Scott Davis reviews the second episode of Community season four…
“Hallo-tine” (Halloween on Valentine’s Day) time on Community this week, as Season 4 does its season staple Halloween episode, hoping for the success of the previous episodes, all of which were undoubted highlights in each of the previous season.
Sadly, the cracks are beginning to show since Dan Harmon / Russo Brothers’ sad exit, and this Halloween episode with our favourite Greendale students may be remembered as the weakest, and shockingly, unfunniest episode that has graced the small screen since its debut four years ago.
Ready for their annual trip in Halloween tomfoolery and fancy-dress, the gang are called to Hawthorne Mansion, to investigate the missing Pierce, up to his old tricks to prove his worthwhile. On arrival, nothing is what it seems, so cue Scooby Doo-like shenanigans with dark, drifty shadows, corridor running and stupidity.
You would have hoped with such comedic possibilities with a Scooby-like episode, that the show would find a plethora of comedic possibilities. However, despite the always energetic cast who again are exceptional sports, Episode 2 is flat, slow and horribly dull.
What disappoints most about this, and arguably the opener from last week, is the relegation of the Troy and Abed dynamic to the background.
Whenever an episode was a little flat or lacking a touch of magic, the Dynamic Duo would step up and produce some comedy: a dreamatorium adventure here; “Inspector Spacetime” reenactment there.
With the focus on the Troy / Brittany relationship kicking into gear, Danny Pudi’s Abed is left in free fall unless the shows new head-honcho’s do something quick, particularly with the imminent reconnection with Jeff and his estranged Dad looming large.
The big sinker of the show still is Pierce, whose annoying, child-like personality is now a spreading disease that needs treating once and for all. The sooner he is tossed overboard and “honourably discharged”, the better.
Let’s hope that this doesn’t turn into the darkest timeline we all fear it will, and there are better things to come.