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'Community' - 'Physical Education' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Mar 5th 2010 2:39PM
'Community' - 'Physical Education'
(S01E17)
Well, Joel McHale promised nudity on 'Community,' and nudity the series delivered last night. Unfortunately, at least half of that nudity came in the form of "worse than Dennis Franz' ass on 'NYPD Blue.'" The rest was probably more pleasant for those inclined to appreciate that sort of nudity.

And before the parents groups get up in arms, everything that censors fear was hidden behind pool tables, but that isn't to say that a large portion of the student body didn't get to see a large portion of a student's body.

Abed provided the lesson this week, as well as a surprising double-role. And speaking of double roles, Abed and Troy really took it to the next level with their closing credits gag -- it took me a second to realize who they were.

Okay, I'll admit it. The wife figured out they were Bert and Ernie before I did, but the pair were brilliantly perfect in these roles. At this point, I think I could watch Troy and Abed interact all day. Theirs may be my favorite relationship on the show. I'd go so far as to say they're my favorite characters, but everyone on the show has developed such amazing characters I'll just have to settle for it being one of the best ensembles on television.

We've even reached the point where Joel McHale is no longer the star drawing power, even though he technically still is. Every single character can carry the story, and every single one of them provides great comic support for one another. The banter between the entire gang trying to help Abed score a hot chick who drew a picture of him in the Spanish book provided plenty of great one-liners. It was funny over and over again when they kept catching themselves almost saying he had Asberger's (at least that's where it seemed they were going), as well as saying he was socially awkward and likely to be alone for the rest of his life.

The reveal of "White Abed" was the best climax we could have hoped for in that storyline. It sidestepped any of the cliche culminations, and allowed Abed to remain himself. That said, Danny Pudi is proving himself quite the brilliant impressionist. From Don Draper to Jeff Winger to a vampire-Abed, he completely owned every character he stepped into. Annie, particularly seemed quite taken with Abed Draper, but that could be because as Trudy Campbell over on 'Mad Men,' Alison Brie has interacted with the real deal. Thank goodness her jealous husband Pete wasn't around to see that particular exchange.

Annie, it would seem, is a huge wild side just waiting to burst free. It's a great representation of many young men and women as they step directly from high school into the freedoms of college. It'll be interesting to see if the writers have her break free of her self-imposed restraints, or if she finally cuts loose and lets her inner wild child free ... even if only for a little while.

She was certainly goggling at the "clothing optional" pool game that closed out the episode, though not nearly as much as Dean Pelton. Yes, the whole stripping down in front of a large chunk of the student population was incredibly over the top, but it still managed to be funny. I never knew McHale was in such great shape, though I'll bet he put in some extra time at the gym before taping this episode to make sure he was as toned as possible. The gym coach? Not so much. He more or less let it all hang out.

In the end, we learned that it's better to be cool enough with yourself that changing to suit any given situation is no big deal. And we learned that while Jeff may have game, Abed's got game! That chick was smoking hot.

And he knows how many "baggles" hit the floor like Dustin Hoffman in 'Rain Man.'

[How do you pronounce clips and full episodes of 'Community' at SlashControl?]

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Teresa

Nit picky moment: It is Asperger's, not Asberger's. It was named for an Austrian pediatrician named Hans Asperger so there is just ONE spelling -- the correct one.

Otherwise, on topic, I loved this episode. Abed's impersonations were terrific.

March 14 2010 at 4:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Garrett

This episode was classic. Abed was just perfect in every "role" he did.

March 05 2010 at 11:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Alex

When watched the first episode of this I wasn't quite sold. It's gotten better every week, and now truly Must See TV.
This is one of the best comedy ensembles, this and Modern family both being great new shows.

I almost fell out of the chair laughing when I see the Bert and Ernie gag. Classic.

Saw Blake Clarke years ago doing standup...truly hilarious.

March 05 2010 at 11:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike

"It'll be interesting to see if the writers have her break free of her self-imposed restraints, or if she finally cuts loose and lets her inner wild child free ..."

Were you being ironic in that that's inevitable, or did you just space it that those two things aren't different?

March 05 2010 at 11:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brent

Easily the funniest episode of the season. Sitcoms take time to grow on you. Thank god they had a whole season pickup to establish everything. I just watched a video on another website of Dan Harmon telling the cast that the show has been picked up for season 2. WHICH IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!! They seemed so excited.

March 05 2010 at 10:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joanna

Between this show and Modern Family...the great lines were flying this week.

Shirley: Strictly speaking Troy, the Bible condemns this level of friendship.

Abed: You're going to Can't Buy Me Love me?
Troy: Oh, he wants us to Love Don't Cost a Thing him.

Jeff: We've all seen enough After School Specials...uh...Fat Albert (to Shirley & Troy)...to know that Abed just needs to be himself.

Coach: Do you have a problem playing pool with a full range of motion and optimal comfort?

Coach: Vanity is...that guy. It's the first day of school I didn't get a chance to learn his name.

Jeff: White Abed?
Shirley: Jenny's dating a white guy that looks just like Abed. His name is Joey.
Jeff: Does that make Abed the "Brown Joey"?
Shirley: Well if you wanna get racist about it!

Vampire Abed was THE funniest thing ever!

March 05 2010 at 9:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob LeMent

Amen to that, I just laughed about Vampire Abed while reading about Vampire Abed, it was that funny.

March 05 2010 at 7:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Celina

Vampire Abed was the funniest thing on TV I have seen in ages. I could not stop laughing!

March 05 2010 at 4:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ganesh

now that "better off ted" is off the air, "community" is easily the funniest thing on network television.

"almost saying he had Asberger's"

asperger's us not asberger's

March 05 2010 at 3:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Zachary

The whole time they were building up to an interaction between Jeff and the girl in the pool class, I was wondering what happened to his professor girlfriend he seemingly made up with at the end of the last episode.

March 05 2010 at 2:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Zachary's comment
Cuuuk

Hey...it was great to see Blake Clark from Home Improvement as the instructor. Well, maybe not "see" per se...

March 05 2010 at 3:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
beanspants1

I would assume she was teaching. They were playing during school hours.

March 05 2010 at 5:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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