Thursday, January 30, 2014

REVIEW: 'Community' Sends Annie & Hickey Off to Interact with Nathan Fillion, Paget Brewster & Robert Patrick in 'Analysis of Cork-Based Networking'

NBC's Community - Episode 5.06 Analysis of Cork-Based Networking

Annie and Hickey must contend with head custodian Bob Waite (Nathan Fillion), his right-had man Lapari (Kumail Nanjiani), head of I.T. Debra Chambers (Paget Brewster) and head of parking Waldron (Robert Patrick) to get the cafeteria ready for the midterm dance.

"Analysis of Cork-Based Network" left me surprisingly empty and I'm not entirely sure why. I loved the final moment with Abed and the return of Brie Larson. The rest of it just didn't really feel that deep. It was funny but it also felt like the show flying on auto-pilot - which is strange given that it's also the first episode without Donald Glover and the last one until the Winter Olympics are over with in a month.

The cameo appearances by Nathan Fillion, Kumail Nanjiani, Paget Brewster, Katie Leclerc and Robert Patrick were funny. I wish that Patrick and Jonathan Banks had more to do off of each other. It was fun stunt-casting. But that was it, fun stunt-casting. And as Annie and Hickey go to each different person, it just becomes more apparent of how many extraneous people work for Greendale.

Because the show got a lot of mileage out of Inspector Spacetime - probably more than it should - it introduces a new TV show that Abed is obsessed with - a Game of Thrones-parody Bloodlines of Conquest. It's a very simple plot - Britta tries spoiling the plot to Abed because he did it to her, he wears headphones to cancel out all noise and bonds with a deaf student who in the end is his undoing. It's simple but I don't quite understand why Britta would want to do that to Abed. She knows how much this means to him and as a therapist shouldn't she have been more conscious of what spoiling it would mean to him? She does get in that good line about Leclerc's deaf girl being just another girl we'll never see again. That, in turn, really sets up Larson's return well. So even though I'm perplexed by how we got there, I was happy with the end result.

Then, there was the rest of the Study Group (Jeff & Shirley) who were joined by Professor Duncan and Chang. I loved having Duncan and Chang around the table now as part of the "Save Greendale" community. They did bring unique and different energies to those environments. And yet, that plot was pretty extraneous and just something for the rest of the cast to do.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Analysis of Cork-Based Networking" was written by Monica Patrick and directed by Tristram Shapeero.
  • Duncan: "You can't just repeat it, you need to explain it."
  • Annie: "EVERYTHING!"
  • Dean Pelton: "I didn't follow most of that but I feel like I should do this." Rips paper.
  • Who went to Wikipedia to see if there was an entry for Fat Dog?
  • In case you didn't notice it at first but when Hickey watches the Breaking News there's an update on Troy at the bottom.
  • Another gas leak year reference.
  • But the humor of signing something thinking it's something but in reality it's something completely different is never not good. Especially loved Abed doing the same thing over and over and Britta's "Thank you" but it being "Sugar."