Tuesday, June 2, 2015

6x13 "Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television" (Farewell, Greendale. Again.) [Contributors: Jenn and Deborah MacArthur]

"Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television"
Original Airdate: June 2, 2015

I'm currently in the process of packing up my life again. After three moves within the last three years, I've started to become a lot like Coach in New Girl: a lot less sentimental about the essentials I need to take with me to my next place. My room is in current disarray, filled with cardboard boxes and suitcases of clothes, decorations, and jewelry. This weekend, I spent the better part of six hours binge-watching Scrubs while I threw away years of my life into a giant trash bag and unflinchingly tossed clothes into the discard pile to donate. Years ago, I would have mulled over a decision to keep or discard a dress. This weekend? It took a few seconds to decide. See, when you move a lot, you just learn that there are essentials and non-essentials (thanks for that, too, New Girl). There are the things you keep for another move or two or permanently and there are the things you used to care about and you toss away without much feeling.

I used to have a difficult time saying goodbye to Community. When I thought the show would end after season three, I was kind of a mess and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Back then, my closest online friend group was from that fandom. We were bonded. We were close. I'm still close with a lot of them -- including some of the writers on this site, especially people like Deborah and Laura -- but not nearly as many and not as deeply. Sometimes you realize that the more things change, the easier it is to let people go. But not if you're Jeff Winger. If you're Jeff Winger, the more things change, the more determined you are to hold onto the things you know tightly, knuckles white and unrelenting. That's what Jeff tries to do in the season -- and probably series finale, but I say that every year so don't put too much emphasis on it -- finale, "Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television." And the episode WAS emotional. Alarmingly so, for a show that -- this year -- was severely lacking in any sort of heart or character growth and development. But Community is always at its best when it remembers where it started. This season finale remembered that. It was an eleventh-hour revelation, really: one that came a bit too late for my liking. But it was a revelation no less. And it was spectacular. The kind of development and genuine heart we saw this episode? It should have colored the entire season.

But since I didn't want to write this review alone, I enlisted Deborah who did a STELLAR job picking up Community reviews this year (everyone thank her in the comments and say nice things, please) to join me for a roundtable discussion. But before we do that, let me first take the opportunity to thank all of you who consistently read these reviews and who have been fans of them for the better part of nearly four years (I HAVE BEEN WRITING ABOUT THIS SHOW FOR SO LONG, YOU GUYS). There are so many things Community gave me, chief among which is a literal community of fans-turned-friends. So thank you to all who support these and who have embraced my opinions and Deb's opinions, whether or not you agree with them. I've loved the discussion this year even though I didn't love the season. And you all are what made that happen.

Now that all the mushy stuff is out of the way, let's talk about some MORE mushy stuff as we discuss Community's sixth finale!

Let's play a game: Annie Edison talking to Jeff orrrrr Jenn and Deb talking to Dan Harmon?

JENN: Okay, readers. We both had a lot of issues with this season of Community. But let's not start with problems. Let's start with the season as a whole and look at what was done well. Deb? Thoughts?

DEB: The first thing coming to mind in terms of "done well" is probably comedy. I think it was still a funny season, even if some of the comedy was very dark. But dark comedy isn't exactly outside Community's scope, so... It gets a passing grade on comedy, in my opinion. I think I laughed at something in every episode, and I feel like there were more funny one-liners this season than last season, or the season before. The fast comedy in season six felt very Community.

And I know we don't really talk technical here, but I just have to say that this season looked REALLY good. The cast looked good, the lighting looked good, we got to see outside (!!!) - including some Colorado mountains, which was a treat. It was just a very well shot season, and I think the show needs some kudos for that because I'm sure lots of people, when they heard it was going to be on Yahoo, predicted cheap sets and one-dimensional lighting.

I think that I was just really struck by how dark the comedy was this season, too. I mean, I laughed a lot in some of the episodes but even the end tags this year just had this really dark, cynical sort of humor to them. It wouldn't have been bad or jarring to me if Community had always been like that. But this show -- as a few people pointed out -- was never It's Always Sunny and so to have these terrible people do terrible things and have it tinge the season was kind of unsettling.

Thank you actually for talking technical! I was thinking about how really lovely this season was in terms of lighting and set design. We got introduced to some new scenery (outside, Britta's bar, etc.) and everything was really well-shot. If we're going to go deep here, a lot of the season was a contrast between darkness and light and between outside and inside: kind of a parallelism to the loose "journey" our characters seemed to be on. I definitely didn't know what to anticipate going into the series being on Yahoo! but the look and feel was really pretty exceptional. Better in a lot of ways than when it was on NBC.

I think for me the show worked best this year when it remembered its origin story. Moments that were intimate between two or three characters really were highlights for me because it tethered us to that first speech Jeff made in the pilot episode about them all being a community. Even though there was a lot of new this season (new cast members, new locations, new arcs, etc.), what really made the show feel like home was when it remembered who its characters were and allowed them room to breathe and to grow organically.

... Unfortunately, those moments were so few and far between that I couldn't appreciate or like this season if I tried really hard. (Note: I haven't done a re-watch and I may need to do that to appreciate this season a LITTLE more, but taking a step back to look at it, the arc and development present in seasons four and prior just was not there.) 

The season (which should really be a series) finale was a reminder to me of all that this show could have been this year if it had just focused on its characters instead of haphazardly throwing episodes and jokes and bitterness at the wall and seeing what stuck. We didn't spend nearly enough time on Jeff's fear of everyone leaving him (literally the episode with Abed's movie and this one), so it is kind of disappointing that this didn't really arc the season. We'll talk a lot about Jeff/Annie in a moment, but same there: while the resolution and end result was great, nothing this season really supported that unless you squinted REALLY hard to interpret scenes. And I don't need my messages in television series to be overt and spelled-out, but I DO need some build-up and, you know, actual character development that spans the course of more than just one standalone episode.

Let's discuss this season, then, in the context of the finale, which we both (I think) loved. We'll start with Jeff Winger. Aaaaaaaaand, go!

