'Community' Shows Television How It's Done

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Community vies with 30 Rock for the most television history-obsessed show airing right now. And last night's episode was an model of television budgeting and general awesomeness as the study group locked itself in a room to figure out who stole Annie's missing pen, staging a perfect bottle episode. They didn't solve that particular mystery (though we, at least, got to figure out what happened to Annie's Boobs, Troy's missing monkey), but they learned a lot of things about each along the way, including Jeff's standard first-date underwear. Among their more salient lessons:

1. Civil liberties violations are so not cute. "Before you can say 1984, the thought police are forcy-worcing you to bend and spread," Britta declared, submitting to a search of her purse.



2. Deities giveth, and deities taketh away, as Shirley discovered when she risked pregnancy with her ex-husband. "It seems the Lord may have a plan for us that doesn't include that stripper slut he ran away with," she explained when the group discovered a pregnancy test in her purse.

3. Scratching your legs under your casts is the single most disgusting thing you can admit to in mixed company. "Pierce, are you using Slim Jims to scratch your legs?" Jeff asked after the group broke off Pierce's casts in search of Annie's pen. "Have we not gotten to a place free of judgement yet?" Pierce moaned.

4. The study group is forever. Quite literally. Desperate for a way out, Jeff turned to Troy's wonderous powers of story-telling to explain the disappearance of Annie's pen. After all, Jeff asked the group, "What's more likely? That someone in this group doesn't belong in this group? Or ghosts?" Easy answer.

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Alyssa Rosenberg is a culture writer with The Washington Post.

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