Episode Commentary: Interpretive Dance
Remember Professor Michelle Slater (Lauren Stamile), the sexy statistics instructor that Jeff (Joel McHale) spent all of Halloween chasing; only ultimately lose her to his fatherly role in the group? Apparently, she’s been secretly seeing Jeff for several weeks now, which is exciting for him, since he’s never actually “been someone’s dirty secret.”
Unfortunately, with a group as energetic and curious as the Spanish Studying Seven, secrets seldom stay so for long – with a more technologically enthusiastic member even tweeting about the news all over school.
Meanwhile, another clandestine activity threatens to change the group dynamic – or at least Troy’s (Donald Glover) reputation. He and Britta (Gillian Jacobs) have each been taking dance lessons – modern and tap, respectively – but have decided to unveil their shared passion to their friends at the upcoming recital.
The only problem is that Troy is too protective of his hitherto masculine reputation.
Whatever problem “Community” had in the past – whether though poorly spread-out storylines or campy pacing, they seem to have fixed it.
After a fantastic introduction during which Pierce (Chevy Chase) reveals that when he was in his 30s, people had the courage to wish him death to his face – now that’s respect – the remainder of “Interpretive Dance” doesn’t falter on the comedic front.
The characters continue their steady path of development, as well – with a long-awaited, though not entirely surprising reaction from Britta.
In fact, the treatment of the characters is so refreshingly well-done that Abed (Danny Pudi) wasn’t even needed to make the episode more engaging, whereas he’s practically been the steadfast supplier of substance for many of the show’s earlier episodes.
Although Abed, Pierce, Annie (Alison Brie) and Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown) have admittedly taken a backseat this time, their mutual rapport between the study group’s members still maintained a characteristic chemistry. Pierce protected his proud role as the designated racist by announcing that Britta and Troy’s impromptu dance toward the end is “socially unacceptable, but theatrical dynamite.”
Also, seeing Jeff actually commit to a woman romantically is an interesting step – even more so is that the feisty femme isn’t Britta, or Annie (though that was a creepy, Electra-riffic disaster), for that matter.
Ultimately, this seems to be a step in the right direction for the admittedly amusing sitcom. Here’s hoping that the music for this frenetically funny pace keeps going.