Jeeeeeffff. Oh poor, poor Jeff. I loved that Jeff had something deeper going on this season - but he usually does, doesn't he? This is a character who pretends to not care about anything but has learned that he cares too much, and I think that was really highlighted in this finale. Just look at his reaction to the thought of the people he loves leaving: he goes into wide-eyed panic mode while everyone else cheers to the future and new beginnings and all that. Everyone else is putting a positive spin on the idea of separating that Jeff can't bring himself to do. It's a reminder that Jeff's never actually had friends before Greendale, and now that he's got them he really, really doesn't want to lose them. I think it's great character development, even though you could probably see it as a negative (Jeff, as we learned, is kind of in a co-dependent relationship here, and that's not healthy).

He absolutely owns up to his love for the group in the finale, but not in the way we've seen it before - where he tells them he loves them, and takes for granted the idea that they'll always be there for him to love. In this, we see Jeff seriously contemplate them not being there, and it terrifies him. His loving them is no longer an easy love he can send via a Valentine's group text, but something else. Something bigger and scarier. His love for them is intertwined with his fear of being alone, of getting old, of turning obsolete - because if he can't manage to keep mattering to these people, who he's grown with and loved for six years (if they can still separate from him, and be okay) how will he ever matter to anyone, ever again?

(Also, I can't help but pull some parallels here to Annie's panic over losing her new friends in season one. It's interesting how Annie's grown more comfortable with the idea of long-distance and long-lasting friendships while Jeff has grown more fearful of the idea that everyone could grow apart.)

I wish Jeff's arc had come up more often during the season, though. Like you said - that real root of his character this season only really came up once, during the moment with Abed. I don't know, maybe they were there all along and I need to re-watch the episodes within the context of "Jeff is really freaking out," but it feels like the finale is only truly connecting to that one episode and that one moment. It should have pulled a little bit more to the forefront.

A re-watch is definitely in order, just in case.

You're so on point when it comes to Jeff's issues this year. Joel McHale absolutely and completely took a character who we were so used to seeing as the snarky, stoic leader of the group who loved others from a respectable distance and turned him into this really tragic character. I think that Joel can never get enough credit for all that he's done on this show. I'll talk about him until the end of time, probably. I know a lot of people say that "without Dan Harmon, there is no show" but honestly -- to me -- it's "without Joel McHale, there is no show." He's the anchor and he's always been the anchor. And JEFF has always been the anchor. It's subtle though, because over the years (and especially evident this season), we see more and more of the other characters give Winger speeches. We hear Annie and Abed and Troy and even Chang save the group. There's been a subtle shift over the years, therefore, of the group not needing to rely on Jeff as much as they used to when they were constantly on the verge of falling apart.

And you're SO right: now it's flipped -- now JEFF is the one who is constantly on the verge of falling apart. He can't save the group with a speech because they don't need to be saved anymore. And if Jeff's role isn't to be the leader and to save the group, then what IS his role? I think that's what he's grappled with over the last few years and this season it was just poorly and sloppily executed for Jeff. We never got the true sense that there was something wrong with Jeff -- there was kind of no real build-up to the idea that Jeff was terrified of losing everyone and everyone leaving him except, like you said, in two instances. 

So Jeff's drinking became a really big focus this year for me and it's what still irks me -- it was never addressed. And it's unsettling to me because we NEVER saw Jeff like this before. We've seen him occasionally drink but in this season it was literally like, nearly every scene that he was in, he had a glass of scotch in hand. And we can assume, looking back, that it's because he's afraid of losing everyone but... that wasn't ever really connected. At all. Jeff just became an alcoholic this year and we were expected to be okay with it or ignore it like everyone else did. Speaking of things I can't ignore: Jeff's alcoholism made him more violent this year (WILL ANYONE TALK ABOUT JEFF'S FANTASY OF KILLING A BUNCH OF ABEDS? NO? BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE THE SECOND TIME HE CHOKED HIM IN. THIS. SEASON.)

I think my problem with this season -- one of them, at least -- is that the year was so dark without any real explanation and the viewers were just expected to be okay with the random inconsistencies and weird character regression. It felt like the entire year, more or less, these characters were sliding into darkness. I loved the finale, but I think the issue here is that a few moments of light do not erase an entire season of darkness, you know?

Exactly - a few moments of light do not erase an entire season of darkness. And I'm looking at you, unearned group hugs. The finale's group hug was probably the only one that actually made me go, "Aw," and react positively. Maybe that's the Finale Blues kicking in and making me emotional, but I genuinely think it has to do with how that hug happened vs. how the previous hugs happened, and how they all felt more like a band-aid pasted over the lack of emotion in the rest of the episode(s). Like, "We know the characters just spent the episode either fighting with each other or not making any sense, but here - group hug!" This season flipped between hollowness and darkness, only occasionally striking on that goodness that Community used to accomplish in nearly every episode. Maybe that was intentional, maybe it was accidental, maybe it was hidden in places that I didn't think to look while watching season six. I really don't know.

I wasn't expecting anything to develop from Jeff's alcoholism this season, though. I mean, it's Dan Harmon running this show - do you really think a character drinking in every scene will lead up to something? Of course not.

I'm not even sure if Jeff's drinking was meant to be an important part of the character this season or if it really was just a bit of business for Joel to do during scenes. After all, Jeff was rarely ever visibly drunk, and we've mostly just been reading his increased violence and lethargy as an implied side-effect of the drinking. Sometimes Community can be too subtle for its own good (for example: Jeff loving Annie isn't even technically in the show - it's implied, and then confirmed via DVD commentary) and that might be what's happening here.

No, I think you're totally right. The group hugs this season were used as a quick-fix bandage: they slapped one at the end of episodes where they weren't earned at ALL. Just because someone hugs at the end of an episode doesn't mean the relationship is fixed or remotely mended in any way. I think that the show gradually just got into the habit over the years (and they make meta commentary about this in "Paradigms of the Human Memory") of just having Jeff give a speech, the group hug, play "Greendale Is Where I Belong" and call it a resolution. The problem is that so much is left dangling by the end of this season's penultimate episode that there was no way they could tie up all of these loose ends well.

