‘Community’: I’m no magician; I’m just a guy who knows Powerpoint.

“Community” Season 6 Episode 7 Review

Jacob Judd, Staff member

Self-conscious, meta-humorous product placement, god bless it. This week, “Community” follows in the grand tradition pioneered by “Wayne’s World,” “30 Rock,” and well … Season three of “Community.”

In that earlier episode, a man paid to be the human manifestation of Subway sandwiches broke Britta’s heart because the strict terms of his employment made their love affair impossible. Fortunately, Honda motors is a little more lenient in this regard.

When Rick returns to Greendale extolling the virtues of the CR-V’s superior storage space, Britta must choose between her principles and the only man she ever truly loved. If she wants to be with Rick, she’ll have to become a marketing tool of the car brand as well.

Which wouldn’t be a problem if we didn’t see what this kind of advertising is capable of. Throughout the episode, Dean Pelton becomes increasingly obsessed with the purchase of Honda products. Presumably using the school’s funds to do so, his eventual breakdown at the realization of his folly is one of the episode’s highlights.

Our B-story is fun this week. At first, the study group is worried that Elroy’s standoffish nature might be an indicator that he’s not really that into them. Jeff advises them to play it cool, and not to pursue his affection.

But when it’s revealed that Elroy simply doesn’t like Jeff, his ego is severely bruised. He refuses to accept this, and doggedly pursues Elroy’s friendship with diminishing results.

The writing and performances meet the show’s typical high standard. Although it must be said that this season is feeling simpler overall. We’re more than halfway through the new season, and there’s been a notable absence of the high concept set piece moments that defined many of the series’ classic episodes. Its strong writing and heightened but somewhat plausible situations reminds me of the show’s inaugural season.

One has to wonder if this is due to budget restrictions now that the show’s moved to Yahoo. Or if the writers simply feel they went too far last season and wanted to reign themselves in. Either way, it doesn’t make the show any less funny, but it might, in hindsight, make it less memorable. Without a paintball extravaganza, timeline paradox, or Batman parody to hang its hat on, will this season be remembered as more uniform and unremarkable than it really is? Or will the quality of the material shine through? Or are the showrunners simply holding their biggest guns for the final episodes? We shall see.

MVP for the week has to go to Chang. The opening scene features him delivering a Powerpoint presentation so awkward, absurd and deadpan that it feels like a scene out of “The Office.”

Best individual line goes to Abed: “I’m still trying to find a good DJ… by which I mean figure out what makes a DJ good… or bad… or different from a phone or laptop.”