Episode Reviews

Investigative Journalism

Greendale is back in session for the spring semester, and all our friends are back…plus one more stalkery addition.

Buddy (Jack Black) surprises Jeff

Well, community is back from winter break for the spring semester, and all our friends from Spanish 101 are back. It was a decent episode that almost felt like it was a start to a new whole season of the show. There are plenty of subtle changes for this spring semester it seems, but perhaps they will be for the better.

For a show that I wasn’t even sure was going to get picked up for the back half of a season, I’m glad to see that it’s back and the ensemble cast has not missed a beat in the off time. From the first half of the season, our characters spent a lot of time getting to know each other and becoming accustomed to each other, and now they return with a welcome sense of camaraderie that wasn’t as prevalent in the first half.

This week’s episode revolves around a new study group student that happens to crash in on their tightly knit group. Buddy, played by Jack Black, happens to drop in on their first meeting, immediately throwing off the group rhythm and dynamic while proving himself to be dangerously crazy.

Meanwhile, Dean Pelton has surprisingly offered Jeff the job of Editor of the Greendale Gazette Journal Mirror student newspaper, bribing him with an pretty sweet office and an English credit. I’m not sure where exactly this idea came from, or what the motivation was, but having someone with “real world chops” like Jeff as the editor has already paid off for the first episode. Any other editor might have let Annie publish the story about racial profiling by the Dean, but even Jeff understood that it was less a case of profiling and more a case of frugality and stupidity. A story like that would hurt not only the Dean and the school, but his easy ride so far at Greendale. The power of words to influence is amazing, and of all people, former lawyer Jeff realizes this.

Back on the Buddy front, I found that Jack Black was up to his own tricks again, using his awkward and in your face enthusiasm to generate uncomfortable laughs out of nervousness and fear. While Jack Black was a funny aside or bit, his role felt like it was just an ratings grab where fostering a sense of camaraderie amongst the group could have been explored with any actor at all. I guess I’ve gotten tired of Jack Black’s musical interludes and physical antics, and there were plenty of both in the episode.

Overall though, I’m glad the show is back and I look forward to seeing how the rest of the semester unfolds.

Interesting Observations

  • The title sequence for the show starts abruptly out of place as Jack Black talks about group rhythm.
  • Senor Chang is back again for Spanish 202, and marks his return by faking his death to get into the minds of his students.
  • Jeff was lured by free Sephora products?
  • The newspaper is called the “Greendale Gazette Journal Mirror.” I’m surprised they didn’t throw in “Post” while they were at it.
  • Funny shirts Pierce wears in an attempt to be cool  “World’s Greatest Grandpa” “Retired Old Man” “Man Candy”
  • “No one wil care about my rehab time if everyone thinks I’m a writer!” – Annie
  • Abed, in his desire to emulate Jeff as Hawkeye and him as Razor, builds Jeff a sweet drink/bar station in his office.
  • Pierce goes out of his way to save the lemon squares.
  • Owen Wilson makes a last minute surprise appearance as the other “cool study group” leader.

By Kien Tran

Based in Dallas, Texas, Kien Tran is an avid television enthusiast. After spending hundreds of hours wasting away on a couch, he decided to actually do something creative with his hobby and created this very blog.

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