And the darkness and bitterness was extremely evident this season. I know we talked in the comments last week about how this show used to be about hope and optimism and something happened where that just died this year. The finale was great, don't get me wrong, but look at the lighting -- it's dark; it's SAD. The only light and happiness is in the pretend season seven visions and Jeff's vision of the future. We're in a dimly lit bar for most of the episode and then the darkened study room, the dark airport, and then the bar again. I don't know... it just felt OFF this year to have the show become such a cynical, biting parody of itself. Jeff's drinking was kind of thrown in the episodes as evidence of that, to me.

After all, Jeff was rarely ever visibly drunk, and we've mostly just been reading his increased violence and lethargy as an implied side-effect of the drinking. Sometimes Community can be too subtle for its own good (for example: Jeff loving Annie isn't even technically in the show - it's implied, and then confirmed via DVD commentary) and that might be what's happening here.

It's the double-edged sword of Community as far as I can tell to have things be subtle. It's fun when the JOKES are subtle -- the Beetlejuice gag, the monkey stealing the pen, the whiteboards in the background -- but it doesn't work to have really important moments of plot or characterization to be subtle which is what happened this year. I love when jokes are sly, but when I see Jeff drinking in every single scene and this escalation seems really, really sudden, it's not good. And the thing with Jeff/Annie too, though I loved a lot of the finale, is still a loose end. The problem is that Harmon never wants to say that his show should only be interpreted a certain way. And that's fine. Ambiguity in certain instances is fine. But not when it's REALLY important. Not when we need to know why Jeff's just suddenly so sullen and drinking or how he feels about Annie.

SPEAKING OF, let's just segue ourselves right into Annie Edison and the Jeff/Annie of it all. I think we'll both agree here in regards to the finale that though it was great, one episode of television doesn't just magically undo the issues that we had earlier with it. And the lack of any perceptive Jeff/Annie development (and the fact that he never actually told her he LOVED her in this episode) throughout the first twelve episodes of the season slightly dampened my enjoyment of their resolution, if we want to call it that.

(I feel like I need to quote The Notebook now because for Jeff/Annie: "It's not over. It still isn't over.")

I thought that Jeff's feelings for Annie were handled VERY well in his speech to her in the study room, and the way he kisses her goodbye but, again, it's something that we only get in this episode. Jeff being in love with Annie hasn't been a thing all season, and while it's good that they brought it up - and included some very deeply set emotions from Jeff regarding losing Annie/letting her go - it would have been really nice to get a few hints during the season itself.

I have never, ever wanted Community to turn into the "Jeff and Annie Show" or focus exclusively on romantic relationships (despite my shipping tendencies, I'm not actually fond of shows, books, or movies revolving entirely around romance), but ignoring the fact that Jeff's been in love with Annie all season has felt dishonest to me. If they didn't want to have a whole episode dedicated to Jeff's feelings - that's fine. I wouldn't expect that from them, nor would I expect Jeff and Annie officially getting together and being romantic with each other like your average sitcom. That's not what Community is, and it's not what it could ever be.

But what I did expect - what I wanted - was you know, Jeff and Annie sharing some screen time together. Having some moments. Not having the HUGE revelation that Jeff's in love with her treated as a background thing or an afterthought. If we'd just gotten a few more moments like the "Milady/Milord" moment this season, I might have been okay with how it went down. Because of course Jeff Winger would be too terrified to admit to actually loving Annie out loud and of course he'd keep that bottled up inside with all the fear of abandonment and stagnation and becoming obsolete. They could have focused on their friendship and interactions (still lamenting the lack of Jeff/Annie capers this season) and left Jeff's feelings to be something that he knows and the audience knows, but doesn't get a full reveal until the finale.

And yes, I would have liked it if Jeff said the words to Annie - but the fact that those words weren't said did not ruin their moment or his (roundabout) confession for me. It's made very clear that Jeff has strong romantic feelings for Annie in his speech and he thinks those romantic feelings are a dead end - because he thinks he's too old to matter anymore, or because Annie's going to love him and move on because she's in her twenties, or because Annie's moving away and might never come back. Yes, that's pretty sad of him - but Annie doesn't seem to share his dark viewpoint when she asks his to kiss her goodbye, so - as ever - Annie is the shining Hope Beacon in the Community world.

Also, I LOVED the Annie in that scene with Jeff. The maturity she presented reminded me of the Annie at the end of "Pascal's Triangle Revisited" and I wish we could have gotten more of her this season, but that's old news. I always wish for more Annie, especially when the show doesn't make her into an immature schoolgirl.

I totally agree with you: that speech in the study room was such a fantastic resolution to a moment that has been six years in the making. At the end of "Pascal's Triangle Revisited," Jeff asks: "Do you know who you are, or do you try to evolve?" And in this episode we saw Jeff lamenting how old he feels and Annie telling him that being younger isn't without its own specific challenges. You can't idealize either thing. All you can do is really learn to accept where you are. (That was the whole point of PTR, right? That Jeff didn't have to choose between evolving or staying the same: he could be who he needed to and wanted to be with Annie.)

Again: I'm going to just sit here and effusively praise Joel McHale for playing Jeff Winger throughout this series but especially this episode. The moment Jeff finds out that Annie's leaving, his entire world crumbles. You can see that clearly in his face. And in the study room, like I mentioned earlier, it's dark. Jeff is just so SAD throughout most of this episode. It's utterly heartbreaking to watch and Joel's performance of this is just stellar. So then when he confesses to Annie that he's tried to let her go -- out of his mind, pushing her away, in his heart -- but can't, it's just so powerful. And it's filled with regret, you can tell that. The most powerful moment for me was: "The heart wants what it wants. But I let you go."

There's just so much in that little phrase that hasn't been answered all season and yeah, you're right: we didn't even get confirmation of Jeff loving Annie in the episodes. We got that through the commentary. But that moment above is just so utterly sad. And you can see the sadness in Jeff's face and the pain there that he's letting her see for the first time. He's telling her without pause or uncertainty that she is what he wants and he let her go. And he keeps letting her go. And I think that Annie's response is just so indicative of her as a person: she tells him that she knows he will have a regret if he doesn't kiss her. Maybe she'll regret kissing him again because it'll make leaving more difficult, but this is what Jeff needs.

