COMMUNITY: ‘Celebrity Pharmacology 212’ - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

COMMUNITY: ‘Celebrity Pharmacology 212’

January 28, 2011 by  

Remember back in elementary and middle school, where they’d pause classes for a little while to tell us the dangers of smoking pot and huffing paint? Where they’d hand out those D.A.R.E shirts that you somehow still own ten/fifteen/twenty years later, and you walk away mainly with the knowledge that after-school special type PSAs aren’t really all that effective past the age of seven?

COMMUNITY remembers. And so “Celebrity Pharmacology 212” spends its half-hour probably the closest to PSA territory that it will ever get. And that isn’t really all that close.

The episode opens with Troy and Abed in bumblebee costumes, and for a second I think that I am dreaming…Alas, I am not. They’re rehearsing a skit for director Annie. The formerly pill-popping Ms. Edison has taken it on to herself to spread the word to other at-risk young people about the dangers of giving yourself over to drugs. A valiant effort, for sure, but this is COMMUNITY, and let’s not forget that it’s a sitcom. Things have been translated oddly (and therefore hilariously) — Pierce is dressed as a gigantic senile marijuana plant, Shirley as a crayon, and Jeff and Britta in leather and kitty-ears as the “Cool Cats.” Dean Pelton comes in dressed as a bumblebee as well, but it turns out that this is for…let’s just say “unrelated” reasons.

Whereas last week’s episode of COMMUNITY focused more on the plot points that would set us in motion for the rest of the season (Shirley’s pregnancy by Chang, Annie’s possibly lingering “feelings”/blind anger towards Jeff), “Celebrity Pharmacology 212” was much more centered around what executive producer Dan Harmon promised fans during the TCA press tour a couple weeks ago: that we’d learn more about these people we watch week after week, discover what conditions they live in, their backstories, etc.

This pops up in the episode through Pierce and Annie, who temporarily team up in an effort to add more pizazz to the anti-drug skit the group is set to perform in front of some local kids. Annie wants the show to be a hit and is convinced to accept help from Pierce for two main reasons: 1) Pierce has a lot of experience in commercials (he is, after all, the “Gerber baby of moist towelettes”), and 2) Pierce offers to help Annie pay her rent. Pierce had followed Annie back home to her apartment (which we had only briefly previously glimpsed in “Mixology Certification”), where it is revealed that Annie lives in a dump above a “marital aid” store. She’s been cut off by her parents and is living on the savings she got from babysitting and the “period fairy.” As Pierce puts it, “This craphole is a monument to self-reliance.”

In a touching scene, Pierce sits in a dark room watching an old video of his shunned efforts at commercial stardom. It’s obvious he wants to be the star of the anti-drug production because he never got to be one in his childhood. But even Pierce’s tragic childhood can’t save him (or Annie, or the production) from himself, and by the end of the episode Pierce has done everything in his arsenal to take the anti-drug presentation down with him. This includes sparklers, a clown wig, and some very shaky improv. Considering his is the part of the giant marijuana leaf, this has an adverse effect on the message. By the end of the first act the kids in the audience think drugs are the coolest thing since Pokémon. When Annie finally pulls him off the stage, the kids are left chanting “We want drugs! We want drugs!”

Though they were initially angry about Annie selling her message to Pierce for the price of rent, the study group decides to help out. As Jeff puts it: “We just created fifty potential meth-heads, and the least we could do is go back out there and get that number back down to the national average.” And so they send out Chang, who saves the day by dressing in Pierce’s costume and proving to the kids that drugs are not as cool in the long-run as they were in act one. Shirley, witnessing this, decides to give Chang a chance (sort of) by not full-out ignoring him anymore.

There was also a B-storyline throughout the episode wherein Jeff accidentally “sexts” Britta’s fourteen year old nephew (on Britta’s behalf, which is no less weird). Although at times hilarious, that storyline is going to be largely ignored in this recap due to the sheer awkwardness of it all.

The episode ends with the gang reunited and (mostly) happy once again, and Annie proclaims that she will no longer take money from her friends. She’s the self-reliant type now, and she’s going to get a job to prove it. It was a relief that someone in the TV world finally realized that people often need jobs to pay for things, unless they live in the land of GOSSIP GIRL.

The episode overall was fun to watch. I still can’t get over seeing Jeff and Britta in their cute little kitty ears as the “Cool Cats.”


“You don’t count, Britta. You don’t respond to anything appropriately.”

“There’s a rapist in the hallway.” “That’s my landlord. And if he wanted to rape you, you’d be raped.”

“Why does he get a front-stinger?”

“Well, that answers my question. Jeff is sexy even in a coffin.”

What did you all think of last night’s episode?

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3 Responses to “COMMUNITY: ‘Celebrity Pharmacology 212’”

  1. Elena on January 28th, 2011 2:57 pm

    the great thing about the b-storyline was abed’s silent stares at jeff. classic.

  2. ziggy2dope on January 29th, 2011 3:58 pm

    I agree with you Elena–Abed’s looks of disgust at Jeff were the best parts of that storyline. Good review guys; your thoughts mostly match my own. This guy made a couple interesting points as well:

    anyone know of any other pages that do weekly reviews of this show?

  3. Bella on January 31st, 2011 9:46 am

    It seems to be moving away from the original format, but so far that hasn’t been a bad thing so I’m not complaining. Community is consistently hilarious.
    I loved Chang’s mix tape, and “Are you ignoring me because I’m Korean?”