Community Review: Intro into Felt Surrogacy (4.09)

Summary:

For such a high concept episode Intro into Felt Surrogacy feels so forgettable. The episode features a cute but hollow charm that manages to produce smiles and laughs. Dig deeper and there’s little to be found in this episode. The guest stars are so underused that they come off as nothing more than ratings boosting star power. The puppets lack necessity or explanation that made the other concept episodes believable. The musical numbers lack humor and are used as nothing more than progression from one scene to the next. Maybe the shine and denial is wearing off but these past two episodes of Community have been rather underwhelming and as a die-hard fan it makes it extremely disappointing. I’ve been on board for majority of the season and would still love to see the show go on. There’s hints at greatness here but a mixture of behind the scenes drama as well as built up pressure are hurting the show. Here’s to hoping that these last few episodes can pull Community from out of this late season slump especially when ratings are on the decline.

Community is no stranger to bizarre concept episodes, which for the most part have been some of the series’ strongest episodes to date. DnD, paintball, Claymation, musicals, and video game episodes are just a few of the concepts that the show has tackled. Last night’s Intro to Felt Surrogacy (4.09) marks the shows first foray into felt puppetry and despite a few laughs it doesn’t prove to be one of their stronger concepts.

Community Logo

The show opens up with the group as they nervously stare each other down. The tone is awkward and there is obviously something so unsettling among them that they refuse to talk to each other. Inter-dean-ing, the Dean decides to use puppets to help the coax the group out of their silence.

Overall the episode felt like a one off episode that didn’t further any of the season’s over arching plots. Majority of the show is a flashback of the events that took place outside the episode with the group being in puppet form. Occasionally the group breaks out into song to progress them from one scene to the next but it comes off cheesy. I know this seems to be parodying most puppet shows but it didn’t work so well here.

The episode did feature some pretty entertaining banter between the group as they were seated around the study table. The Dean’s humor lacked subtlety that made him entertaining to watch in previous seasons. Jim Rash’s delivery is still comedy gold but the way they’re writing the character seems to have all but openly expressed his feelings for Jeff. The episode featured some great one-line jokes from both Troy and Britta as well as some nice bickering banter between Britta and Jeff.  In all honesty the humor was there but the puppetry, music numbers, and some of the big names attached this episode felt like a distraction.

Community-Puppets

The puppet versions of the study group is cute and did manage to place a smile on my face throughout the episode but it never felt like it reached its full potential. When we got the Claymation episode we were viewing Abed’s point of view when he was in the middle of a mental break down. When we were introduced to the video game study group it was because they were digitally copied into the game. In this episode I don’t understand why the group is remembering themselves as puppet version of themselves during their trip. It feels unnecessary and with no other purpose than to just be puppets.

Musical numbers have always been a grab bag for me ranging from catchy to funny but these felt rather forgettable. With very little jokes in the lyrics the music only described the character’s action from one scene to the next. Although it’s never a bad day to see Yvette show off her music pipes the songs never get pasted feeling shoehorned in.

Jason Alexander

To say Intro into Felt Surrogacy underused Jason Alexander would be an understatement. Both Alexander and Sarah Bareilles felt just as necessary as the puppets with little more to do with the episode than just star power. Alexander had a few lines and one song and then was quickly written away with little explanation or retribution for drugging the gang. Bareilles is given one verse in a song and then used as a deus ex machina in the end. The time devoted to the songs, the guests, and the puppets could have been allocated to focusing on a tighter story.

The big reveal is that the study group is nervous around each other due to the fact that they all believe they revealed a dark secret about themselves that would negatively affect their image within the group. After Shirley reveals hers, the group suddenly remembers that nobody can remember each other’s secret except for the fact that Shirley just blurted hers out. To make up and allow each other to feel better they willingly and soberly divulge their secrets. All of which, aside from Shirley’s, seem to come out of left field and are so haphazardly thought up that most aren’t even that dark or are character ruining. The worst offense is the way Abed treats Shirley after her emotional breakdown. Despite being friends for almost four years he decides to call it a wrap and go watch a movie while she’s on the verge of tears. For lack of a better word it was a dick move and felt so out of character for Abed.

Annie Shirley puppets

For such a high concept episode Intro into Felt Surrogacy feels so forgettable. The episode features a cute but hollow charm that manages to produce smiles and laughs. Dig deeper and there’s little to be found in this episode. The guest stars are so underused that they come off as nothing more than ratings boosting star power. The puppets lack necessity or explanation that made the other concept episodes believable. The musical numbers lack humor and are used as nothing more than progression from one scene to the next. Maybe the shine and denial is wearing off but these past two episodes of Community have been rather underwhelming and as a die-hard fan it makes it extremely disappointing. I’ve been on board for majority of the season and would still love to see the show go on. There’s hints at greatness here but a mixture of behind the scenes drama as well as built up pressure are hurting the show. Here’s to hoping that these last few episodes can pull Community from out of this late season slump especially when ratings are on the decline.

Interested in writing reviews or news posts for Thinking Cinematic? Contact me at ThinkCinematicReviews@gmail.com! You can also send your guest reviews there too!

Connect with me at:
Twitter: @Treyrs20o9
Twitter: @Think_Cinematic
Email: ThinkCinematicReviews@Gmail.com

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One response to “Community Review: Intro into Felt Surrogacy (4.09)

  1. Pingback: Movie Monday Update Week of 15th | Thinking Cinematic

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