S3E6: I hate to be that person, but this season of Community seems hell bent on proving that the series’ high concept episodes are the better episodes. “Advanced Gay” wasn’t terrible, it just feels like a bit of a letdown after the fantastic “Remedial Chaos Theory” and the hilarious “Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps.” That being said, the episode finally dealt with Jeff’s not so hilarious daddy issues and counter-balanced it with a few great one-liners and Troy/Abed moments, as is to be expected.
“Oh my goodness, he’s like the Abed of racism.” –Shirley
Pierce is approached by two flamboyantly gay students who ask him to sign a container of Hawthorne wipes – this leads the study group to figure out why. The reason is a music video made by a drag queen – who I believe is the real-life winner of Ru Paul’s Drag Race or something, don’t hold me to that. His reaction is homophobic at first, but eventually he sees the profit potential of the boost from the video and sets up a line of “Pride Wipes” and decides to throw a “Gay Bash” to celebrate. It’s almost cute that he doesn’t realize what the party name sounds like, but he’s being “the very minimum level of tolerant” so we’ll give him a break.
Everything is going smoothly and Pierce is getting along with his new fan club, putting up rainbow decorations for the party when his father shows up in an ivory toupee – yes, like elephant tusk ivory. He tells Pierce to cancel the party, which he does, and proceeds to insult everyone in the room based on their race or ancestry.
Jeff, who first thought the party was stupid, is fueled by his own daddy issues when Pierce’s dad says he can’t throw the party. So Jeff throws it anyway and entices Pierce to stay, where he eventually becomes the center of the party…until his uncannily racist father shows up. Pierce fakes a heart attack and goes to the hospital.
I have to admit, it was kind of fun seeing the Pierce could open his mind a bit – even if the wheels had to be greased with a little higher profit to get there. He’s an easy character to blindly hate, but that can only last for so long until the audience needs something more.
“I can’t feel my pants.” –Troy
This part of the episode made me happy and skeptical at the same time. On one hand, they brought back the Good Will Hunting plumbing ability that Troy has, but on the other hand it was just a little much. John Goodman returns and is great as always, acting as the leader of the secret society of AC repairmen he’s trying to recruit Troy into, much to the dismay of Troy’s plumbing sensei. Goodman is the only reason this plot works and he takes the AC wiz, Troy, deeper and deeper into the AC school lair, treating his potential new career like it’s a post in the C.I.A. It seems Troy is an AC repair genius, though he turns down both plumbing and the repair career paths by the end of the episode.
The best thing that came out of this dilemma was the conversation between Troy and Abed at the Gay Bash, where they pretended to be each other. The only purpose it really serves is to make those of us who adore those characters get a little smiling chuckle, but I for one appreciate it. That’s the great thing about Troy and Abed – they’re our anchor. When the rest of an episode can’t manage to grab you (or at least not with much conviction), these two always pull out something hilarious and often adorable. Plus, as ridiculous as they seem, nothing they do is ever pointless, like last week’s “Halloween” costumes that they “were already wearing.” This week, in the tag we find they’re part of their Inspector Space Time (or Community Doctor Who) fort game. And leave it to Troy to be ballsy enough to dress like the Inspector’s goofy sidekick and still try to pick up girls. Pew-pew, indeed.
“Dude just told his dead dad to suck it.” –Troy
“So edible.” –Britta
“(whispers)You’re the worst.” –Troy
Before we get into the morbid details of the episode’s end, let’s give three cheers for Britta being wildly uninformed and constantly misusing the word Oedipal. (In case you’re wondering, that’s what she meant by “edible.”) She’s convinced that Jeff has an Oedipal complex because she knows it has something to do with hating your dad. Well, Jeff’s issue is probably more about his father’s absence than Jeff’s desire to kill his father and sleep with his own mother. But I could be wrong.
At the hospital, Pierce’s dad is visiting and Jeff takes the opportunity to yell at the old man and tell him he’s so cold because he didn’t leave room for Pierce in his heart. Yep, that sounds like daddy issues coming out to me. This speech, however, gives the eldest Hawthorne a heart attack – which Jeff thinks he’s faking thanks to Pierce’s shining example – and dies. We end at a funeral where Pierce tells his dad, “I win, you can suck it,” and Jeff receives the ivory toupee for “killing” him.
Lastly, Britta Brittas the situation real good when she continues to try to convince Jeff that he’s acting this way because of his daddy issues. It probably would have landed better if it had been anyone else – or maybe if Britta even knew what Oedipal really means.
All in all, it was a solid episode, but we’ve seen better. Perhaps our expectations are too high, but it’s the series’ fault. You can’t deliver solid excellence for two years and expect us to think that “good” is good enough. We’re conditioned for awesomeness, unfortunately.