The kiss is so great but again it's just SO SAD. And what struck me the most was how unlike their first kiss outside of the transfer dance, this one wasn't passionate. It was just really sweet and tender and hesitant. And Jeff looks at Annie for quite a few seconds until he actually does kiss her. When he's looking at her, too, his hand is just on her neck, by her hair, and he's looking into her eyes probably trying to remember this because he doesn't know if it will be the last time he ever kisses her. And it's just such a gentle, sad, sweet goodbye that it actually makes me upset because -- as you so accurately noted -- we didn't get any sort of lead-up to this apart from a throwaway frisbee speech to Abed a few episodes earlier.

You said: "...ignoring the fact that Jeff's been in love with Annie all season has felt dishonest to me," which is probably the most accurate way that their relationship can be summed up, honestly. The writers and Harmon clearly are capable of writing emotional moments and romantic moments that are MEANINGFUL. They did in this episode. So why tell us that Jeff is in love with Annie on a commentary and then never intend to follow through with it? That's not being dishonest to us, that's being dishonest to your CHARACTERS. I think Harmon was always afraid to let Jeff be in love. Or to let any of his characters be in love. Because love is messy and complex and I feel like he thinks it ruins comedies. Ships don't ruin comedies -- bad writing ruins comedies and unfortunately, in the whole NOT addressing Jeff's feelings for Annie, they managed to ruin both characters.

And you're right, too, Deb in that Jeff and Annie have had... what? A few scattered glances throughout the season? One "milady/milord" exchange? It doesn't do what season one did. Season one built toward both Jeff/Britta ("Modern Warfare") and Jeff/Annie ("Pascal's Triangle Revisited") REALLY well and very organically. The characters just naturally progressed. I feel like the writers this year just stunted the growth of their characters by chopping them all off at the knees and reducing them to the versions they all had in their heads. They focused on dark comedy instead of emotional nuances and revelations and writing punchlines isn't the same as writing a well-rounded show. You can't survive on cotton candy -- you need substance. And the substance, as we see AGAIN IN THIS EPISODE, comes when you allow your characters to be vulnerable and honest and -- occasionally -- in love.

I ship Jeff/Annie and probably will in the future but it's the most convoluted and complex ship I've been a part of, not because of the fans but because of the writers and their massive tug-of-war over how they wanted their characters to be perceived and how they actually were perceived and interpreted by the actors. I think that their relationship could have been a huge source of depth and development on this show.

I thought Annie displayed immense maturity and growth in that scene with Jeff and -- like you said -- her being this beacon of hope for Jeff (when the rest of the group files in and she tells him: "It's out of our hands," he just smiles his little Annie Smile at her) and I think that's what kind of kills him the most. Not just that the woman he's clearly in love with is leaving but that she's the one who always gives him hope, who saved him. And like, I think it's really significant that Jeff essentially directed his: "You saved my life" speech at Annie. Because yeah, dude was changed from the moment he first kissed her and Annie saved his life; the love he felt for her did.

#schmoopyJeff #sappyJeff #littleballoffluff

We can continue to talk about Jeff/Annie some more if we have more feelings (and let's be real, who doesn't? Like... did he kiss her cheek or peck her on the lips when they said goodbye? Inquiring minds need to know!) but after that, let's continue the conversation about our characters by talking about the rest of the group -- Britta and Abed, maybe, specifically. Because who really cares about Ben Chang? (That "I'm gay" thing was a far less superior joke to New Girl's "I think I'm gay!" hysterical line that was delivered in "Virgins" I AM JUST SAYING).

I probably have the most to say about Abed. He's pushed the meta thing a LOT this season, and while I think a lot of fans were picking up on it before, I feel like it became especially clear in the finale that his reason for doing that is because he misses Troy. Meta stuff and TV are Abed's armor, his safety net - when things get too tough, he turns to TV for comfort. He's always been that way, and he made some progress when he could focus all his manic TV energy/analysis on his friendship with Troy instead. We're not given a reason for Troy not returning from his boat trip, but Abed's line in the episode about it implies that Troy is done with his trip, but still hasn't come back. That's all because Donald Glover can't/won't return to the show, but in-universe it's probably devastating for Abed that his best friend doesn't think he's worth coming back to. Abed already has abandonment issues (see: "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas" and, more recently, "Queer Studies and Advanced Waxing") but I don't think he expected Troy to ever leave him behind like it's implied he did.

Abed's poor coping strategies imply bad things for his move to Los Angeles. I get the feeling he's going to be even more adrift without his friends there to occasionally reel him back in. Also, I think Abed became more emotionally intelligent this season, but at a time when his usual aloofness would have helped him cope with the absence of Troy and all the changes in his life. It seems like he became more aware of himself and the people around him just in time for it to snap back and hurt him, which resulted in all the meta stuff and losing grip on reality (forcing flashbacks, for example).

As for Britta: I can only say that I wish we'd gotten more of her growing and maturing. I liked that there were a few hints at her being a really good bartender and I wish that had been explored a bit more (especially since bartending goes well with her wanting to be a therapist, but she'd probably be sued a lot less as a bartender dispensing advice than she would as a therapist). The same thing applies to Britta as any of the other characters, and the season as a whole: it would have been nice if they'd done more than just skim the surface of the character developments and "big picture" plots.

One more thing about Jeff/Annie before we move on: I was really struck with the idea that Jeff was willing to let her go because he loved her when the whole premise of this series was how selfish Jeff was. And you can tell that earlier in the episode, he wanted to be selfish (basically telling her she could take a teaching job at Greendale, etc.), but in the end... love won out. And though I begrudge a lot of how Jeff was written this entire year, I don't begrudge the progress he made at the very end. AND HE DROVE ANNIE AND ABED TO THE AIRPORT. This is Jeff, who never voluntarily does anything. He drove them there. He kissed Annie goodbye again, hugged Abed twice and then left.

I think that in terms of Abed, I lament the lack of Jeff/Abed throughout the entirety of the season. We got two really great moments with them this year and it just feels like this show should have done SO much more than it did. There were 13 episodes. There were also 13 in Parks and Rec's final season and they managed to tie up every loose end possible and still give the characters hope for growth. So why didn't Community take more time and step away from the homages and the pointless road trip episodes (more on that momentarily) and the e-mail hacks and focus on the characters that built the emotional foundation of the show in the first place?

