Community series 3 episode 6 review: Advanced Gay

John Goodman makes a welcome return in another cracking episode of Community. Here’s Emma’s review of Advanced Gay…

3.6 Advanced Gay

Contrary to its title, Advanced Gay has little to do with enjoying the company of men. In fact sexual preference of any kind was pretty low down the list; the issue of the day was daddy. Daddy as in father, as opposed to “Who’s your…”

It turns out Pierce, the ageing racist millionaire, still has major daddy issues, mostly owing to that fact that he’s still got one. The guy must be 130. Oh, and he’s Colonel Sanders.

Ivory-coiffed centenarians aside, Advanced Gay gave the older, more disturbed male members of the group a chance to work out some of that edible complex Britta keeps harping on about. Yup, three classes into her psyche course and she’s Freud, but her apparent dyslexia doesn’t mean she’s wrong.

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Despite not being related to Daddy Hawthorn in any way, Jeff gets some Freud-themed closure by proxy, killing Col Sanders with nothing more than his silky Welsh tongue (according to the age addled, racist to the point of insanity Col Sanders, perma tan plus overly dramatic oration equals Welsh).

Whatever Jeff’s genetic background, his shuffling Pierce’s daddy loose this mortal coil might work wonders for him, but it’s unlikely to have any lasting effect on Pierce’s horrific behaviour. It’s about four decades too late for that. Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of this storyline wasn’t that Pierce’s dad was a horrifically offensive, ivory wearing throwback, but that Britta totally called Jeff’s daddy issues. And you thought the Halloween episode was last week…

While Jeff was busy getting himself some closure by causing a funeral – which they threw together in less than 24 hours, by the way – Try was giving us all something we really wanted: an excuse to bring John Goodman back. Possessor of the most authoritative voice on the planet, the unsettlingly serene Assistant Dean is hell bent on bringing plumbing Rainman Troy over to the dark side – of Air Conditioning Repair. 

A slightly bizarre tug of war between the plumbing and air conditioning repair fraternities for Troy’s soul led to some of the best gags of the episode – the reverse Troy and Abed and the breath recognition entry system among them. But even if it hadn’t led to the gags, having the John Goodman once again prowling the perfectly temperate halls is payoff enough. Casting him may well prove to be the best decision of season three, so let’s hope the battle for Troy develops over the rest of the season. 

Of course, Tray and Abed generally steal any scene they’re in, and Advanced Gay was no exception. What was unusual this was, in addition to the scene stealing, the quiet acknowledgement that the duo do not walk around in an impenetrable sci-fi fantasy bubble. The post-credits gag finally admitted that yes, other people, including women, see them in their costumes too – which, by the way, they would have had to walk to college in. Although with a dean that treats every day like it’s Fire Island, it’s no wonder that, not only didn’t the girl blink, she also didn’t laugh in their faces. Ah, the magic of Greendale, where larping is considered almost sexy…

In perhaps the only comparison ever likely to be made between Community and Friends, it’s almost as if Troy and Abed are the Joey and Chandler of Greendale, albeit with added pop culture. You tune in for the show, but really you’re there for the comedy stylings of two grown men who spend way too much time together. If Britta and Troy ever get together, you know we’re in trouble.

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So, something of a mixed bag this week – hilarious in places, plain bizarre in others, and yet somehow the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts. The presence of the mighty John Goodman is always going to be a bonus, and who can resist laughing at racist, soon to be dead Southerners?

While the gags may not come as thick and fast as they used to, Community is a show settling into its maturity, and remains one of the best value shows on TV. With the addition of some great cameos and the continued T&A hilarity, season three is shaping up very nicely indeed.

Read our review of episode five, Horror Fiction In Seven Spooky Steps, here.