MONDO EXTRAS

Be Cruel to Your School

by Zach Oat September 18, 2009
Fall Pilot Season: Community

The tolling of bells is heard over a courtyard scene, but we pull back to see that the bells are pre-recorded, and the dean hits the stop button on a boom box. After stifling a blast of rap music, he gives a speech welcoming everyone to campus, and then embarks on a scathing indictment of the perception that community colleges are homes for remedial teens, twentysomething dropouts, middle-aged divorcees and old people "keeping their minds active as they circle the drain of eternity." Unfortunately, a card is missing, and the speech ends before it can actually refute these allegations -- besides, they all seem to be true, based on the visual introduction to the supporting cast we were just given .

Jeff Winger (Joel McHale) and Abed (Danny Pudi) walk out of a building into the courtyard, and Abed is clearly in the middle of a long story about how angry his Palestinian father is. Joel reminds him he had merely asked the time, then asks him what he knows about Britta, the hot girl in their Spanish class (the "twentysomething dropout," played by Gillian Jacobs). Abed drops a dictionary on Jeff in the form of Britta's life story, including the fact that she's worried about their test, all learned from one conversation and repeated verbatim. Jeff says "I see your value now," which is apparently the nicest thing anyone has ever said to Abed. Lucky bastard. I still haven't gotten that one.

Jeff pokes his head into the small, cramped office of Ian Duncan (The Daily Show's John Oliver), another dean (the dean?) who is happy to see the lawyer who got him off of a DUI charge in 2002 by using 9/11 as an excuse. Jeff: "Well, 2002 was a simpler time." (The details: Duncan pulled a U-turn on the freeway and ordered chalupas from an emergency call box. But it was because he loved America.) It is then that we learn that Jeff's license to practice law has been revoked, because his degree is from Columbia the country, not Columbia the school, and he may have gotten it online. Lest you think Jeff is merely frugal, or perhaps impatient, Jeff apparently wants Duncan to get him all of the answers for all of his tests in all of his classes as a further display of gratitude. Duncan points out this is hardly fair, but Jeff did not come to community college to learn. Which raises the point of why he's there, and not somewhere else, and how much money he has saved from his lawyer salary. Although if the dean of a community college was his client, perhaps he was a public defender?

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