This Week's 'Community': The Fried Chicken Mafia

rosenberg_apr23_community_post.jpg

NBC


This week's Community was all about power, be it Capitalism, social influence, or control over the Greendale cafeteria deep-fryer. The episode was also a pretty good instruction manual in how to construct a referential joke: take a cultural element—like a mafia movie, or Tyler Perry's moralism—add discordant element—like substituting a chicken finger shortage for control over the heroin trade—and deliver with dead seriousness. The trouble started when Jeff, frustrated by the lack of the only edible lunch offering in the cafeteria, came up with a plan to depose Starburns, replace him with Abed, and guarantee the study group a steady supply of fried chicken:


But Abed and the group became drunk with the power that comes when people are willing to trade large-screen televisions, monkeys, and designer backpacks for chickeny goodness:


Jeff tried to intervene. But what had started out as a fantasy of a mafia movie for Abed had turned into something more profound: a way for him to understand human motivation and social interaction, and to successfully carve out a place for himself in the social hierarchy for the first time. "The entire campus is controlled by our group. Our group is controlled by chicken," Abed explains to Jeff in his newly-discovered lair. "And the chicken is controlled by me."


But the family becomes ungrateful, and Abed has his revenge to bring them back in line. The retribution is particularly bitter for Shirley, who catches Abed tantalizing her new boyfriend with fast food:


But in the end, Jeff persuades Abed to give up his stranglehold on the Greendale cafeteria economy in exchange for lessons in how to make friends without establishing a cartel:

Presented by

Alyssa Rosenberg is a culture writer with The Washington Post.

Saving the Bees

Honeybees contribute more than $15 billion to the U.S. economy. A short documentary considers how desperate beekeepers are trying to keep their hives alive.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Entertainment

Just In