What first drew me to this series was the appearance of Joel McHale and Chevy Chase. The combination sounded interesting and fun. What sold me is the fact that it’s set at a community college. My loving husband is a comm. college alum, and I look forward to making fun of him mercilessly via this show. So, here we go!
Ooh balloons! Sorry, I have a toddler and I’m easily distracted. We open with a Moby look-alike trying and failing to welcome a hapless group of freshman to Greendale. ‘Moby’, the Dean of this fine institution, offers up this inspirational speech: ‘What is Community College? Well, you’ve heard all kinds of things. You’ve heard it’s loser college, or remedial teen, 20 something drop out, middle aged divorcees, and old people keeping their minds active as they circle the drain of eternity. That’s what you’ve heard, however, I wish you luck!’You’ve now met our cast of characters. I wonder which one is my husband?
We’re one week into the semester and Poor Jeff Winger (Joel McHale) is being lectured by Abit, an overly friendly Indian with family issues and a penchant for Micro-Machine fast talking. McHale asks for the info on the hot girl from Spanish class. Abit gives him the fast-talking rundown on her history. Me thinks Abit is McHale’s new wingman/sidekick.
Jeff Winger enters the office of Proffersor Duncan. Jeff is the professor’s lawyer, who recently got him off on a DUI by linking it to 9/11 (He was just driving for America). Nice. Winger has to earn a new law degree, since his email-attachment degree from the country of Columbia ain’t cutting it. Duncan, after a bit of blackmail from Winger, agrees to help him cheat his way through his courses. ‘If I wanted to learn something, I wouldn’t have come to community college.’
Winger wanders past Spanish girl and offers to let her join his Spanish study group. He claims to be a ‘board certified’Spanish tutor, though his word salad Spanish seems to say otherwise.
Poor hapless Spanish girl shows up to meet with Winger for a Spanish study group, which clearly consists of only the two of them. Her story? She dropped out of high school, joined the Peace Corp, did some foot modeling, and values honesty above all else. Hmm…I’m thinking ambulance-chasing Winger isn’t much for honesty. Good luck with that! Abit joins them, invited by Bree. Winger tries to ditch Abit by texting him ‘Say you have to pee,’which deservedly fails miserably. Just then, Winger receives an over-abbreviated text from Duncan asking to meet on the football field.
Winger and Duncan meet on the track field and try to act naturally while watching the track team, which contains a gentleman who appears to pre-date electricity. Duncan tries to convince Jeff that he should do the right thing. Winger could care less if he’s breaking some sort of moral code. They argue like the immature children they are and Duncan finally agrees to provide Winger with the test answers to his courses.
When Winger returns to his Spanish study group, he’s shocked, nay SHOCKED, to discover that a real study group has spontaneously formed. It’s like Athena sprung from his forehead here. Abit invited several people from Spanish class, including Chevy Chase, dressed in a courdory blazer and wearing not one but two necklaces. Winger quickly bails and goes looking for Brita. He finds her almost immediately, smoking outside. She lures him back to the study group with the promise of dinner afterwards.
Jeff, stalling like a pro, opens with an introductory icebreaker. Pierce Hawthorn (Chase), who introduces himself as the originator of Hawthorn Wipes, the moist towlette, handles the introductions, since he’s a toast master. He proceeds to get most of the names wrong, insult a few, and get a little too familiar with divorcee Shirley. It’s Chevy Chase at his best, hapless WASP. Brita tries to get things back on track, but Winger is more than willing to stall a bit longer. He calls out Pierce on his sexual harassment of Shirley, which starts a fight between he and Troy. Troy, the 19 year old former quarter back who is still wearing his letter jacket from highschool, realizes he’s a schoolmat of Annie ‘Aderol’, who got hooked on pills and had to drop out. What a great group! Amit calls the meeting to order by channeling the Breakfast Club, and then Dirty Dancing. It’s impressive, but not enough to quell the roomful of hate that Jeff is more than happy to feed. Thankfully, Winger gets a creepy phone call from Duncan to meet him in the parking lot.
Methinks Duncan is loving this cloak and dagger stuff more than he should. Wearing awesome 70s glasses and a trench coat, he offers Winger the answers to his tests in exchange for his car. Duncan is desperately in need of a car, since he’s currently driving a laughable Smart Car. Winger, willing to do anything to avoid work of any kind, agrees.
Winger returns to the horrific mess of humanity he helped create. Brita insists he clean up the mess he made. Let’s see how this goes. He yells them into order and gives a rousing speech about humanity’s ability to see the good in anything but themselves. ‘We can sympathize with a pencil, we can forgive a shark, and we can give Ben Affleck an Academy Award for screenwriting.’He goes around the room and gives amazing advice and compliments to each of them. He gets them to forgive each other. ‘You’ve just stopped being a study group. You’ve just become something unstoppable. I pronounce you a community.’It was amazing, and could only have been inspired by the promise of a chance at Brita. Everyone, including me, is impressed, except Brita who insists on continue Spanish study without him.
Jeff, shot down, takes back every nice thing he said and storms out of the library. He rips open his test answers, only to discover that the papers are blank except one sheet which only says ‘Booyah!’He goes to confront Duncan, who’s 3 bottles of wine in and waxing poetic about the important lesson he’s teaching Jeff. Jeff, though he leaves without the test answers, does get his car keys back. Pierce catches him on his way to storm off, and tries to start up a conversation. Troy joins them too. It would appear Jeff is something of a sage to this sad crew. He offers advice to both Troy and Pierce that makes a bit of sense. Jeff, in a rare moment of introspection, realizes the predicament he’s in. ‘Funny thing about being smart is you can get through most of life without doing any work. So I’m not really sure how to do that.’The study group is touched, and invites him back in to join them. He heads back inside and the show offers up this episode in memorial to John Hughes. Amen.
And now, my nominations for quote of the week. Vote in the comments!
1) Jeff: I’m sorry, I was raised on TV and I was conditioned to believe that every black woman over 50 is a cosmic mentor.
2) Shirley: Adults, they get respect, but they also get the back of their head slammed into juke boxes.
3) Brita: As if there’s a dinner that could make me forget you are a shallow douche bag.
4) Jeff: You know what makes humans different from other animals?
Pierce: No, bears have feet.
5) Jeff: Why are people trying to teach me things at a school that has an express tuition aisle?
6) Pierce: You know, I’ve been divorced 7 times? I must be doing something wrong.
Jeff: You keep getting married
Pierce: I’ve never looked at it that way