In the hopes of appearing like it’s still the meta loving masterpiece it once was, Community has gone out of its way to cast the wonderful Sara Bareilles in an upcoming episode involving puppetry. But it is not the puppetry that makes this episode particularly meta – Bareilles is responsible for the song “Gravity,” which has been played to death in many a Community shipping video, particular ones that pair Jeff with Annie. In fact, Community has already tackled this phenomenon by making its own shipping video in Season 2’s “Paradigm’s of Human Memory.” So why do we need Bareilles if this area has already been covered?
Well, according to TVLine, we don’t know why Bareilles was cast. Her role is being kept a secret. The only thing we can say with any certainty is she won’t be playing herself. Also appearing in the April 11 episode is Jason Alexander, who plays a mountain man the study group encounters after a hot-air balloon ride goes wrong and they crash in the woods. Despite the very human guest-stars, the study group will be represented by puppet versions of themselves, for some unknown reason. From what I can tell, this won’t be another case of Abed having a mental breakdown and only thinking everyone has turned into puppets. The cast will still appear and it looks like they are only using the puppets for talking, again, for some unknown reason.
Season 4 has been a tricky season for the struggling sitcom. It hasn’t quite rediscovered itself and has suffered greatly from creative changes. But there’s no reason to look down on upcoming episodes. The last couple of episodes showed promise, as if things were finally settling back into place. I’m not sure the puppets are a great idea, but I’ve seen Community tackle more bizarre scenarios and still manage to make it work. I never once questioned the use of a brief anime sequence in a Season 3 episode, so why should puppets seem out of place?