Community: ”Analysis of Cork-Based Networking” Review

The quest for a bulletin board.

In this post Troy Barnes episode, “Community” shows us that it can still bring the laughs and character moments the show executes so well.

Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!

With the departure of Troy Barnes, this particular episode of “Community” had a question to answer: Would it be the same without him? In the case of “Community,” yes. Although Donald Glover added a lot to the show, it more than compensated for his absence with its usual mix of humor and heart. There’s a lot to cover this episode, so let’s jump on in!

This week’s proceedings involved Annie and Professor Hickey working to replace the cafeteria bulletin board, while the rest of the group planned an expression-themed dance. While “Community” stumbled a bit with having multiple stories in Season 4, Harmon and his team handled it well here, with both stories having some good moments and being somewhat related to one another. It begins with the group finally starting to fulfill its mission to improve Greendale, with Annie giving the group tasks such as setting up for one of the school’s many dances or “getting all those potatoes out of the gym.” Professor Hickey lands what seems to be a simple job: replacing a bulletin board that fell down in the cafeteria. He almost immediately gives up after being told to submit a work order, prompting Annie to take her attention off the dance and on the bulletin board.

The pairing of Annie and Prof. Hickey was great. Annie’s enthusiasm clashed head-on with Hickey’s apathy. Annie submitting the work order quickly spiraled into many other favors to speed up the project, leading to some great moments with all of Greendale’s departments, including the Janitors, Custodians (there’s a difference!) and even the Parking Department. The Custodians high-class society was fun to watch, as was guest star Nathan Fillion as their boss. His scenes weren’t too long, but his character was fun and as a vocal fan of the show, it’s easy to see that he was having a blast. The Parking Department head was also entertaining, from his nostalgia for bulletin boards, to his speech about carpools being his archenemy.

(Credit: NBC)

(Credit: NBC)

The B-story wasn’t bad either, with Jeff, Prof. Duncan, Shirley and Chang trying to decide on a theme for the dance.  Ken Jeong brought the funny again this week. Chang gave a passionate fit which prompted the others to pity him and follow his theme suggestion of “Bear Down for Midterms,” covering the cafeteria with bears. This led to the hilarious reveal that Chang got the idea from watching a bear attack a children’s party and the group quickly re-branded it with the not-made up expression “Fat Dog for Midterms.” Abed also had a C-story of sorts, as he tried to evade Britta giving him spoilers for a “Game of Thrones” type series and ended up courting a deaf woman. There were a few chuckles to be had here as Abed learned sign language only for the woman to give him spoilers using it. The dance itself wasn’t bad as Hickey decided to support Annie in spite of his cynicism, and we even got the return of Coat-Check Girl and what I’m fairly sure was Abed referring to Season 4 as “The Gas leak.”

The Breakdown

In the end, this was really solid episode. Everyone got some great material and showcased how “Community” can continue to go strong even without two of its main cast members. While some of the ideas aren’t exactly fresh (I loved when Britta said “Are you about to abruptly hit off with another girl we’ll never see again?” as she saw him meet the deaf woman), and some jokes worked better than others. “Analysis of Cork-Based Networking” was an enjoyable episode which proved that, with or without Troy and Pierce, it’s still a smart, hilarious and overall entertaining half-hour of television.


About Max Mielecki (157 Articles)
Max Mielecki is a TV writer at YouNerded and does comedy for the interwebs. He knows Han shot first. For further ramblings follow him on Twitter @Maxmielecki.

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