I totally think that you are so right when it comes to Abed -- this year, his entire development just felt really off because there were spurts of growth and then relapses. Then spurts again in this episode, and relapses. It felt like a see-saw and we just swung from week to week between "quasi-normal" and "insanely meta." I honestly hadn't even thought about the implication of what was said like you did, Deb: that Troy got back from his trip and just hasn't returned. That moment was so heartbreaking to begin with and now even more so. I think that the problem with Abed this year was the same problem the show had with most of its characters -- they used Abed for whatever they needed that episode. They needed someone to comment on the meta? Done. They needed someone to give Jeff a wake-up call? Done. They needed someone for an emotional moment? Done. I really disliked "Basic RV Repair and Palmistry" because it took a character who grew a few episodes prior and regressed him because... why? They needed a plot? It didn't make sense. The see-saw didn't make any sense.

And so Abed at the end of the season... I don't get the sense that he's going to be okay. I think he's going to regress into the character who only relates to people through pop culture, too, because -- as you noted -- none of his friends are there to support him. That makes a huge difference to someone like Abed and while Annie is embarking because she needs a new journey and to live her own life, Abed is seemingly just running away because there's not much left for him at Greendale anymore. Which is sad. And how I feel a lot of the characters (like Jeff) are feeling.

As for Britta, I'm actually most disappointed in the development of her this season, or lack thereof. She had some great stuff in the beginning with her parents but then she just kind of fell into the background throughout the rest of the season. I know I ship Jeff/Annie but I love Britta. Female characters all deserve to be treated well (HOLLA, SHIRLEY CAMEO) in this show and I don't think she was utilized as well as she could have been this year. She didn't have much of an arc at all, which is sad. Same with Elroy, really, who was a fun character but ultimately the kind of character who can be replaced. Paget Brewster's character grew a bit but even the loss of her wouldn't dramatically alter the series, you know?

So let's talk a little bit more about some of the side characters (like Ben Chang and Dean Pelton, Frankie and Elroy) who had more of a presence this year and how we ended the season with them.

I should probably add the inclusion of the new characters to my "things done well this season" section, because I think they did so well with Elroy and Frankie. Yes, they're characters who could be replaced without hurting much, but they were still charming, likable characters that meshed well with the group in a way that I don't think Hickey ever did during season five. I love both of them and I liked the way they interacted with the group, Frankie especially (though Elroy probably wins for one-liners/comedy). I could see these characters becoming permanent fixtures within this group of friends, regardless of how easily Elroy left in the episode, and I think that's the best an ensemble show like Community can hope for when introducing new characters this late in the game.

Chang is always an iffy character. I maintain that he was at his best in season one, but I don't think he was totally off this season. We were well away from Changnesia levels of bad in season six, and I think episodes like "Advanced Waxing" elevated his character beyond the one-dimensional joke machine he's been in the past. Same for Dean Pelton, who got at least a few moments of humanization this season and wasn't just the running gag of "Dean Pelton has a crush on Jeff!"

Again, the problem of the show not diving deeper where these characters are concerned hinders my ability to really examine them post-season.

I do truly think that Elroy was integrated well. He may not have added much substantially, but his presence still added to the series. And he WAS hilarious. That face when Frankie said she didn't own a television will go down in history as one of the best expressions ever. I have to say though that I still prefer Keith David on Enlisted to Keith David on Community, but the guy is outstanding and knocks everything out of the park anyway. I was less keen on Frankie who -- even though she had a great arc -- felt like trying to develop and include her took away valuable time from Annie and Britta. I also wish we would have gotten some substantial girls vs. boys story this year. We had a perfect set-up, after all and even numbers (minus Chang because we just don't count Chang). I think that they did what they could with her and she was a great addition because I love Paget but still. I just feel like they tried a bit too hard to make her fit. I would have liked to see more of her integrated naturally and easily.

Chang was seriously just... blah to me this year. Same with Dean Pelton, who I usually adore. I just think that they both kind of had one-note roles in season six, you know? We got a few good moments but otherwise, they were pretty much relegated to the background of the bar or to make random jokes/one-liners.

It's really difficult to understand the arcs of anyone this season apart from Jeff, right? And with him, we're even stretching a bit because we don't really KNOW what all was going on in his head the entire season. We're guessing and I just think that Community is better -- or should be better, I guess -- than this by now. I don't, as I said earlier, mind subtlety. But guesswork is beneath this show.

If this IS indeed, the last season and we get a movie... let's speculate. What did we think of the overall end to the series? What would you want to see the movie deal with?


I think the finale was… honest. It was a very honest look at life, and how things don't really work out the way they often do on TV (something Abed hinted at during his speech in the bar). Sometimes your friends leave you, and sometimes you miss out on telling someone you love them (or you tell them too late), and sometimes you feel like you're being left behind while everyone zips past you, or you feel like you're moving too fast and just want to relax but can never find the time.

The theme to the episode seemed to be an ignorance of the future: the characters don't know what the next year - "season seven" - is going to bring them, or if they're going to be together. Jeff doesn't know if Annie's coming back, and if she does come back he doesn't know if he could have a relationship with her - or if she even wants one. I think the idea of never knowing what's coming up next is both true to life and true to this show, which has been canceled and un-canceled and put on hiatus and moved to Yahoo and just, so many things, constantly. Fans never knew what was going on with the series, and the characters within Community use the episode to reveal that they don't know, either.

So, the overall end of the series… I liked that it was left open. I liked that it wasn't wrapped up in a neat little bow for everyone, because we all know that any "neatness" to a Community finale would be a lie. The way things end, it's simultaneously dark and light - it's hopeful, in a way, because you get the impression (for the most part) that things could be okay again, but so incredibly sad because we don't know. We might never know.

As for the movie… I don't know, but Troy has to be in it. Absolutely has to be in it.

I don't really care about the setting, I just want everyone together again. I want them being friends and caring about each other, and I want it implied that they never stopped caring about each other.

I literally couldn't have talked about the finale better myself. There was such a sense of overwhelming sadness and reality surrounding it. Community isn't a fluffy show and it doesn't rose-color the world. It was just honest and real in the fact that sometimes you don't have all the answers. Sometimes people leave -- people you love. Sometimes you realize that the indicator of how much you love them is finally letting them go. Because love does mean letting go and this episode was such a clear indicator of that.

