'Community': Mean Girls and Racism

Community7_slide.jpg

NBC

Community is at its best when the show is fully committed to a concept—be it a Mafia takeover or zombie invasion—or when it's fully invested in its own, delightful universe. This week, the show vacillated between a riff on Mean Girls—with a little bit of robot killer and Hilary Duff mixed in—and a Nazi gardener B-story. It may not have been up to the series' usually high standards (and who wastes the idea of a Women's Studies class at Greendale by cutting away before the lecture even starts?), but Troy learned never to trust a man who tells you that a swastika tattoo is eventually going to be the cornerstone of an artful ink maze. And everyone else learned the usual complement of life lessons, including:

1. Matriarchy doesn't mean you have to be mean. At least, that's what Britta, Annie, and Shirley think when they sign up for a women's studies class in response to the hypercompetitive attitude that's swamped Pierce, Jeff, Troy, and Abed. Things, however, turn out differently than they planned.



2. The change in plans comes when the ladies discover that Abed is an insult machine—maybe literally. The women can't resist aiming him at all the girls they've clashed with at Greendale, and then simply at anyone who gets in their way.



3. Meanwhile, Jeff and Troy stumble into a magical secret garden, where the lighting is suspiciously bright, the hedges are impeccable, and the secretive gardener has a highly-developed theory of joy-derived bouncing. Anything that involves a trampoline-induced high so good it can lead Jeff to lose track of a full hour and start wearing Uggs must have a dark side, though. In this case: racism! When Pierce crashes the party and violates the trampoline rules, the truth comes out.

Presented by

Alyssa Rosenberg is a culture writer with The Washington Post.

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Join the Discussion

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

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Videos

Why Is Google Making Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

More in Entertainment

Just In