'Community': 3 Lessons in Love and Pop Culture



Where to start with last night's Community? You know an episode's momentous when it begins with a shot of a leather jacket and culminates in a naked standoff over billiards, and those events are just bookends to a larger story. And that larger story—the group's attempts to kickstart socially awkward Abed's romantic life after discovering an uncannily accurate sketch of him surrounded by penciled hearts in a textbook—provides a surprisingly useful guide to modeling your romantic life on pop culture, should you choose to do so.

1. Continuing Community's oft-prickly take on race relations, apparently white audiences and black audiences apparently need a separate set of romantic-comedy pop culture references. "You guys are going to Can't Buy Me Love," Abed declares upon learning that his friends have slated him for a romantic-comedy style makeover. "He wants us to Love Don't Cost a Thing him. Can't Buy Me Love was the remake for white audiences," Abed's best friend Troy translates for Shirley, the middle-aged African-American woman in their study group.

2. Vampires might be big, but they aren't an easy set of romantic leads to emulate in real life. After Abed declares it isn't his style to pursue the girl who may have doodled his picture in the textbook, the group asks him ""Do you think there's a version of yourself that might go over there?" When he stalks over to her, hands shaped into claws and mouth open for the bite, they want to know "What was that?" "A different version of me," Abed explains. "I think he might be a vampire."

3. Choose your influences carefully. After the group bickers over whether Abed should imitate Don Draper from Mad Men, Mike Brady from The Brady Bunch, or Jo from The Facts of Life, Troy comes up with an alternative role model: "You should be like Calvin, his best friend was a tiger, he always went on dope adventures, and if anything stood in his way, he just peed on it." For a guy whose approach to dating is nothing if not nonchalant, Troy just might have the ticket.