If that's the way Community finally ends, I'm okay with that.

Additional de-lovely aspects about this episode include:
  • Thank you again for reading our reviews this season! We both seriously appreciate how much you guys cared enough to write long comments and debate the merits/drawbacks of episodes. From both of us to all of you: we're grateful.
  • I have written like, three "goodbye Community" posts because every year I think it's the series finale. I guess that gives you a pretty good indicator of the series' trajectory on network television. So there won't be one here, but you should read my goodbye to the cast from last year. It was a lot of fun to write and I stand by it today.
  • CRY COUNT THIS EPISODE: Jenn - 3, Deb - 4. Guess in the comments which scenes made us weep!
  • Deb's note: I have re-watched/re-listened to the weird version of the Community theme song that comes up for Britta's "Season Seven" SO MANY TIMES. I love it so much. I don't know why
  • "What? That's crazy. People USE LinkedIn?"
  • I didn't talk about the fact that Shirley returned but SHIRLEY RETURNED AND IT WAS DELIGHTFUL. I missed her so much.
  • "I don't even own a TV and I wouldn't watch that."
  • Seth Green made a random appearance. Do we want to talk about that?
  • Jeff and Annie's imaginary son is named Sebastian. I think he needs to be friends with Troy and Britta's imaginary/alternate timeline child Chewbacca. Right? Right. Headcanon accepted.
  • Important question: HOW IN THE WORLD is Britta going to afford rent on the apartment now that Abed and Annie have moved out? I feel like this is important.
  • Lord Huron's "Ends of the Earth" was stuck in my head all day. It's a beautiful and perfect song to have been played over the scene where Jeff says goodbye to Annie and Abed. (To the ends of the earth would you follow me? / There's a world that was meant for our eyes to see. / To the ends of the earth would you follow me?)
  • "I think... you should kiss me goodbye or you might regret it for the rest of your life."
  • This was the first tag I ALMOST really liked. I still didn't completely enjoy it but it amused me a lot more than most of them this season have.
  • Deb's note: And just a final note: If this is the last of Community, I just want to say that I've complained some about this season, but I absolutely love this show and that will never stop being true. It's changed the way I watch and think about TV forever - it's made me actually love TV - and no matter what, it will always be my favorite show. My first favorite show. And I want to thank the community of people I've found through Community, because I've made great friends I've never met, and some friends I have, and I really want to thank you, Jenn, for letting me ramble on about my feelings here on Just About Write. It's been wonderful.
Thank you again for reading and caring about this site and the Community reviews. These are what launched the website in the first place and I'm constantly amazed at how much this site has grown thanks, in part, to them. Basically if I can't say it today, when can I say it? I love you guys. <3

Hit up the comments below with your thoughts about this season and finale. Until then! :)


  1. Really love the tag team approach (although I had a hard time timing the text to the person at times), but great episode on an uneven season.

    I would really like your feedback on this part. What did you think of Jeff constantly interjecting what is best for Annie in his season 7? I thought was a continual reminder of why Jeff and Annie never had and probably never would have an actual relationship: it is not good for her and Jeff knows it. As much as he wanted her, loved her, and needed her, he knows even in his best dreams he is bad for her. The finale allowed him to say it out loud. That he let her go. That he didn’t try to be something he couldn’t be and he didn’t try to make her into something she shouldn’t be. With Annie he has always fought his selfish nature. In the finale, he had to face that he finally won if he wanted to or not.

    The other relationship that mattered above others was Jeff’s to Abed. Abed is the one that told him about Britta and the one that invited the other members of the group (I think I remember that right). He loves Abed, and when Abed said he was leaving, all that Jeff could think of was how he wanted to keep choking him over and over for making him feel all of this pain of Abed and Annie leaving. That isn’t a pitch he can share. It is a pitch he doesn’t really want, so he leaves. When Jeff takes Abed to the airport, he hugged him twice. Just like in Recycled Cinema, Jeff holds Abed more than Abed expects. None of the characters understand what Abed means to Jeff. Not even Jeff.

    I am with you on the lack of arc with Jeff, Annie, and Jeff and Annie. If you didn’t know it before this season, you would have a hard time picking up on the relationship. I think though to some degree, they were not trying to arc for long Britta, the Dean, Chang, and the new cast members. At best, they seemed to be trying to put them in a good place. Britta has a relationship with parents that are already supplementing her rent. At least part of Dean’s sexuality is cleared up and why he has been so weird with Jeff (the texting bit was hilarious) was explained. Chang, well Chang was better with them this year, although I agree the Gay reveal at the end was just for a joke and not for anything else. Frankie and Elroy…you know, they drew those characters with such clear lines and identities, I think Frankie’s line at the end as a newcomer that was “nailing it” carried a lot of truth. It took one episode to explain them both. One. They never got close with Hickey.

    I have already commented about the drinking in past posts, so I will let that die on the vine (besides, Richard says it better), and yes, more of the good relationship material between Jeff and Abed and Jeff and Annie would have been great, but only Grifting left me completely unimpressed. There were issues in other episodes, but I really enjoyed what it was.

    I can’t stop without a quick comment(s) to how this was the finale we at some point wanted. Perfect? No, but it could never be true to itself it put a bow on everyone’s storyline. We wanted Jeff to tell Annie that he’s held back for her, Annie needed to be willing to hear it and not act like a child. We wanted Britta to be capable of being okay. We didn’t want think that Abed never left college. We wanted a show that is painfully self-aware to speak to that truth through Abed and we got a gem of rant from Harmon at the end. I loved that Shirley was back, and that they thought of her to think of the group as being whole. I know they would have been over the moon if Glover would have come back. It would have really driven home the point. ACB is Annie? That would be awesome.

    I bought Lord Huron’s Ends of the Earth today. I’m going to miss Community. I probably will agree with Richard.

