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August 27, 2015

'Community' - 'Contemporary American Poultry' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 22nd 2010 10:45PM
(S01E21) Tonight, on a "very special episode" of 'Community,' Abed learns that there is a right way to being accepted and embraced by your fellow students, and then there's the quick way.
With Abed on narration, this week's episode felt like a whole slew of familiar movies, without triggering specific memories of any particular ones (save the obvious and directly mentioned one). I say that as a non-movie buff, so if you caught hundreds of more specific references, please share with the class.

It's been a while since I've been in school, and it's even been a few years since my time in the corporate world. It's amazing how the most inane things can take on a grand importance when you're entrenched in those types of institutions. Food is always one of the great common denominators, and for Greendale Community College, that food was the Chicken Finger.

I don't know where they get their food, but it looks way better than the swill we got when I was in college, and that was a four-year university! Looking at those heaping piles of breaded chicken made me salivate, while at the same time the arteries around my heart went into spasms. Food can be a powerful tool to a captive audience. Starburns used and abused that power, so the gang decided to usurp the power for themselves.

But once Abed was in place as the new fry cook, he found that he got corrupted by power as well. The elaborate method in which the gang went about distributing the chicken, to ensure their own elevated importance at Greendale, was brilliant -- and brilliantly narrated by Abed. Pierce got the popularity he always sought with an entourage of his own. Shirley got the guy, Annie got a sweet backpack, and Troy got Annie's Boobs.

I'm not too snooty to admit that the Annie's Boobs jokes were funny throughout the entire episode; I wish we could have had a lot more of Troy talking about his monkey. The potential for juvenile humor and immature giggles is sometimes too tempting to overcome, and I'm glad 'Community' realizes that just because something is immature doesn't mean it can't be funny, too.

Jeff showed his own immaturity when he was willing to sabotage the fryer to take away Abed's power. He didn't care about what it was doing to Abed or to the group; he only cared about what it had already done to his position as the top dog. That's where the "very special episode" aspect came in, as he found Abed there trying to find the next big food to maintain his power and popularity.

The narration was so brilliant throughout the episode, I was prepared to just take it at face value. It wasn't necessary to explain what was happening; but somehow knowing that the whole story was a response to the Dean asking Abed if he had any idea who might have stolen hair nets from the cafeteria made it that much better. It's one thing to picture Abed thinking these thoughts out loud, but quite another to imagine him telling that whole story to someone else.

Thank god Abed has no filter between his brain and his mouth. I hope he never changes. Bonus points for the weird image of Abed feeding Shirley's dreadlocked boy toy Chicken Fingers as part of his "showing them" plot.

[Create your own monologue over clips and full episodes of 'Community' at SlashControl.]

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Alison the Pirate: http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/814484ebd6/the-committee-ep-1-bad-dog-w-alison-brie-rick-sommer
it's on Funny or die, it's hilarious, disney princess eye I never saw this one coming

June 16 2010 at 10:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Puzzle this one out: the scene about 11:20 to about 12:45 in --where Jeff tries to get the group take away Abed's power and they rejected him.

There's a sign on the wall that says (as best as I can make out) "Respect the Noble Animal" and a Danger sign, the rest of the text of which I can't make out.

But the signs appear and disappear several times in that short scene. Is that a continuity error--if so, it's a inexplicable one (why would they take the signs down?)--or does it mean something?

April 25 2010 at 6:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Scott's comment
Kevin Brown

I am pretty sure the sign gag was deliberate. How could it not be?? There is no conceivable reason that the signs would be there then not and then again, etc. Even if they filmed at different times, I don't think there would be any reason for that to change since this was a set, anyway.

January 01 2014 at 7:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

the Law & Order reference of Cutter's college degree storyline being stolen from the show was pretty funny

April 24 2010 at 1:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Community is streets ahead of all the other new shows this season.

April 23 2010 at 9:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tony DIMeo

It was a parody of the godfather and I love how self-referential this show is the character of troy is the one character who seems to know it's a TV show and always fourth-wall jokes which I love

April 23 2010 at 7:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"we went from being a family to be a family in italics"

April 23 2010 at 12:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is one of those episodes for me where I could totally see my self "not getting it" or even "disliking it" if this was one of the first episodes I've seen of the show. But since it wasn't and I know (and love) the characters, I thought it was brilliant, hilarious, and just so much fun.

April 23 2010 at 10:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I had just seen a bit of Goodfellas on AMC a couple days ago and I immediately caught the reference to Goodfellas and I loved it. The Sixteen Candles scene was great too...

April 23 2010 at 9:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yup, the entire episode seemed to be a send-up of mobster movies, especially "Goodfellas," with a reference to "The Godfather," when Jeff got the door shut in his face, and there may have been a little "A Bronx Tale," and others thrown in as well.

Loved this episode, perhaps because much like Abed I'm a bit of a film buff as well. And I agree the narration was one of the best things about the episode.

April 23 2010 at 2:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike Rogus

I thought the whole darn episode was one giant specific reference to Goodfellas. But I could be wrong, it's been a while since I've seen that movie.

April 23 2010 at 1:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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