2.7 Aerodynamics Of Gender
Feeling the need for a break from the butt-insulting, basketball-themed shenanigans that so occupy the boys, Shirley, Annie and Britta decide to take a women’s studies class, and leave the boys to their symbolic balls. Abed, never quite as male as the rest of the group, girls included, and in desperate need of some female knowledge joins them, and despite their reservations, the women wholeheartedly embrace him when he turns out to be a bigger bitch than anyone could ever have guessed.
Yup, it’s time for chick flicks to get it in the neck, as Community does Mean Girls 2: Harsh Times.
Packed to bursting with some of the greatest burns and put downs ever committed to celluloid, the girls and Abed spend the episode generally terrorising anyone that has the cheek to be breathing near them, after a particularly savage attack from guest star Hilary Duff sends them into a shame spiral.
Abed’s unnatural talent for bitchery, or over-describing, as he so beautifully puts it, is framed by a throwaway reference to RoboCop, giving the Community crew license to extend the bitchery even further. The HUD that appears when he’s in full swing is a genius touch, and if you happen to have a DVR or, say, a computer, and you’re able to, pause the show whenever it appears. It’s freakin’ hilarious! Among other delights, it predicts the girl’s menstrual cycles, and reminds the TV obsessive to record Cougartown. Did I mention this show is genius?
It’s true that the writers never tire of proving how smart and funny they are, and while the episode is pretty much an excuse to continue that trend, with put downs like “What do they call it when your back hair grows into your neck hair grows into your actual hair? Look it up because that’s what you have” the showing off isn’t just easily forgiven, it’s totally encouraged. They’ve clearly done their homework, and have fully understood the ‘if you’ve got nothing nice to say, come sit by me’ ethos espoused by chick flick classic, Steel Magnolias.
Abed’s wide-eyed innocence, even while telling Hilary Duff it looks like she’s smuggling a lime and a coconut, coupled with his gender, prevents the show from descending into a depressing treatise on how women treat each other, and instead puts the focus on everyone’s insecurities and their capacity for forgiveness. But mostly it’s about great put downs. Enjoy this episode to the full, because it’s unlikely we’ll ever see Abed in that light again.
Elsewhere, Jeff and Troy find a secret garden with a trampoline, a secret that they refuse to share with Pierce, leading to one of TV’s most annoying characters breaking through the annoying wall to become straight up hateable. Frustrated by Jeff and Troy’s almost transcendental trampoline-inspired state of mind, he goes out of his way to force them to share and, of course, kills the entire thing. Admittedly, Pierce’s presence is purely to provoke, but still, it’s a little much. He’s like a spoiled toddler in an elderly and infirm body, and Troy sums it up perfectly when he tells Pierce he hates him. Even breaking both his legs just doesn’t seem punishment enough for his ridiculous desperation.
Chevy Chase has made a career out of being annoying and with Pierce has clearly reached the apex of his career trajectory and is utterly convincing. Who’s going to stop Pierce ODing? Hopefully, no one. And let’s hope he takes the miniature pilot, otherwise known as Andy Dick, with him.
The Aerodynamics Of Gender is an episode of fantastic contradictions and role reversals, and as always, is well written, sharper than usual and, without doubt, hilarious, but there is one small problem, Senor Chang. In recent weeks the amazing Ken Jeong has been relegated to little more than a glorified commentator, a wrong thrown into sharp relief this week as his only involvement is that of the loudest member of the Ricky Lake audience, leading the chants and snaps, but having little or nothing to say.
We can but hope that Senor Chang will return to his rightful position as the creepiest, nastiest student Greendale has ever seen as soon as possible. Outside of the Chang dilemma, though, it’s business as usual at Greendale, and for those about to bitch, we salute you!
Read our review of episode 6, Epidemiology, here.
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