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Community – “Paradigms of Human Memory” – review
Community has taken many chances this season, experimenting with different ways to tell its stories. The latest episode calls back to how many shows would do clip shows when they ran out of fresh ideas. Only in Community’s version, none of the clips have ever been seen before.
There’s still a story to be told around the flashbacks, with Jeff and Britta revealing they’ve been sleeping together all year, and the group’s constant fighting over every little thing. They group actually brings up a lot of devices the show commonly uses, e.g., the hijinks they get up to during holidays, Jeff’s speeches to keep the group united, and Dean Pelton’s constant intrusions and weird costumes.
The flashbacks aren’t all just random events. They have their own sense of continuity (like a St. Patrick’s Day adventure and a visit to a western ghost town) and even mini-stories (Abed’s love for the show The Cape).
What was particularly funny was the parody of YouTube “shipper” videos, first used for Jeff and Annie, and then Abed and Pierce. You can make anyone look like they’re in love when you slow down everything and put it to a sappy love song.
We even got flashbacks to previous episodes (the zombie and claymation episodes), though the scenes shown happened off screen (or in one case, we got to see what a scene from “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas” looked like in live action”).
This was one of the funniest episodes of Community, and probably the most creative. It poked fun at its own clichés, which hopefully means they’ll move on to new things. Now that they’ve pointed all these out, it will be hard to go back to them. But if any show can break its own mold, it’s Community