Community season 3 episode 2 review: Geography Of Global Conflict

Season three of Community is still settling down. But a welcome cameo from Martin Starr helps perk up Geography Of Global Conflict...

3.2 Geography Of Global Conflict

After the highly anticipated season opener, Community’s third season continued with something of an oddity. Geography Of Global Conflict saw some of the nerdiest behaviour ever witnessed at Greendale, some of the creepiest father/daughter dynamics ever witnessed at Greendale, and a pop at the United Nations. Never has comedy been quite so bizarre…

For reasons UK audiences are yet to discover, it appears a model UN is something of a must have at any North American educational institution worth its salt. Even a barely educational institution like Greendale apparently sees the mock world government as a prestigious feather in its otherwise threadbare cap. So when Annie is beaten to the punch by her new frenemy Annie Kim – a scarily well coiffeured over-achiever, even by regular Annie’s standards – it is of course up to the group to make it all better.

Suffice it to say that Jeff is the driving force behind the only plausible solution to Annie’s immaturity problem: the world’s first ever model UN off. Being Greendale, this is possibly the nerdiest event ever to have taken place on campus, and this is a college that counts fort-city building types like Troy and Abed among its student body.

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The UN off of course descends into chaos, and an inevitable sc-ifi ending: Abed, as Switzerland, has access to the Large Hadron Collider. So far so Community, but it also gave rise to the ridiculous tantrum throwing antics of the usually so repressed you can feel it Annie.

Thanks to Jeff’s constant reinforcement of her little-girlyness, the most shocking thing about the tantrum was that it took so long to happen. The Jeff/Annie thing has now properly crossed into creepy territory, as expertly pointed out by the scalpel sharp Annie Kim: “Is he your father or your lover?”

Hanging a light on it is all very well, but enough already – it’s time to find them both a new love interest.

All of this UN-inspired nerdiness was meant to be offset by Britta’s incredibly self indulgent raging against the machine. And by raging we mean being unable to kick things over, and by machine we mean Greendale Security, or Ex-Senor Chang as he’s more commonly known. Greenpeace, she ain’t.

Spurred into ‘action’ by the unlawful political imprisonment of an old friend, Britta realises that she’s well on her way to be being “an effectual little nothing all her life”, to paraphrase Dazed And Confused’s Adam Goldberg, a man who knows a little something about rage. In order to avoid being ineffectual, Britta decides to stage the world’s most useless demonstrations, one of which, was at the model UN off. Oh, the irony. She’s just lucky Ex-Senor Chang is so clearly disturbed – otherwise literally no one would have cared.

What we do care about, however, is that despite the episode being a tad lopsided, thanks to said ineffectual raging, the script stays razor sharp, and as interesting as always. From the naughty moniker fun of Prof Cligoris – a superb cameo from Freaks And Geeks’ Bill, also known as Martin Starr – to Troy’s great UN jokes and the visual gags, there was much to enjoy.

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Community is a show, much like 30 Rock, that lives or dies by its script. The action is almost irrelevant at times. The true test of a writing team is that the script remains engaging during the irrelevant action, and while Geography Of Global Conflict had much irrelevance, it continued to be engaging nonetheless.

So, while not a groundbreaking twenty one minutes of television, it’s a solid seven out of ten for the sophomore episode. Season three is still settling down, so it may well be that solidity is something that we can expect more of. Still, as long as Ken Jeong gets some screentime, it’s money in the bank!

Read our review of episode one, Biology 101, here.

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