MONDO EXTRAS

Be Cruel to Your School

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

The title of the show is scrawled in ballpoint pen on a folded piece of notebook paper, clearly the in-class work of a bored student. In the cafeteria, Pierce (Chevy Chase) discovers the hard way that the ketchup bottle contains mayo when he squirts it on his hot dog. Jeff approaches Britta and tells her about his study group, and while she's skeptical at first (rightly so, since Jeff speaks only rudimentary Spanish), she's desperate, so she agrees to met him at the library later. Patricia Belcher from Bones appears briefly as a surly cafeteria cashier whom TV-educated Jeff mistakes for an all-knowing cosmic mentor, so I wonder if we'll be treated to more of her as the season progresses.

At the library, Jeff greets Britta and nonchalantly has her put down all of her contact information on the "sign-in-sheet" which is just a yellow piece of paper. Jeff makes small talk, and we find out that Britta left school to follow Radiohead, and for a while had a career as a foot model. She says she values honesty, and Jeff gets as far as admitting that he'd do anything to get her to like him (without actually saying how many lies he's told so far) before Abed enters, and Britta greets him cheerfully, with a cheer. She invited him to join them, and Abed says this is like the The Breakfast Club. After trying to lure Abed into the hallway (via text message, a novelty for Abed that he shares with Britta and Jeff before deciding to ignore), Jeff gets a text of his own, from Duncan, asking him to come to the football field.

On the football field, a trenchcoat-wearing Duncan pretends to watch a track team tryout, including an elderly man whom Jeff calls "older than the game of poker," Duncan tries once again to dissuade Jeff from... asking for the test answers? I'm really not sure what is forcing Duncan to betray his school's presumably rigid academic code of conduct, aside from possibly peer pressure. It's not like Jeff is going to go back to 2002 and get Duncan deported for his DUI. Perhaps Duncan simply doesn't want to be called any nasty names, which is what Jeff proceeds to do, calling him a chicken, a spineless British twit and a five-year-old girl. Duncan gets in some great lines, including "I'm a professor; you can't talk to me that way," and "The average person has a hard time saying 'booyah' to moral relativism," but ultimately agrees to get Jeff the answers. I love John Oliver, and I'm sad he's not going to be in every episode.

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