‘Community’ Speaks the Universal Language of Comedy

communEpisode Commentary: Spanish 101

Miscommunication and the gleeful slaughter of language run merrily in the second episode of “Community,” right from the top.

The show opens with some corrections to classes announced via loudspeaker: apparently “cosmology” was supposed to be “cosmetology” and “astrology” is in reality “astronomy.”

Darn.

Well, at least you can pontificate on the status of universal expansion while correcting that pesky smoky-eye look with a number 10 MAC brush with ease.

Or is that entirely too fancy for NBC’s brilliant new comedy?

In the second installment, “Spanish 101,” the representative “Breakfast Club” must complete an assignment for their Spanish class, consisting of exactly five memorized back-and-forth responses, most of which need not exceed a single word.

Unsurprisingly, the even this incredibly simplistic plan goes awry.

The roguishly charming Jeff Winger (Joel McHale), still on his seemingly endless quest to get into Britta’s (Gillian Jacobs) pants, plots to obtain exclusive partnership rights for their project. In exchanging his coveted shirt with Asperger’s patient Abed (Danny Pudi), Winger’s hopes are dashed to bits as he is now apparently paired with the aging antithesis of social grace, Pierce (Chevy Chase).

Britta switched her card, too, it seems. Lucky Jeff.

Still eager to befriend the former lawyer, Piece devises an asinine scheme to sculpt a scholastic masterpiece. One can already imagine where this is headed.

Although whimsically charming, “Spanish 101” is ultimately inferior to the sheer cleverness of the pilot.

The characters do make us laugh, but the chuckles are borne of stereotypes.

Pierce is nothing but an old creep. In an attempt to seize student life by the trencher tassel, single-mom Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown) and neurotic Annie (Alison Brie) – properly admonished for their misplaced enthusiasm, continue to do so, but now on the opposite end of the spectrum – by holding a series of poorly-guided protests for the dead journalists of Guatemala.

While this is an accurate portrayal of certain idiosyncrasies of college life, the sizzling mystique of their potential complexity is hardly explored here, though given the episode’s funnier instants, hope is certainly on the tip of the tongue.

The only truly shining moments consist of an impromptu, linguistically-massacring Spanish rap care of Troy (Donald Glover) and Abed and Ken Jeong’s portrayal of the Spanish professor, Senor Chang. Within mere moments, he effortlessly steals the screen in his comic outrage and the public’s perception of an Asian man teaching a Spanish course.

His humor will bite your face off.

Though taking a minor breather from the articulate wit of its predecessor, “Spanish 101” maintains an engaging dialogue of wry banter and expressed potential.

About Olga Privman 132 Articles
I spent a good decade dabbling in creating metaphysically-inclined narrative fiction and a mercifully short stream of lackluster poetry. A seasoned connoisseur of college majors, I discovered journalism only recently through a mock review for my mock editor, though my respect for the field is hardly laughable. I eventually plan to teach philosophy at a university and write in my free time while traveling the world, scaling mountains and finding other, more creative ways to stimulate adrenaline. Travel journalism, incidentally, would be a dream profession. Potential employers? Feel free to ruthlessly steal me away from the site. I’ll put that overexposed Miss Brown to shame.

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