Review: 'Community' - 'An Alternative History of the German Invasion': This means war
A quick review of tonight's "Community" coming up just as soon as I take a provisional Lactaid...
"An Alternative History of the German Invasion" was, as you can probably tell from the stories (the first day of classes, an immediate follow-up to the "Changnesia" gag from the premiere), designed and produced as the season's second episode, but held until now. Sometimes, episodes air out of order because they require extra time to complete ("Remedial Chaos Theory," the video game episode), while other times, they get held because someone (the producers, the network, or both) fear that it's not working and want to air stronger episodes ahead of it.
This definitely seems like an example of the latter. I haven't been crazy about any of this season's previous episodes for various reasons, but I've at least laughed at them in spots. This one, though, barely elicited a few minor chuckles, and featured several jokes (notably the study group's simultaneous scream at the presence of Chang) that simply made me cringe.
There have been unfunny episodes of "Community" before, but most of the time they work on some level either because they're doing something structurally interesting, because they're going deeper into the emotional lives of the characters, or both. ("Mixology Certification" is a fine example of this, and even that had more overt laughs.) This, though, was a pretty basic campus hijinks episode, which meant that if I wasn't laughing at the many German jokes (which felt like taking a minor but amusing element from the foosball episode and leaning much too heavily on it), at Pierce electrocuting himself, etc., there was nothing left to lean on. Even the attempts to show how the study group have been historically evil didn't entirely work, because they're only occasionally that selfish. (As Todd VanDerWerff notes in his review, using the D&D episode — which was explicitly about the group trying to help out another student — as an example of them being jerks rang very false.)
Again, this was the second episode made by this creative team, and a good chunk of it had to be spent on cleaning up the mess they were handed in terms of Chang. Hopefully things will improve as the season moves along. But this was just a bad episode of "Community."
What did everybody else think?
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
Let Streaming Genie help you.