TV REVIEW: Community Season 3 Episode 12 – Contemporary Impressionists

Jeff has started seeing a new therapist who has put him on new medication that controls his anxiety, making him seem even more confident and awesome than usual. Meanwhile, Abed has realised that he can hire celebrity impersonators for his own personal use, but has not got the money to pay them. This leads to the gang having to impersonate various celebrities to pay off Abed’s debt, and Jeff’s outing as a more handsome Ryan Seacrest spells trouble for his ego.

To pay off Abed’s debt to a French Stewart impersonator – French Stewart in fantastic form – the gang agree to appear at a bar mitzvah as black Michael Jackson, white Michael Jackson, Oprah Winfrey, Fat Brando, Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Garland and Ryan Seacrest. The combination of Jeff in a tux and his new found super confidence has the ladies fawning all over him, which only serves to inflate his ego further. Jeff has always had issues with over-confidence, and it was only a matter of time before his ego spiralled out of control. The good news is that while this was a horrific and trying ordeal for the character, it is fantastically odd and fun to watch.

The choices for the gang’s impersonations are brilliant – Pierce is reluctant to accept that he does not look like Burt Reynolds and Britta makes an oddly convincing Michael Jackson. This episode is really all about Jeff and there are several fantastic moments including Britta’s attempt to bring his ego under control and the Dean literally falling to the floor at the sight of Jeff in aviator sunglasses. Joel McHale plays the ‘I’m so amazing’ card throughout most of the episode, but the other characters freaking out around him – and his moments of insecurity –  are what makes it funny. Therefore, Jeff really does become the centre of the universe, for this episode at least.

Once again, Troy comes to the defence of Abed as the gang try to decide whether to enable his obsession with his pop culture fantasy world. This all comes to an end, however, when Troy realises that sometimes reality does matter. This could be seen as another reference to the unreal world that Community has been accused of creating, and a gentle reminder to the show’s naysayers that underneath the mapcap adventures, this is a show about a bunch of dysfunctional friends trying to make the most of their lives… But then we see Abed in an imaginary spaceship talking to his imaginary evil twin, which proves that Community has taken notes but is staying true to itself, as well as the fact that the show can pretty much make any silly scenario work.

This week’s episode of Community was fantastically weird and over the top. It made up for the slightly underwhelming episode last week and reminded audiences that its ridiculousness is what makes the show so special.

GS Reviewer: Brogen Hayes

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