Scott Davis reviews the latest episode of Community….
Don’t mention the war…
As the new series of Community continues in earnest under its new leadership, one thing that seems to be consistent so far is its earnestness.
A change to the sharp, quote-along aspect of its early nature, Community is beginning to involve into a more warm and friendly show than in its three years previous.
Whether consciously or not, Community has become arguably the nicest show on TV, its characters warm and loveable, its story lines neater and loveable. But its change in direction, while foreign to those familiar with its biting centre, hasn’t diminished the show’s undoubted quality of characters and cast.
Episode 4 sees the semi-return of the Foosball-loving Germans of Series 3, this time hellbent on securing victory by snatching our beloved study group’s domain, rather than inter-stellar Foosball glory.
Elsewhere, the Dean is back on the fray, as brilliant as ever. Settling back into the new semester at Greendale, he is shocked to discover that Chang, mischievously played the wonderful Ken Jeong, is back at Greendale.
Suffering from Chang-nesia (how do they think of these things?), he believes his name is Kevin, a lost soul who knows nothing but the name he has been “assigned”.
Is it possible that the big storyline this year at Greendale is Chang’s own “Dark Knight Rises”, and from a dark, ominous pit, his evil reign will rise from the ashes? Only time will tell, but it’s nice to have him back…
What ensures is Season 4’s most likeable and consistently funny episode. The gang are back to their best here, even if the sharper edges of their brilliance have been sandpapered down slightly to accommodate the new gentler, calmer humour.
But while the likes of McHale, Pudi and Glover are finally put back front and centre where the shows strength lies, it’s the return of Jim Rash’s Dean who secures the most laughs here.
Sorely missing from the series thus far (probably due to his directing debut The Way, Way Back, due this summer), Rash’s exuberance and jovial energy are what really give this episode the much needed resuscitation it was crying out for.
A return to form of sorts for our beloved group of misfits, who on this form will surely make the 2nd half of season 4 quite interesting….