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television -> Community Season Six Finale recap/ review

Community Season Six Finale recap/ review

Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television

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“Community” recaps contain full series and episode spoilers.

Prepare for a bizarre episode where each character takes a turn through Abed’s “meta-lens” and the f-word is spoken twice on what used to be a network sitcom. These are subtle hints to a series looking to fully expand upon its limited web-based censorship.  “Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television” focuses on the concept that if there is a seventh season of Dan Harmon’s program, it will take a sharp left turn no matter what artistic direction the writers choose.  After the final scene, the best bet now is that a seventh season will revolve around the raunchy staff of a bottom-tier Colorado community college following the graduation of two of its brightest students. The hashtag trend has now shortened to #andamovie after the #sixseasonsandamovie was introduced in third season finale as “Community” began running into difficulties with NBC executives.

The final bell of the year rings (because colleges have bells) as Leonard stops to declare, “School’s out, b****es!” A short montages pans over empty Greendale rooms as the Dean announces how many obstacles he overcame this year to keep the school up and running. The halls empty as the “Save Greendale” committee sits in their last session of the year. Jeff asks Abed to turn off the metronome he brought with him to build tension. Frankie announces the final order of business is to rename the “Save Greendale” committee because they’ve succeeded in saving the school.  Elroy comes up with “Nipple Dippers” and the group sans Frankie agrees to this decision, prompting Abed to buy the domain name nippledippers.com.  Annie adds that the Dean has just texted her, asking them all to stay and celebrate a whole semester without wearing a ridiculous costume. However, the Dean appears dressed in a laughable amount of costumes, one on top of the other: dresses, dragon scales, wigs, a bonnet, etc. He asks if they’re going anywhere for a drink afterwards and Jeff confirms they’re going to the bar where Britta works.  On the way out, Elroy takes his leave from the group to work in California for LinkedIn. When asked if he’ll return, Elroy gives a seemingly positive, but ultimately non-committal answer. Keith David added some of the biggest laughs this season: encouraging white people at Garrett’s wedding and blasting his way out of the kitchen with Britta during paintball. I hope he returns for the seventh season/ movie.


Annie

At the bar, the group tries to decide whether or not Elroy’s goodbye was an Irish goodbye. Chang wants to know where Annie is and we find out she’s interviewing for an internship. Abed isn’t sure how a “seventh season” at Greendale would work out, even with Shirley back in the mix. Frankie asks Abed about the group’s formula, prompting Abed to cast off into a hypothetical situation in the study room with Shirley’s presence so that Frankie can understand what it’s like to have Shirley as a part of the study group. After dropping the program’s first f-word in an episode, the Dean describes his season seven pitch: he includes Elroy and Shirley and an unknown third black person (sitting on a stool in the corner without speaking) in a fumbling attempt to be all-inclusive despite the fact that this wasn’t even an issue. He painfully struggles to create dialogue among the characters, making Jeff shirtless and himself some sort of deity with a white robe, white beard, scythe, and Flavor Flav clock necklace. Chang begins his pitch which really just eliminates Troy, Shirley, Elroy, and Hickey in favor of a Claymation ice cube designed to annoy the bejesus out of viewers: it eats cell phones and solves problems with magic powers. Jeff rises from his seat to leave, but Annie arrives in the middle of it to announce she got her internship.

Britta asks her if she can have her room at the apartment if she doesn’t come back next year. Annie begins to give an answer similar to Elroy’s as Jeff ponders life without his group next year. He imagines the study room with himself in his usual seat, but the other seats are populated by secondary “Community” characters, the “Sustain Greendale” committee: Leonard, Garrett, Vicki, Todd, Dave, and new guy, Scrunch (Seth Green cameo)—the tech billionaire owner of Greendale (in the fantasy) who makes the leading man work for little pay as the rest of them explore selfish pursuits. Jeff snaps out of this nightmare when Frankie asks if he’s okay. Annie wants to know what they’re up to and Jeff answers, taking his seat as if he wasn’t about to leave. The weird fantasy seems to have upset him, so Jeff perpetuates the season seven pitches. Jeff’s next pitch seems delusional to everybody except himself: everybody still accommodates him by attending Greendale around the trials of their personal lives whether or not they live in the area. They set Jeff straight (mostly because that pitch circled around Annie solving the murder of Britta’s parents) and Britta begins her grungy, humanitarian, Tom Waits-sounding pitch by using the f-word again (they’re really trying to separate themselves from NBC in this final episode) and it becomes about the group all contributing to her numerous causes. When she fails at recreating the Dean, the group stops her before it gets more ridiculous.

Community

Frankie starts her pitch but doesn’t make it far. She envisions everybody behaving politely toward each other with Chang farting for comedic relief. Abed then hypothesizes the difficulties of making a good seventh season, it really sounds like Dan Harmon putting his heart out there and explaining himself to the fans/ viewers. Jeff then pitches another scenario after Abed’s heartfelt moment; he pictures all of friends working with him at Greendale in some capacity: Annie teaches criminology, Abed teaches film, and Britta serves as the school shrink with the other members retaining their staff positions. They all kind of warm up to this idea until Abed informs them that he, too, will leave for Los Angeles in the summer to write on a television series. Abed also gives a non-committal answer about returning next year, making Jeff visibly let down by his friend. Jeff jumps to a quick fantasy where he strangles Abed clones in the study room before excusing himself from the table.

At Greendale, Jeff stands before the table and fantasizes about a future where he and Annie marry and have a boy. The fantasy runs into some issues as Annie keeps showing her cheek to Jeff every time he leans in to plant a kiss.  His subconscious bleeds into the fantasy as Jeff realizes that all of his scenarios ultimately serve selfish motivations to keep his friends close to home. Annie meets him and they talk a little about the future and Jeff’s lost youth. He admits he let her go and she tells him to kiss her before he regrets not doing it for the rest of life and the others’ imminent arrival. They share a meaningful kiss when the rest of the group interrupts. They decide a seventh year is out of their hands before Frankie suggests they each imagine another season without telling each other—that way it might come true. “I love that I got to be with you guys. You saved my life, and changed it forever,” Jeff says to prompt a group hug. As they hug, Ben Chang finally comes out of the closet as “for real…legit gay.” We then cut to the airport where Jeff drops Abed and Annie off for their respective departures. He bids them farewell and meets Britta at her bar. They sit at a table and share a drink with Frankie, Chang, and the Dean as Britta says, “This is the show.” The credits tag features a family playing a “Community” board game in for some bad news. Then, Dan Harmon narrates his thoughts and feelings about the show (really giving us a few measures of finality) in a “Chuck Lorre-esque” vanity card/ speech.

Will they ever come back? In a movie? Season seven? It’s out of the audience hands as “Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television” showed in a scene where Annie eloquently explained it for her friends. Surely, we’ll all find which direction “Community” will take soon as many second-half sitcoms begin scheduling/ production in the coming weeks.  If an announcement doesn’t come quickly, it may mean a movie or the end. The real question is will a movie make enough at the projected box office for a studio to sink money into it? “Community” masterfully managed to please all masters in the sixth season finale, acting as a both a season finale and possible series finale.

Keywords: community, season six finale, yahoo, dan harmon, joel mchale, shirley bennett, yvette nicole brown
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