Community “Paradigms of Human Memory” S2 E21 Review

“Paradigms of Human Memory” I enjoy the inventive titles. I am a fan of title shticks in general. I am also a fan of Community, in general. So, from the very biased viewpoint of a fan, this episode was…

Hilarious! Community has long been one of my favorite shows on TV, ever since the spectacular season 1 Halloween episode. This ep was true to form–funny and insightful, with plenty of momentum to push along some of the longer arcs of this series.

Community is known for tackling and ridiculing the conventions of genre. This episode was no exception. Here, Dan Harmon and co. explore the confines of the clip show. A fake “clip show” actually comprised of footage the audience has never seen is not an original idea. However, it was well executed here, with Community’s penchant for extreme genre episodes wonderfully satirized in the outlandish settings of the flashback clips.

I appreciated the nonchalant presentation of all the inexplicable settings: the Wild Wild West ghost town, the Mexican standoff, something to do with sharks, a locomotive, a horror house replete with ghosts. The teased “St. Patrick’s Day Adventure” also humorously noted Community’s love of special holiday eps.

So, the show was funny. The show is almost always very funny, and this episode had many laugh out loud moments for me.

My favorite bit was probably the joke revolving around the oft-perceived relationship between Annie and Jeff. The writers on the show often poke fun, in a loving manner, at fanfiction and fan videos dedicated to the various “ships” on this show. The Sara Bareilles* song sequence was such a pitch perfect example of a fan-made ‘ship video, the writers must have watched at least few for inspiration. The Pierce-Abed response was hilarious.

The point definitely rang true–you can make one of those videos for any couple you’d like to see. It was a bit unfair to say there had been no tension between Jeff and Annie, as clearly many of the episodes went out of the way to hint at some romantic feelings between the two (or between Jeff and Britta, Britta and Troy, and so on). I like Community best when it focuses on the group as a whole, and not on any romantic pairing.  As I’ve said before, I’m not a big fan of Will They Or Won’t They.

For me, in general, Community can do no wrong. There are only Amazing episodes and Very Good episodes. This one was somewhere between the two. Watch it. Huge payoff for fans, with many callbacks to previous eps.

Bonus: The Glee bit was spot-on. Spot. On.



*Love. Her. Give her stuff a listen if you want to treat your ears to something wonderful. The song used in this ep is “Gravity” from her debut album. Here’s a link to more info re: this song and its use in the episode.

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9 responses to “Community “Paradigms of Human Memory” S2 E21 Review

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