    1. I saw the daydream where Jeff wasn't actually sure about want Annie wanted less as a sign that they could never have an actual relationship, and more like it was saying that Jeff has a hard time figuring out what Annie wants or needs now. They've both grown, and Annie isn't the schoolgirl with a crush who would have agreed to a relationship, marriage, and a kid (or dog) named Sebastian anymore. That daydream and the way Jeff insists on how "season 7" should go for Annie is Jeff trying to turn back time, basically, to when he knew exactly what Annie wanted out of life because suddenly he thinks he can provide it. But it's too late for that, and Jeff has to re-learn what Annie wants if he's interested in making their relationship work.

    2. I didn't think of it as Jeff daydreaming. I thought he was pitching season 7 in a way that he could, at least, keep Annie after Abed told the group he was leaving. He believed that if he committed to her that he could marry her and be happy ignoring everything in their lives, but he couldn't let go of the idea that it might not be what she wanted or needed. When he worried about the future in season 5, he decided to marry Britta. Now in season 6 he attempts to think past a marriage to a life where Annie never leaves, and he realizes that it will never happen because her future is wide open and her potential is unbound. He said as much in Cinema when he said she would be President.

      The reality is as you get older you meet people younger than you are that are attractive, talented, and occasionally, insanely compatible with you. Nearly all of us attempt to participate in their success, maybe secretly complain about Marvel together, even be there for them in difficult times, but never, ever cross the line to romance, because it will destroy the younger person's future (and for a married guy be bad for a lot of people). Jeff couldn't think about Annie staying without pointing out the problem that it was wrong for her. He never re-learns what Annie wants. He just keeps running into the problem he can't be it.

    3. Harmon just said on the LA times interview with the cast that the J/A stuff is meant to be open and have the “promise” of them continuing those romantic feelings when they later meet. He even said it’s the perfect note to end on or continue with depending on if the show gets picked up or not.

    4. Also, Harmon has seen enough movies and TV shows to know that couples with larger age gaps than Jeff and Annie have panned out just fine.

    5. Okay, let me try to lay out my argument as clearly as I can. Jeff/Annie isn’t over as long as they have a chance to do it again (I am not disagreeing with Dan Harmon), but they have obstacles that mostly Jeff has maintained. Jeff has always been bound with Annie. He has mostly kept the relationship as friendship. He could have had a relationship with her since the S1 finale. He, selfish as he is, has always pulled back from whatever edge of romance he could have with her. It is something that hurts him, and it is something he is proud of himself for doing for her sake. Jeff is using the pitch concept to see and solve problems until the last where he, possibly, is just happy about what he has had and who he is.

      When the pitching begins, Jeff wants nothing to do with it. He knows that the group is barely together, the idea of playing with the “formula” scares him, and anything short of bringing back everyone but Pierce doesn’t even interest him. His character is in a terrible position emotionally. He is miserable, and he is miserable thinking about the future. Taking it out with the group and playing with it is something he doesn’t want to do. When Annie arrives and announces that she’s leaving for Quantico, Jeff panics and imagines an unspoken pitch for season 7: he’s the only one left surrounded by people he doesn’t want to know. Annie leaving is too much. He thinks that they will never want to let her go, just like he doesn’t want her to go.

      Now he needs the group to help solve the problem of Annie going to the FBI internship. His first pitch changes little of the existing dynamics, but has Annie commuting from Quantico to Colorado. Pitched Annie points out that her talents are being wasted, so Jeff quickly includes a murder mystery for her to solve. Every voice here is Jeff’s. Jeff realizes the weak point and tweaks the narrative to keep Annie, but he is the one who points out the problem and attempts a solution. I hope this is clear. Jeff sabotages his own daydreaming or pitch (whatever you want to call it) for Annie.

      The group doesn’t take his pitch well so Jeff keeps trying to find solutions. His next pitch has him in charge with the people at the table in different roles they “might” like. Again, very little change to the group, and everyone is their best self. Chang is relatable. Dean is being told what to do by Jeff, and as teachers, they are all together in their hottest form. Again, this is Jeff trying to solve the problem of Annie leaving by making Greendale worthy of her talents. Once Abed makes the leap with Jeff, he starts looking for ways to make it a reality (despite Annie’s lack of enthusiasm), but Abed crushes Jeff by telling him leaving for Hollywood.

      (to be continued)

    6. (continued)

      Without Abed, Jeff doesn’t get this group, he doesn’t get this love, and at this moment, he doesn’t get this pain of losing the character that is as close to him as Annie. He quickly switches in his mind to an unspoken pitch of strangling Abeds, a lot of Abeds, for making him feel this way. He has accepted pitching to solve his problem, but now he can’t control it. When he breaks free of the moment, he can’t share it, and he has to go to his safe place: the table.

      The Jeff in the study room is lost. He can’t keep Abed. He knows Annie is probably never coming back. He tries to think of a solution to stop what is happening to him. He pitches an idea to himself of marrying Annie and giving her everything he thinks she would want in a marriage. But again, he sabotages his own hope for the future by questioning it. He knows that she has big dreams and is capable of reaching them, and he worries in this pitch that being a mother and waiting for him to get home doesn’t feel right. Most people who are daydreaming about their future don’t constantly add a poison pill. He isn’t dreaming. Jeff is looking for something he can do to stop all that he is losing. He is asking himself, “If I drop everything else in life for Annie, will it be enough?” Work doesn’t matter. There is no one else there, but a child in the child area (and was that Chris McKenna’s kid?). It still isn’t right. He controls every aspect of his pitch, and he still destroys it.

      When he turns around and sees Annie, he decides to tell her the truth. He tells her that he lost her. He let her go, and he regrets it. Annie is no longer the teenager. She knows Jeff better than anyone, and she knows how much he cares for her. When she tells him the “group” thinks he should kiss her, he barely blinks (I have to say, only Abed and Annie would think that of the group. Britta? No. Frankie? No clearly as of E12, and let’s be honest, neither of them would care what Chang and the Dean thought of this). She tells him this, because neither of them can ask for it, and the pain of love untested between them won’t let them have a moment without someone saying it out loud. He asks what she wants, because he thinks he shouldn’t, but he wants to and he wants to know she wants to as well. Her answer is perfect. She will regret it, but she can’t tell Jeff no if he tries. As much as the kiss has been focused on, it is the moment before the kiss that had me locked. Alison Brie’s face is clearly suffering and that suffering is for her and for Jeff, but right before he gets close enough to kiss her, she lets go of the pain, because if this is it, it can’t be about what it isn’t. It has to be about what it is. It is love, and whatever it is, they want this moment to share what they feel about each other, and yes, it was staged perfectly. It doesn’t fix Jeff. It just allows him to move on in case this is the end. Broken, but no longer with words or buried feelings.

