Previously on Community: Digital Estate Planning
As the episode drew to a close, I recall having two distinct thoughts: Does the ‘first’ in The First Chang Dynasty mean there will be more Chang dynasties to follow? Also, Chang coupled with some obscure Ocean’s 11-style storyline should be funnier…right? We’ll get back to this later.
“A new day has dawned at Greendale…”
In one corner we have the (fan favorite) Greendale Seven, in the other, Security Chief Benjamin Franklin Chang, the architect of security, harmony and success at Greendale. A birthday Chang-travaganza was soon approaching and this was the study group’s chance to expose the Dean-o-ganger, Dopple-deaner or whatever you prefer to call him, and get themselves un-expelled. What served as the penultimate episode of the season also wrapped up one of the few conflicts of this season. Chang’s tyranny came to an end, the Dean-o-changer was banished back to a life of playing Moby on half-hour comedies and the group could return to Greendale. Alas, all is not well that ends well, and as this episode ended, Troy was moving out of the apartment and into his new life at A/C/ school.
As briefly mentioned earlier, I did want the first, of hopefully many, Chang dynasty episodes to be funnier. However, aside from the zillion quotables, I didn’t really find myself laughing out loud. Sure, there were a few giggles here and there, but nothing beyond that. What this episode, along with Digital Estate Planning and Introduction to Finality, made me realize is that I don’t love this show because it’s always hilarious, I love it because it’s always good. Community proved more than ever this season that it’s willing to try new things and most importantly, the show respects its overly-obsessive fans enough to put meta jokes inside the inside jokes and ensure that our attention to detail doesn’t go unacknowledged. So without further discussion, here are my favorite moments, quotes and stray observations:
- “Unfortunately, love is not admissible evidence” as a potential line or full rock ballad for upcoming cop opera. Of course the obvious name should be is Copera, but I think Pierce’s Policisical had real potential.
- “Thanks for the hot water.” Because drinking coffee is just too mainstream.
- “I love how binoculars make far away things seem like they’re close. They’re like telephones for your eyes.” The adorably child-like Troy, joined at the end by the usually cynical Britta. Really cute moment.
- Chang’s army of Basterds who were armed with “stun batons and misplaced sexual aggression.” All very cute tiny terrors, but Joshua (played by Ryan Lee, Super 8) aka the dog sneeze in a pair of Reeboks was rightfully Chang’s number two.
- “Not a lot of people get a second chance, just you and probably Obama.”
- “This girl in Chicago won’t stop Facebooking me. Looks like J-Swag is going deep dish.” And this is why he’s rightfully the right-hand man.
- I’m not sure what was hotter, Jeff as a Criss Angel-esque Ricky Nightshade or Britta as his goth assistant.
- “It was just my head before, but now I’m really in.”
- What Chang keeps in his file drawer: Extra File Folders. Misc. Chang Puns. Lock Combinations
- “Peachy keen, Avril Lavigne.”
- “The best part of the plan is that a certain point, it’s going to look like the plan is failing. But that’s when it’s going to turn out that the failing plan was all a part of the plan.” Jeff channeling Danny Ocean.
- “Sar-cas-tic claps.” Far superior to the slow clap.
- “Chang, you’re insane. You’re still into key-tar?” Con-ti-nu-i-ty.
- “Fire can’t go through doors stupid. It’s not a ghost.”
- “As many of you know, I ate my twin sister in-utero. So, on my birthday I try to remember I’m a winner. This one is for you Connie.” Creepy.
- The entire rave scene was funny. However, the Dean’s impressive glow-stick dance moves were clutch.
- Yard-margs (yard-long glasses full of delicious margaritas) at Skeeper’s Bar. Although small, I still respect the call-back.
- “…a man is only as good as his word or his now through a camera to a guy with a button.” I said adorable and child-like, but I forgot to mention the massive amounts of integrity Troy has.
- Speaking of Troy…I believe the Dean’s Jeff-inspired collapses are slowly becoming just as amusing to me as Troy’s freakouts.
- Britta giving Troy a lock of her hair. Also creepy.
