Stars: Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Alison Brie, Donald Glover, Ken Jeong, Chevy Chase, Jim Rash
Writer: Matt Warburton
Director: Adam Davidson
Network: NBC, airs Thursday nights
Original Telecast: May 17, 2012
COMMUNITY has done its fair share of interesting episodes, including stop-motion Christmas specials and alternate reality exploring board games. This first of the final three episodes for season three, “Digital Estate Planning” takes us to yet another place that COMMUNITY hasn’t been before, the 16-bit frontier.
Basically the whole gang is taken to a warehouse by Pierce (Chevy Chase) where they are met by guest star Giancarlo Esposito (ONCE UPON A TIME) playing Gilbert, the executor of Pierce’s father’s will. The entire group is forced to play a video game created by Pierce’s father (Larry Cedar) that will ultimately leave the Hawthorne fortune to the winner.
As a video game fan this episode is one of my favorites of the show so far. There have been plenty of video game jokes and references up to this point especially with Troy (Donald Glover) and Abed (Danny Pudi), but seeing how the entire Greendale study group survives inside a nostalgic video game is completely AWESOME!
Troy spends a lot of the down time aimlessly jumping around, every time Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown) moves, her character picks up its skirts, and rampant racism and general waspishness of the game make every second a chortle.
One of the best moments is Annie (Alison Brie) and Shirley, after a misunderstanding with the blacksmith deciding to kill his whole family and burn the shop to the ground. This of course leads to Abed falling in love with Hilda a girl in the village (who happens to be the deceased blacksmith’s daughter). Abed stays behind and when the group returns to the village a little bit later there is a castle built by Abed and his ‘wife’ and their bizarre slave army of children that Abed has figure how to make the game produce. There are all kinds of wrong with slave children labor, and even a tiny skeleton hanging in a cell.
The group works together and defeats the game, but let’s Pierce’s half brother Gilbert get the inheritance in the end. They go for drinks and Abed puts his ‘wife’ on a flash drive for later.
The animation, dialogue, and ridiculousness of parts of the game only get more ridiculous when Abed essentially hacks it from inside, and anyone that loves classic video games will get a kick out of this gem of an abstract episode.
Sadly, we probably won’t be seeing any more COMMUNITY like this with the firing of show runner and series creator Dan Harmon. Boo NBC — you renewed the show just to axe the man that has made it so brilliant. Once again proving that Network logic doesn’t resemble our Earth logic at all.
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Related Link: Interview with COMMUNITY star Yvette Nicole Brown
Related Link: Exclusive Interview with COMMUNITY star Chevy Chase
Related News: COMMUNITY creator confident for Season 4
Related Link: TV Review: COMMUNITY – Season 3 Premiere – “Biology 101”
Related Link: NBC explains why they put COMMUNITY on hiatus
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Article: TV Review of the Season 3 episode of COMMUNITY – “Digital Estate Planning”