OK, so last night’s episode of Community might be the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. Yes, when Community does a “theme” episode like this (“stunt” episode? not sure what word to use) the risk is that it’ll be polarizing. The ode to My Dinner With Andre is one that didn’t really resonate with me. But I’ve loved most of the others and, damn, I LOVED this pillow vs. blanket war done in the style of a PBS documentary.
I think what I liked best about “Pillows and Blankets” was how, while the show didn’t take the pillow fight too seriously (Annie’s hospital, where she used a lint brush to remove feathers from people’s clothes, is a good example of this) it took the fight between Troy and Abed seriously. It was a fight that the show was slowly building towards, and I don’t think it’s over yet.
In the midst of the silly, stupid chaos, Troy and Abed said things that were intensely personal and hurtful. Abed sent an email that outlined all of Troy’s weaknesses, from the way he gets distracted by the color red to how easily he cries to his insecurity about his intelligence. So Troy fought back, with a four-part text message reminded Abed that no one else will ever be his friend – no one else will ever have Troy’s patience with him.
Them’s fightin’ words, and magic imaginary friendship hats can’t necessarily cure that. Magic friendship hats can’t necessarily change the fact that these two best friends are on different life paths.
All the characters had funny ways in which to shine during this episode. I loved the talking heads, especially with Leonard (Korean War Vet, North Korean Army) and I even liked the stuff with Chang and his army of “Chang-glorious Basterds”. Britta’s pathetic attempt at being a “war” photographer? Hilarious. Shirley as a ruthless soldier who’ll hit you til you don’t know how to get back up was perfect. And who doesn’t want to see Pierce dressed as a giant pillow man? Annie and Jeff’s text message exchanges were great, and I’m happy we’re moving more in the direction of those two flirting with one another again.
I really liked what they did with Jeff in this episode, and it’s a bit of a return to the season one arc. Jeff wants to impress Annie, so he needs to be a better person to do that. But he’ll never truly be a better person, because he’s Jeff Winger and he is always doing it to serve some other purpose – usually a selfish one. Jeff revealed in his new Hello Kitty diary that he actually went all the way back to the Dean’s office to get the imaginary hats. But then he handed the diary entry to the documentary crew, knowing they’d read it and that Annie would see it. Once again, he’s using words to get what he wants, which is the exact opposite of what Annie wanted. For all we know, he lied about going back to the Dean’s office. And I love that.
Other reasons I thought this was hilarious:
- The Greendale campus. The English Memorial Spanish Centre? Named after a Portuguese sailor named English? Ridic.
- Fat Neil made for a great war-time radio DJ.
- “Does anybody go to classes?”
- Britta was there to “capture some of the fight’s blurriest, most poorly framed moments”.
- Troy thinks ultimatum is “all tomato”. He should make friends with Gloria from Modern Family, I believe she thinks it’s “old tomato”.
- Leonard likes this Facebook status update.
- The end tag where Troy and Abed were fundraising for Greendale TV was a perfect mockery of the PBS telethons. I loved it so much.
I think this will be a divisive episode since I’ve already read some reviews from writers who said they tired of this premise early on, or didn’t get into it until halfway through. For my part, I just loved it. I loved all of it. So I’m interested to hear, what did y’all think?