Review: Community - Investigative Journalism
by Jason Hughes, posted Jan 15th 2010 3:15AM
(S01E13) I'd like to give thanks to the Executive Producer Associate Supervisor Supervising Executive for being the man, or woman, behind the new semester at Community. When the gang returned from the break they discovered a new member in their group -- he snuck in during the group hug.
Jack Black basically plays one type of character, and that's who we got this week. There were some genuinely funny moments, but this definitely wasn't one of the stronger episodes of the series to date. With the community college setting, it's pretty easy to slip in a guest star here or there and even, as in this case, pretend they've been there the whole time. I just don't think it's necessary right now for Community.
The reason the show is working so well right now is these characters we've come to know over the past twelve episodes. The storyline with Jeff taking over as the head of the school paper is where I found myself enjoying things. The rush of power, along with Abed's constant M*A*S*H references, kept it fun and light. Plus, there's actually potential for comedy in the new semester with Jeff running the paper.
Annie's first big scoop, that the dean used racial profiling to announce an hour delay for a Toni Braxton concert, is so bizarre it's funny. I can't wait to see what else she digs up, and what trouble Jeff can get into with this new position. It's a development that can actually add new layers to the show as it stands.
Jack Black was little more than a ratings stunt. He was the same character he always is, complete with the singing and guitar playing. He was aggressive, obnoxious and annoying, with no class. Maybe it's me, but it's not the type of character that I so love, I want to see it over and over again. About the funniest thing he accomplished was kicking Jeff in the face.
The drag off the table was a little too predictable to be funny, as was his pants getting pulled down. I did laugh at Pierce's face covered with the sugar from the lemony treat Buddy (Black) made for the group. I even liked that he just showed up and declared that he was part of the group. The idea was solid. The "Jack Black" character didn't work in it for me.
Throw in the completely arbitrary appearance of Owen Wilson, representing the leader of the "cool group," and you've got another celebrity appearance for no reason at all. I'm not sure how a hari juku girl, starburns and Owen Wilson constitutes cool, but I can go with it. The problem is that now you have this potential rival study group, one that even members of our group are trying to be in, and one of its members is a star you're not going to be able to use whenever you want. They can always write him out of the group, or pretend he's not around, but it definitely hinders a potentially lucrative comedic opportunity for the future.
Don't get me wrong. I didn't dislike the episode. I thought Senor Chang's fake death, followed by his bizarre resurrection and dramatic departure, were perfect for the character. Everyone in the group was in perfect character, and there were plenty of good lines throughout. I guess I just wasn't impressed with the big exciting guest stars.
[Get ready for the new semester with clips and full episodes of Community at SlashControl.]