So far, Season 3 of Community has evenly divided itself between high concept outings like "Remedial Chaos Theory" and "Documentary Filmmaking: Redux" and more standard sitcom narratives like "Geography of Global Conflict" and "Studies in Modern Movement," with the former episodes generally proving stronger than the latter. Given the mostly weak competition, "Foosball and Nocturnal Vigilantism" was probably the best "normal" episode Community has aired this season; the A and B-storylines were juggled far more effectively than in "Advanced Gay" (the show's worst outing so far this year) and the writers still left plenty of room for their pop-culture flights of fancy, from the welcome return of Abed's Batman -- who emerged from his Batcave (actually the Dreamatorium) to investigate the theft of his super-special Dark Knight DVD -- to the dead-on Dragon Ball Z-homage during Jeff and Shirley's epic, revenge-driven foosball game.
Speaking of Shirley, how great was it to see her finally get a real storyline? Yvette Nicole Brown has been largely sidelined so far this year and this episode was a good reminder about the comic layers she can bring to Shirley beyond the "conservative, religious busybody" persona the writers too often fall back on. (We especially liked the reveal that Shirley and Jeff knew each other as kids. Now we're dying to see a Community Babies episode in the tradition of Muppet Babies where all of these characters hang out with each other as toddlers in the same day care center. Yeah, yeah we know their vastly different ages wouldn't allow for that; still, we can dream!) As is often the case with Community, one of the flat-out funniest moments occurred during the post-credits stinger, in which septuagenarian student Leonard offered up his latest frozen pizza review for interested YouTube users. Leonard's thumbs-up evaluation of Eugenio's Four-Cheese Frozen Pizza (only $5.99 at Kroger's!) did two things: 1) It made us hungry and 2) It got us wondering about the kinds of "How To" videos the core Community gang would post to the site. Here's what we'd like Greendale's study group to teach us on "the YouTube."
Ideal How To Video: How To Use Hair Gel
Jeff's locks are always so expertly tousled, he must spend hours in front of the mirror trying to achieve just the right balance of salon styling and au-natural good hair. For all of our benefits, he should record his styling sessions so we can observe the masterful way he applies tube after tube of product. Like Leonard, he can even recommend his favorite brands -- personally, we take him for a L'Oréal Homme man, but he might resort to Axe Messy Look if he's shopping on a budget.
Ideal How To Video: How To Be Batman
This one's a no-brainer. Ever since he first donned the Dark Knight's cowl back in Season One, Abed has proven himself to be the best screen Batman not named Christian Bale, Michael Keaton or Adam West. (The less said about Val Kilmer and George Clooney, the better.) He's got the growl down pat and, thanks to his buddy Troy's smart gift-giving, he's even got his own grappling hook for lowering himself out his apartment window. The one drawback is that, when he's in costume, Abed really believes he's Batman and the real Batman would never reveal his trade secrets to anyone outside of Alfred, Robin (all five or six of them, depending on which continuity you're following), Talia, Superman, ... huh, we guess he does tend to overshare.
Ideal How To Video: How To Stage a Break-In
True, Annie made the mistake of not leaving behind some signs of a forced entry to convince the cop and Abed-as-Batman that some thug really did break in and ripped off with his prized Dark Knight DVD. But she's also the type who learns from her mistakes and strives to do better the next time. We're betting that if she's ever called upon to stage a robbery again, she'll have a foolproof plan ready to go that won't put the finger of suspicion on the poor building super.
Idea How To Video: How To Fix a Leaky Toilet
Troy's intuitive skills as a repairman have already brought him to the attention of both Greendale's resident janitor and the vice-dean in charge of the air conditioning repair school. Rather than aligning himself with either of those folks though, Troy should consider launching his own YouTube-centered repair outfit. His video assistance could certainly help Schmidt and Nick over on New Girl with their own overflowing toilet problems.
Ideal How To Video: How To Play Foosball
Shirley's childhood moniker "Big Cheddar" is already the ideal YouTube handle for a series of foosball-centric instructional webisodes. Her wrists haven't lost any of their speed and fury since her days as a youthful tabletop champion too. We'd appreciate an entire video devoted to her signature move that turns cocky young boys into weeping "Tinkletowns."
Ideal How To Video: How To Annoy Friends and Offend People
We have no idea how Pierce gets away with half of the offensive crap he pulls/says, but a small (very small) part of us admires how little he cares about being P.C. We wouldn't necessarily follow all (or any) of the advice he'd provide in his videos, but they would provide a glimpse into his uniquely strange mind.
Ideal How To Video: How To Occupy Greendale
Frankly, we're surprised that the Community writers haven't already name-checked Occupy Wall Street, since it fits in with the whole defy-authority-when-its-convenient thing Britta's got going on. (To be fair, most of the first half of the season was probably filmed before it developed into a big news story. Perhaps the next batch of episodes -- whenever they air -- will find room to include it.) If anyone did take it upon themselves to start up a Greendale-based wing of the Occupy movement, it would be her and she'd likely have Abed film the whole thing for YouTube consumption.
Check out this super-cut of all best, most self-aware TV references on Community, courtesy of The Morning After show:
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