COMMUNITY 3.07 ‘Studies in Modern Movement’

“The Dreamatorium is more important than any of us.”

Blair Marnellby Blair Marnell

Episode Title: "Studies in Modern Movement"

Writer: Adam Countee

Director: Tristram Shapeero

Back in the multiverse spanning episode, "Remedial Chaos Theory" Troy (Donald Glover) and Abed (Danny Pudi) suggested that Annie (Alison Brie) move in with them to escape her hellish apartment in a bad part of town. And in the latest "Community," Annie finally takes the guys up on their offer.

All of the study group is there to help Annie movie, including Britta (Gillian Jacobs), Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown) and Pierce Hawthorne (Chevy Chase). But wait, there's somebody missing…

Jeff (Joel McHale) opted out of moving boxes by feigning illness. And when Britta calls him up to accuse him of being at The Gap, Jeff uses a helpful Gap employee and some convenient sound effects to mimic a hospital. It's a lot of trouble to go through to get out of spending time with his friends. The good Jeffrey even shoots down the cool girl who helped him orchestrate his deception, presumably because he had more khaki pants to buy.

The only thing that could ruin Jeff's day is Dean Pelton (Jim Rash), who "happens upon" Jeff and lightly threatens to tell Jeff's friends where he really is unless he goes to lunch with the Dean. Despite the Dean's (or Craig, as we're reminded here) seeming inability to recognize his own homosexuality, he can't pass up the opportunity to finally spend time with Jeff in a social setting. Although Jeff would probably not want him to call it a date.

Dean Pelton even drags Jeff to a Karaoke studio in the mall where the two belt out Seal's "Kiss From a Rose." And despite himself, Jeff gets into the song and starts to have a good time. Then the Deans ruins it all with an off-hand remark about Jeff telling his therapist that he wanted to be alone this weekend. Jeff doesn't let that pass and he realizes that the Dean has been spying on him (and probably other students as well) through their Greendale e-mail accounts. Whatever friendship that might have developed is left dead in its tracks.

However, buried in that revelation was a more interesting piece of the puzzle. Has Jeff mentioned that he sees a therapist on the show before? And is Jeff really so consumed with himself that he not only let his friends down but he also rejected a very attractive woman who didn't mind helping him with his deception? Bad form, Jeffrey. The Dean may be a needy piece of work, but at least he wants friends. Jeff has friends and he acts like he doesn't want or need them.

Meanwhile, Britta and Shirley get into it over religion… again. Shirley even remarks that it's impossible for her to religiously persecute Britta… because she doesn't have a religion. So the trip to Annie's new apartment becomes a constant one upmanship between them as Britta pulls over and picks up a Hitchhiker. The Hitchhiker thanks them for following the tenants of Christianity, then he reveals that he thinks that he is Jesus. And this son of God fully endorses marijuana via song. But Jesus' positions gradually unnerve both women until he plans to sing a song about the evils of race-mixing… upon which they throw him out.

It was fun to watch Shirley and Britta try to prove to each other that their worldviews were superior, only to finally agree to get rid of the crazy bastard in the backseat. Back at Annie's apartment, Pierce nearly killed himself by inhaling toxic paint fumes which turned him into a piano-playing ladies' man… if only in his own mind.

But the bulk of the episode belonged to Princess Annie and her Lost Boy roommates. At the start, Britta warns Annie that the qualities that she loves about Troy and Abed will soon be the things that she hates about them. Annie laughs that off, until she sees Abed has used all of her packing tape to secure Troy to the wall. Annie tries to overlook that and she even attempts to go with the crazy flow.

However, Annie is soon disappointed to find that Troy and Abed's apartment is much smaller than she realized. Her room consists of a blanket fortress in the living room while the guys share the only bedroom. She almost cries to herself until Troy and Abed put on shadow puppet show to raise her spirits. Once she's reminded of why she loves them, Annie gets a harsh slap of reality.

The guys do have a second bedroom; which they have converted into a "Dreamatorium;" which looks like a holodeck from Star Trek, except it is only powered by imagination. Essentially, it's the playroom of two grown men who refuse to give it up for her comfort. Annie leaves in a huff and she returns to her apartment to retrieve a delirious Pierce; who has apparently cost her the security deposit and he even tries to land a kiss on her, Woody Allen style. Gross…

Upon Annie's return to Troy and Abed's place, she finds that the guys have given up their bedroom to her and moved into the blanket fortress. But the Dreamatorium remains, because nothing is more important than that. If anything, moving into the blanket fort only perpetuates the ongoing adolescence of Troy and Abed. They haven't grown up and they don't want to.

Right about this time, the entire study group is reunited when Jeff shows up with food and an apology. The gang takes him back, but only after hilariously revealing that the Dean tweeted out the video they made to "Kiss From A Rose." In a great touch, the Dean's bald head appears in the moon and winks at the audience.

For the denouement, Jeff is actually moved to tears by the puppet play put on by Troy, Abed and Annie; much to Britta's disbelief.

This episode had pretty much everything I look for from an episode of "Community." Crazy, off-the-wall pop-culture comedy, great character beats and more heart than any other sitcom on NBC. "Community" is on another hot streak and if you haven't been watching it lately, you're missing one of the best comedies on TV.

Crave Online Rating: 9 out of 10.