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Community Review: "The Politics of Human Sexuality" (Episode 1.11)

December 4, 2009  |  11:30am
Community Review: "The Politics of Human Sexuality" (Episode 1.11)

One of the early concerns for Community was whether it would wear itself out quickly. As good as the pilot was, and it was damn good, the next few episodes were in large part repetition. Meet the cast, meet a class, and get a few jokes about how bad community colleges are. Rinse, show Abed being weird in some sort of autistic or foreign way, repeat.

The past three episodes, though, have knocked those complaints out of the water, and while “The Politics of Human Sexuality” is the weakest in a while, it’s still extremely good. The show’s firing on all cylinders—if anything I’m just disappointed that with a name and title like that, it couldn’t have been the best episode, ever. For any show. I’m pretty convinced that next week’s “Comparative Religion” episode will be the best thing since sliced bread.

One nice choice for the episode is taking Chevy Chase’s character Pierce out of the really peripheral plots and placing him front and center with Jeff. Pierce wants Jeff to go along with him on a double date. Jeff’s not so inclined, likely because he’s sane, but Pierce gets him to come along anyhow by questioning his manhood. Like any good television protagonist, Jeff’s not going to stand for that and decides that he’ll find a girl for it and show off exactly how studly he really is. Playing on Jeff’s insecurities yet again works well, but really I’d be happy just watching Pierce annoy Jeff in any situation. Just force Jeff to put up with Pierce for any amount of time and amusement will happen.

The show’s other main plot is that Annie, due to her go-getter commitment to the school’s STD Fair, is being honored by putting a condom on an anatomically correct mannequin in front of the entire school. The problem is that she’s never actually seen a penis, let alone put a condom on one. In fact, her ideas about what they look like are pretty strange, though I’m glad she’s aware that they’re not quite shaped like bananas. Being the good feminists they are, Britta and Shirley help her to break into where the mannequin is being stored but the three are soon caught in a maneuver dubbed a reverse porky’s due to how they just kinda end up looking at the mannequin’s penis for a while.

In the show’s smallest, largely unrelated plotline Troy gets annoyed with Abed when he realizes that Abed is a better athlete than him in every conceivable way. There’s not too much more to it than that. By the end of the episode, Troy accepts his inadequacy and Abed, well … Abed is Abed.

Surrounding all of these is the Greendale Community College’s gloriously stupid STD Fair. Probably because I enjoyed the hell out of the stupidity that was my college’s “Sex Week,” where I was both hit in the eye with a dildo and had sweet (entirely sexual) nothings whispered into my ear by my old writing partner, it was the part of the episode I enjoyed the most. The strange level of Orwellian doublespeak and strange standards are a magically weird affair and Community captured the essence of just how odd these things really are. That being said, I wanted more of it. While The Office has always kind of strained at the seams when given double-length episodes, Community seems to be struggling to hold 40-minutes of ideas into its little 22-minute slot. Anyone else hoping NBC gives this a shot at some point?

Oh, and the show’s webisodes? Surprisingly awesome. I’m not usually the biggest fan of these things, but I recommend heading over and checking thema out. In short, it’s the Channel 101 version of the show.

Stray Observations:

"You know the toilets in the women's bahtrooms don't have seats."

"Sabrina, I want hidden cameras in every stall."

"It's impossible to guard you--your eyes are too gentle and mysterious."

"Taking a call girl to an STD fair.  There's a joke here."

"I was voted most likely to succeed at my rehab clinic."

-A wheel of remorse is the perfect conversation starter for any party.  I really want one.

"Do you own a horse?" "can you ever really own a horse?"

"Being a virgin in this day and age is something to be proud of--you're like a unicorn"

"The rules are: you suck, let's go."

-Also enjoyed the epic arm wrestling match ... even though it was a foregone conclusion that Abed would take it.

"Sabrina is cute, but she thinks Monty Python is the evil snake from Harry Potter."

"I had no idea alcohol would make people horny."

"I just want to focus on the girl who won't say penis."

Best line of the episode: "I am totally comfortable with being uncomfortable with my sexuality."

"Giant thumb in a turtleneck.  Whoopty-do."

-Drunk Ken Jeong is just as good as every other Ken Jeong.

-And the girl Jeff is with is not, as he says, hot.  Just saying.

"Go, Abed, go!  Before people sex one another." - OK, maybe that one's the best.

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