- Troy’s “I know you hate when people do this in movies” lean-in whisper. Sadly, I was hoping the scene would play out like the Buffy/Dawn in The Gift.
Nicole is a TV junkie and TVDM helps her feed a lifelong addiction. She can be found here, providing biased commentary (sprinkled with a few Pop Up Video-esque insights) on her favorite shows, every week.
Birthdays are generally a time for celebration, presents, cake and all those other festive trappings. There are the milestone birthdays that mean you can drive or legally drink or even magically turn into an adult (Hi 30!), as well as those where you’re just happy to see another year.
With my own 26th birthday coming up – I’m not quite at the point in my life where I lie about my age – I decided to celebrate the successful completion of 365 days by recalling my favorite birthday-themed TV episodes. Some made me cry, a few made me laugh, while several of these aren’t more than a year old so it’s too soon to wax nostalgic over them just yet.
Best Birthday Episodes…Ever (in order of birthday character’s age)
Rubber Band Ball – Parenthood (S1Ep8)
Jabbar has a birthday party that’s heavy on the familial tension. I’m sure I had an awkward moment or two at one of my childhood birthday parties, but similar to Jabbar and other little kids at that age, if wasn’t toys and/or cake it happily went unnoticed.
Best Quote: “Amber is from a broken home. She doesn’t know a real relationship from a sandwich yet.”
Stark Raving Dad – The Simpsons (S3Ep1)
Simpsons never age, so arbitrary nature of her birthday aside, it was cute seeing Bart try to do something nice for his little sister. But try as I might, I could never make my name casually slide into the “Happy Birthday Lisa” song.
Best Quote: “Things change when you hit the big 1-O. Your legs start to go, candy doesn’t taste as good anymore.”
The Aftermath – Saved by the Bell (S3Ep3)
Although it was Lisa’s Sweet 16, the majority of this episode was focused on the legendary Kelly-Zack-Jeff love triangle. I never understood why Lisa was so rich and stylish, yet had such a milestone birthday party at her house.
Best Quote: “Honey, if I were Kelly, you’d still be pulling a hairbrush out of your ear, now don’t get me started.”
Surprise/Innocence – Buffy the Vampire Slayer (S2Ep13+14)
Buffy never had especially enjoyable birthday celebrations and this was the episode where it all started. Teenage heartbreak is painful enough, but imagine the guy you love and passionately give your virginity to turning into a monster…literally. And I’m sure I wasn’t the only girl that asked her boyfriend for a Claddagh ring after seeing this episode.
Best Quote: (Xander) “You coulda just said, ‘shh!’ God, are all you Brits such drama queens? Buffy, I feel a pre-birthday spanking coming on.” (Jenny) “I’d curb that impulse if I were you, Xander.”
Mixology Certification – Community (S2Ep10)
This was the episode when Troy realized that turning 21 doesn’t mean you’re a grown-up who is immune to being an idiot. We also saw the serious side of this character expertly played by Mr. Donald Glover. I’d have preferred Troy’s birthday filled with childlike merriment, there’s plenty of time for the disenchantment of being an adult.
Best Quote: “Hello during a random dessert, the month and day of which coincide numerically from your expulsion from a uterus.”
The Agony and the ‘Ex’tacy – Sex and the City (S4Ep49)
Carrie turns 35…alone. It was pretty depressing watching the usually fabulous Ms. Bradshaw have such a lackluster birthday, but it also brought some realism to what your 30s are like if rom-coms and Cosmo are any indication. Big capped off Carrie’s birthday evening with red balloons and champagne, which was simple yet romantic…classic Big.
Best Quote: “No special guy to wish me happy birthday. No goddamn soulmate. And I don’t even know if I believe in soulmates.”
Cliff’s Birthday – The Cosby Show (S1Ep24)
Clair was the perfect wife and Cliff was the (very) deserving husband. On his birthday she did what any fictional, ridiculously upper-middle class wife does for her husband and got him a personalized birthday performance by Lena Horne. These two were always so cute because although Cliff was the man of the house, Clair ran the show.
Best Quote: “The joy of a birthday, is finding out what the present is, before one gets it. And you know I always do.”