TV REVIEW: Community Season 3 Episode 10 – Regional Holiday Music

The Glee club are served a cease and desist order, stopping them from singing copyrighted songs without permission – via an anonymous tip from by Jeff. Jeff’s meddling soon backfires when Mr Rad, the Glee club teacher, tries to enlist the study group to take over from the Glee club again.

We saw a brief flash of the study group taking over from the Glee club when they were tragically killed in a bus crash, but the group are unwilling to do it again. Abed, however, is determined to make the festive season brighter, even after Jeff warns him that “Attempts to make the holidays brighter tend to give them a certain darkness”, thus, Abed is the first to fall to Mr Rad’s “equal parts handsome and mansome” charms.

As each member of the study group is won over, we see some truly fantastic musical numbers; Troy raps with Abed, giving Donald Glover the chance to show off his skills as rapper Childish Gambino, Annie sings to Jeff and plays up the whole ‘Santa baby’ vibe while channelling Rachel Berry from the TV show Glee, Pierce falls foul of a song about Baby Boomer Santa and Shirley is won over by a children’s choir singing about Jesus.

The cast are on fine from with this sickly sweet rendition of Christmas, and the storyline plays along the lines of the paintball episodes with each character recruiting another into the foul and nefarious plot to get the Christmas Pageant to go ahead. Of course, things are never as they seem with Community, and it is revealed that Mr Rad orchestrated the bus crash that killed the previous Glee club. This is not just a temporary measure; he wants the study group to be the Glee club permanently, and this turns out to be more than Abed can stand.

Community is brilliant at lampooning and parodying popular culture, but this is the first time that their mick taking has been so overt, but it works. The study group are so cynical in day to day life, that their absorption into the Glee club not only parodies one of the most popular Tween shows on the air at the moment, but it plays like a version of the Stepford Wives.

There are laughs a-plenty this week in Community and, once again, the show reminds us that it is one of the cleverest shows on TV. Since it has been established that the show can work in any genre, it takes full advantage of this and works pop culture references into the fabric of the show. This is probably the last episode of Community that we will see in a while, but with episodes like this – and the fan out cry – the hiatus of the show may not last very long.

GS Reviewer: Brogen

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