TV REVIEW: Community Season 3 Episode 8 – Documentary Filming: Redux

The Dean is given money to make a new commercial for Greendale Community College. However, things soon get out of hand when Pierce will not come out of his trailer, Annie begins to believe the Dean is a genius and Luis Guzman – Greendale’s most famous alum – agrees to be in the ad.

It is such a shame that Community is potentially being faced with cancellation, this episode goes to prove how good the show can be. Abed decides to film to creative process for the ad, and it is that which we see on screen. The Dean quickly models himself on Cecil B. De Mille – down to the boots – and Jeff does everything he can to mess up the ad. When Jeff calls Luis Guzman’s agent in the hopes of getting the ad shut down, Guzman agrees to be in the commercial, leading the Dean to some pretty drastic rewrites.

The study group have pretty much always believed that the Dean is a little bit mad, but during the making of the commercial – as he gets madder and madder – they cannot see it. Eventually, they see sense and leave the set, leaving the Dean to deal with Luis Guzman.

Of course things get out of hand during the making of this ad, this is one of the things that we love about Community. These people are supposed to be a group, but they splinter away from each other every time they are put under pressure, and this is what makes the show so great. However, this episode is done in a similar style to that of The Office – since we are watching what Abed films – and this may be off putting for some viewers who decide to see what all the fuss is about, and watch a single episode of the show. For those of us who have been watching all along, and especially those of us who loved Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking will realise that this is a great episode of the show.

One of the unusual things about the episode was the decision to sideline most of the study group – Pierce actually disappears for most of the episode – and focus instead on the Dean. While some people may claim that this was a mistake, it actually gives us some insight into the Dean and how his warped little mind works. Of course we know that everything he does goes way off on a tangent – A Fistful of Paintballs anyone? – but this is why the character works. Jeff loses himself completely in the character he is playing – an over the top parody of the Dean – and the oppressive atmosphere leads to his eventual demise, Britta believes that Abed may show what he is filming in a documentary and Shirley always wants to be nice to her fellow man; leading them to stay on a lot longer than they normally would.

In the end, Abed’s humanity shines through and he saves the Dean from certain doom. This is the kind of heartwarming episode we expect from Community – with a little insanity, quirkiness and yelling thrown in.

Oh, and props to Luis Guzman for appearing in the episode, nice to see he has a sense of humour!

GS Reviewer: Brogen

More from the world of Geek Syndicate

%d bloggers like this: