COMMUNITY: ‘Mixology Certification’
December 3, 2010 by Alanna Bennett
This week’s episode is all about the COMMUNITY gang’s avoidance of studying for finals. Also, Troy’s birthday. We get to see the entire crew, gathered around their usual study table in birthday hats! Troy, being a Jehova’s Witness (they don’t believe in celebrating bdays) Jeff and company can’t sing the whole shebang that is the classic “Happy Birthday” song; they only sing the last two words. The icing on Troy’s birthday cake says it all: “Hello during a random desert, the month and day of which coincide numerically with your expulsion from a uterus.” Aw, how sweet! Happy Expulsion, Troy!
As we soon find out — after breezing past a few kicks at Pierce’s senility, Abed giving Troy the gift of “Kick Puncher: Detroit,” and Annie reading us all some birthday factoids — it seems Troy is unaware of the fact that his mother was uttering a little white lie when she told him that everybody gets to be ten for two years because, and I quote, “fifth grade’s hard for everyone.” Consequently, what Troy thinks is his twentieth birthday is actually his twenty-first.
Upon discovering that their comrade is of legal drinking age, Jeff takes it as his personal duty to help Troy “bathe in manhood,” which by Jeff’s definition essentially means boozing on a place he calls “L Street.” Britta, of course, overhears this and immediately begins mocking Jeff’s bar choice — she, in turn, suggests another watering hole. Both establishments being made up almost entirely of ego and hair product, they decide to settle the debate with another round of their favorite old game: Good Parent/Bad Parent, in which each of them tries to prove their leadership skills through the superiority of their respective bar tastes.
So the gang piles into their respective carpools, where Annie is left to contemplate her new fake ID (she, being only nineteen, can’t get into the bars without one). And Annie being Annie, begins over-thinking, and soon decides that her “character,” Caroline Decker from Corpus Christi, Texas (aka the girl on her ID) is a drifter with a twang and a penchant for screwdrivers.
They all gather at the bar — finally finding one that isn’t closed — and things start to unravel fairly quickly: Annie descends fully into her fake ID alter-ego, complete with phrases like “hot damn” and “plans just fall off me like chicken crap on an armadillo.” Abed peels off from the group to play Asteroids on the arcade game in the corner. And, perhaps most interestingly, Shirley begins to act mighty sketchily; it appears she’s frequented this bar, and she has the blurry drunken pictures to prove it.
Abed gets approached by a fellow sci-fi fanatic while playing Asteroids, and the two proceed to bond. Approximately thirty seconds into the conversation, however, it becomes crystal clear that this man is not just interested in hearing Abed’s thoughts on Farscape; he’s warm for Abed’s form, and he’s not afraid to say so. In fact, I believe his exact words are “Abed, would you like to have gay sex with me?” Abed responds with an unphased “no, thank you.” Well, at least the boy’s polite. Unfortunately for him, all the lessons from Miss Manners earn him today is a drink thrown in his face.
Annie, who starts to tell her (or rather, Caroline Decker’s) life story, seems to be faring just as sadly. It appears that some part of Annie yearns to be the type of person who could drop all her perfectly laid-out plans to follow a band (or perhaps a hackey-sack player?) across the country and live out of tents. Fortunately for us, she is not that type of girl.
Troy, looking around the bar and seeing the pathetic drunken state of all of his friends, decides that it’s time his birthday celebration comes to an end, and he leads them all safely back to Jeff’s car so he can drive them home. As Abed said, “this is a really dark chapter in [their] group story.” Especially since, on the ride home, it’s revealed that, those bars Jeff and Britta had been arguing about all night? Yeah, they’re the same bar. Troy is not happy with this development. “I just spent the last two years thinking that you guys knew more than me about life. And I just found out that you guys are just as dumb as me!” Their response says it all: “Duh-DOY.”
Part of me wasn’t quite sure what to think of this episode. We got to see just how lushy our favorite study group could get, but following an episode like the last one (which was high on the twists, turns, and epic forts), this one felt light on something. Maybe it was the lack of the usually constant onslaught of references? Maybe it was the sudden resurgence of the Jeff/Britta sexual tension? — they made out in the car at the end, Abed sitting silently next to them like a coat rack (or a ninja?)! Maybe it was the generally more grungy, adult vibe that came from the bar setting and the glimpses into the after-hours lives of Jeff, Britta, and Shirley? It wasn’t bad to any degree, it was just…different.
In any case, it was great to see so much of Donald Glover this time around. He’s there every week, and always hilarious, but Troy usually serves as the Brittany S. Pearce of the show: the hot and dumb jock who stands there and delivers the one-liners that have us rolling our eyes and rolling on the floor simultaneously. It’s great, especially when he’s teamed with Abed, but it’s also great to see him get to do more. He really got to shine this episode, specifically in his scene with Annie at the end. This may be a show filled with hijinks and meta plot lines and monkeys and paint-ball, but this scene really reminded me that it’s also got a lot of heart. At the end of the day, Troy and Annie are just kids; they’re my age, and like a lot of kids at the end of their teens or in their early twenties, they’re still trying to figure out who they are, and who they want to be. And as Britta, Jeff, and Shirley all showed this episode, sometimes the adults aren’t sure about any of these things either.
What were your favorite lines or moments of the night? Wasn’t it sweet that Abed bought Troy “Kick Puncher: Detroit” for his birthday? Do you think these Jeff/Britta moments will spark another romantic storyline between them? Will Abed ever get an actual love interest or will he continue to be an adorable robot merely pretending to be human? And, more pressingly, what do you think of the persistence of Joel McHale’s beard? Tell us in the comments!
Also, don’t forget that next week is the much-anticipated clay-mation Christmas episode!!!
Jeff: “Think of it as Troy taking his first bath. Only, the bubbles are his manhood”
Troy: “That’s right; I wanna bathe in manhood”
Jeff: “The women are your problem, and the men are going to The Ballroom. And now I guess I am being clever.”
Annie: “I pretended to be a different person tonight”
Troy: “Abed does that like three times a week”
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