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Worldly Distractions: Community 5.8 - App Development and Condiments


crazyforkate

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blog-shirleyjeff.jpgshirleyjeff

 

 

Another week, another episode of Community. What on earth could they have gotten up to now?

At the conclusion of another meeting, Shirley is hurt because she's not invited to the Save Greendale weekly dinner (Jeff assumed she was busy). The group scrambles to find a time which will work for everyone, but that's next to impossible. Jeff accuses Shirley of manipulating everyone, to which she expertly wins everyone's hearts. The Dean comes by with two app developers, who want to test their new social network (MeowMeowBeenz) at Greendale. The program involves rating people on a "Beenz" scale, and honestly, an app where you're constantly getting judged doesn't sound like much fun. Hickey hates it, not surprisingly, but technology marches on. Opening credits.

An ominous title card reads "MeowMeowBeenz Beta Test. Day 1." People are already using the rating system to create a social hierarchy. Abed loves it, Jeff is upset, as he liked the previous system of "cool people get more stuff". Chang is drawn in pretty quickly. Even Hickey has joined, comparing Mark Zuckerberg to Fidel Castro in the process. Britta is outraged about it, but still addicted. After Annie throws around jargon a bit too much, Britta decides to fight back, and stands on the table shouting against it. She caves the instant she gets downvoted. Shirley enjoys a new wave of popularity, becoming the centre of attention. Annie instantly defects to her side. This prompts Jeff to join up, though he claims that he's trying to expose it as a scam.

We go to Day 2, where Jeff has become a complete douche and is fully sucked into the Beenz world. We get "House of Cards" style texts on top. Meanwhile, the school's Beenz-rankings have become increasingly hierarchical, Brave New World style, as people of certain levels dress in different colors (and Fives get very special privileges). Abed, a Three, is quite content with this rigidly determined universe.

By Day 3, the school has devolved into a full-blown caste system, with Fives served gourmet meals on trays while the lower levels wage war on each other. The Fives decide to make a talent show to drive the lower groups into a war. Abed, now a Five but longing to return to the Threes, objects. Annie (working as some sort of secretary) comes in to inform them that Jeff is now a Four. This is clearly a major upheaval.

The Fours, who look like Capitol residents in The Hunger Games, try to attack Britta (Two) for being in the wrong hallway. Jeff rescues her. Even the Dean has gotten into it, serving as a kind of announcer for herding all the Numbers around. Jeff takes Britta into an abandoned office, where they work to plan the Revolution. She suggests that Jeff enter the talent show to demonstrate the Fives' tyranny. However, another Four exposes Jeff for "loving a Two", and though Jeff is able to keep it under wraps for now, it's still a risk...

The talent show commences. A jury of Fives watches the proceedings and dials peoples' numbers up or down (mostly down) according to their ability. Things continue to look Hunger Games-y. Jeff comes on and does a standup routine about Twos. He brings the house down. Shirley means to demote him, but one of her peers promotes him to a Five instead. Jeff becomes a school celebrity.

After class, Jeff vows to Britta that he will take Shirley down. Britta, in turn, rants about destroying the system. Threatened with a Taser by a security guard, however, she quickly flees. That got intense fast.

The Fives hold a bizarre dance. Chang, inexplicably part of their number, chats with Shirley about Jeff while Jeff chats with Abed about Shirley. A plot is instantly afoot. However, it is soon abandoned when it turns into a petty argument between the two instead. Out in the hall, Britta pleads with the Twos and Threes to band together in revolution. She is unsuccessful. Meanwhile, Jeff continues to rage at Shirley. He ends up getting demoted to One and banished to "the Outlands". However, his exile is interrupted when Britta and an army of Twos burst in. That's right, she turned them around.

War-torn and burning, Greendale looks like something from CNN. Shirley admits she feels left out by her friends, Jeff admits he overreacted to losing control of his image. They learn that Britta has started her own dictatorship and Starburns is wearing that famous bikini thing from the Sean Connery picture so popular on the Internet.

Britta puts the Fives on Trial, presumably non-ironically accusing them of "war crimes", and punishes them by demoting them to one, citing that they must be "cleansed". Considering her references to the "Great Purge" and various other minor things, if it wasn't so recent I would be calling this a spoof of the Ukraine conflict. Jeff crashes the proceedings by saying that MeowMeowBeenz is now live, in the App Store, and has a 5-star rating, thus making it a Five. Everyone boos and deletes the app on Jeff's orders, and thus harmony is restored. Jeff tells them to go enjoy their Saturday while Britta futilely wails for her lost power.

Over the PA, the Dean says to forget what happened as Jeff invites Shirley for takeout in the study room. Starburns continues to wear the Connery-kini.

Tag scene: a trailer for a Porky's like film at Greendale, starring Kubler (Mitchell Hurwitz), one of the former Fives. I guess this is his character introduction.

Have to admit, this episode was pretty hilarious. It's always fun when Greendale gets insanely worked up over something trivial! It was also nice to give Shirley a moment to shine, as she is one of the most consistently neglected characters in the show. Now, if only they'll give Annie a plot...

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