grant the Maguffin Institute, that’s classic Community humour. Also loved Troy and Annie’s scenes. It was nice to see the return of “Houlihann” and it was also nice to have some Troy and Annie time. It seems like these too don’t get as many scenes together these days. I also really liked “Kevin’s” long-winded explanation of how he knew Jeff had been a lawyer.

Verdict: I must admit, I was a little worried about this episode for three reasons: 1)it was a documentary episode which felt like the new showrunners of Community are leaning on an old crutch. 2) being a documentary episode Abed would probably be pivotal and the series seems to be leaning hard on Abed this year. 3)Chang was also going to be pivotal to the episode.

As it turns out, I needn’t have worried. Yes, it was yet another documentary episode, but while it didn’t tread new territory a la the Ken Burns episode, it was still pretty fun. Primarily because it wasn’t just all about Abed or all about Chang.

Yes, Abed was the man behind the camera, but for much of the time, he wasn’t even the only person behind the camera. Garrett was also filming, and even Britta had the camera at one point. And even though the documentary was about Changnesia, it wasn’t so Changcentric that it grated.

In fact, this is one of the few episodes of Community where they really did use just about all of the characters. Dean Pelton had some nice stuff to do. Jeff had some great scenes as the guy trying to secretly expose Chang, only to realise what it feels like to actually be Chang. I already mentioned Troy and Annie’s buddy-cop scenes. Then of course Britta and Shirley had some key scenes. Even Pierce with his hand puppet show did his part to (unknowlingly) help put Jeff’s plan in motion. It was nice to see the group working together as a group, even if not all of them were working towards the same goal.

Now for that ending. Well, I knew they had to address the whole Chang “faking it” this episode though I wasn’t sure how. I also knew that it had to be some sort of conspiracy with City College. I’m unsure whether I liked the reveal. It felt a little obvious. No subterfuge. Kevin’s laughing like a maniacal fiend while students are walking by! However, I did enjoy him going back for his phone. I’m not sure how well this will all play out. Chang already tried to blow up the school once. How much further can he (and City College) go? Only time will tell…