Community's passionate, if not entirely large, battalion of fans is still smarting over NBC's decision to take the highly-praised comedy off its midseason lineup. And Thursday's Christmas episode — the last before the show's indefinite hiatus — won't make saying goodbye any easier. The "brilliant" episode was a "hilarious and devastating" skewering of Glee, says John Kubicek at Buddy TV, in which the show's central characters — a study group at the fictional Greendale Community College — filled in for the school's glee club after its members suffered a nervous breakdown. With no information about when Community will return, and some critics dubious that it will come back at all, did Thursday's episode prove once and for all that NBC is making a boneheaded decision?
Yes. The episode was "brilliant": What an "amazing and blistering attack on many of Glee's most noticeable flaws," says Kubicek. But even beyond the Glee references — barbs about the Fox show's obsession with strange song mash-ups and championing of acceptance, for example — it was a stellar outing. The episode had an "incredibly clever story," extremely catchy original songs, and top-notch performances.
"Community targets Glee with brilliant Christmas parody"
If this was the finale, it was perfect: As hard as it is to think about the possibility that Community will never air again, says Steve Heisler at New York, this episode was "a nice way to end." With its merciless skewering of a massive hit like Glee, Community "finally gets its revenge on a show that's seemingly only popular because it's popular." Not only does Community sign off at the top of its game, it does so while pointing out everything that's wrong with the lesser-quality series viewers confoundingly prefer to watch.
"Community recap: Me so Christmas"
C'mon. It wasn't that good: Let's hope this isn't the last episode, says Leigh Raines at TV Fanatic, because "while the show definitely went out with a bang, it didn't totally blow my socks off." Community's brilliance comes when its comedy seems effortless. This episode was trying too hard to land jokes. In particular, a musical number sung by Allison Brie's Annie that revisited the sexual tension between her character and Joel McHale's Jeff failed. The storyline came off as creepy, adding an "ick factor" to what had the potential to be a great episode.
"Community review: Britta-ing the glee club"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How Ronald Reagan turned America into a nation of children
- Why Mitt Romney is perfectly poised for a comeback in 2016
- The Nazi smart bomb that inspired China's most dangerous weapon
- The crusade against Iraq War supporters has forgotten someone: Hillary Clinton
- Why is the West so afraid of Islam?
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- 8 things the world's most extraordinary survivors can teach you about resilience
- Why scientists can't kill HIV
- How to make classic pulled pork
- This week I learned the moon might be littered with dinosaur fossils, and more
Subscribe to the Week