      Jeff’s last pitch for season 7 is just a table of beautiful redheads, and if I really had a problem with anything in this episode, it is this. Jeff’s idea of a perfect next step is about the physical. I would have liked it better if they had multiple groups of people at the table, at different tables, and in different places to show that Jeff was comfortable in his own skin, and he wasn’t back to just looking for sexual conquest or tied to the table. The pillow fight line reminded me of Pierce, and all I could think was, “well, I guess you closed your heart instead of opening it. Now you are a Pierce!” I’m glad he is seemingly just joking about it, but I cringed.

      The end where he takes them to the airport, something he has always avoided, seemed perfect. A friendly kiss and a hug for Annie. Two hugs for Abed. Jeff, the selfish does something for the people that matter most in his life. I bought the Lord Huron’s song they used. I have only listened to it 10 to 20 times today. I hope Richard agrees with me. He generally says it better.

    7. I hope Richard agrees with me. He generally says it better.

      Absolutely. About the agreeing that is, you said it perfectly (and thank you for the praise, it is greatly appreciated and wholly reciprocated). I will only add that I thought the table of redheads was meant as a little joke and the important part of that pitch was Jeff saying " we're going to have some pretty crazy times. And eventually you'll leave and be replaced by new ones, and that's something I'm equipped to handle now, I' sort of a hero that way." Then he snaps back to the real world, there's a smile on his face and we get the "I love that I got to be with you guys..." speech. This is Jeff finally accepting that his friends will move on and being at peace with it.

      One other thing from higher up -

      Abed is the one that told him about Britta and the one that invited the other members of the group (I think I remember that right).

      Almost. Abed invited along Pierce, Troy and Shirley, but what is literally Annie's second or third line in the entire show is - " I'd like to know why I had to find out about this group on accident?"

      It's remarkable to remember in the light of how important she became that Annie started out as basically a gatecrasher.

    8. I can see where you're coming from, Matt. I think that to me, Jeff pitching was all about what he wanted. And Jeff daydreaming was also all about what he wanted. As you said, Jeff created these pitches and kept altering them in order to have everything that he wanted and everything he thought was the second-best option for the others. I say "second-best" because Jeff knows -- in the corner of his heart -- that what is best for Annie is to go to her internship and leave. But he can't help but imagine and daydream for a while, putting himself into Annie's mind. Because I do think that's what he was doing. He was imagining what he thought Annie wanted: the marriage, the kid, the stay-at-home-mom-wearing-a-bright-dress-and-cardigan-again thing. It's important that the dress and cardigan are in Jeff's fantasy because that's how he sees her when he thinks about what he could have with her: as that woman he fell in love with, but older now and not girly in a schoolgirl way.

      So when daydream!Annie asks if Jeff really knows what she wants, it's super important to me because that's Jeff subconscious manifesting itself: it's that voice in his head saying: "Do you love Annie? Have you asked her what she wants? Have you thought about what is best for HER?"

      SO it is even more important to me that Jeff gets in those moments of honesty, telling her that he loves her and as much as he tried not to, he still does but that he also puts the ball in Annie's court. He's not going to ask her to stay. He could have. He could have done that and it's what he WANTED to do (daydream!Jeff cares a lot about Annie but never asks her how she feels). Instead, Annie calls the shots and asks him to kiss her and Jeff is hesitant because he's now extremely aware that he has to let her go and doing that means learning what she wants, not what he ASSUMES she wants.

      Anyway that was kind of rambly but I hope it made sense. Also, thanks to both you and Richard and all of the anons for the comments too! :)

    9. Jen, from this reply, I think we are closer in what we are saying than I thought. I don't think he questioning his love for Annie in his marital fantasy. I think he is realizing that he has no solution for his pain that is fair to Annie. He doesn't want a kid either, but he seems willing to see a future with one if it keeps her. He doesn't have to ask her what she is feeling, because he is having her question their existence.

      And what I really agree with both of you is that there is some really good moments of honesty in the finale, particularly with Jeff's feelings for Annie. It's a good point, and yes, if every episode had this weight and humor, I would be on the 18 seasons and a trilogy bandwagon. It didn't. Now I just want the movie.

    10. This is a lift from Harmon's TVLine interview. I like how he can say it fewer words. I wish I could. I also wish I knew how to format quote text.

      "Age aside, it's more an issue of how much life experience you have had. Do we really believe in our heart of hearts that the current version of Jeff Winger and the current version of Annie Edison would be happily ever after if they ever got together? Or is it more likely their souls are intermingled and there is such a thing as true love that is genuinely star crossed? This person hasn't lived their life yet. I'm comfortable with the realization that he's genuinely in love with her, but that's a separate thing from whether that's actually good for her."

      SOOO, ANYWAYYY. I have to say that I am going to miss this if this is the end. Jennifer and Deb know this show so well, and reading their perspective has helped me understand not only the show, but the other voices in its fandom. We are a community. End of my not exactly Winger speech.

  2. I've lurked your blog for quite a while now and I have to say that I really like your breakdown of the season/finale. It's been a frustrating year for Community fans and reading your reviews (from both of you) have been a fantastic source of analysis and entertainment about my favorite piece of... entertainment! Plus I pretty much started watching New Girl because of this blog. So thanks for that.

    As for the episode itself? I truly believe this was the best series finale Community fans could have asked for... this season.

    I'm not sure why Dan and Co felt the need to backload all the emotional depth and development into the final episode. And while I actually over all liked this finale, I can't help but think, mournfully, about how much stronger it could have been if the same depth and emotion would have been placed throughout the season.

    I really liked the end for Jeff and Annie, just ambiguous enough that people who don't like the pairing can see it as closing the door but hopeful enough (and subtextual enough) that people that like them together can feel content that there is something of a possible future for the two.

    I also think it's significant that Jeff has made a complete turn around from selfishness to selflessness, from never wanting to be married to fantasizing about marriage with a kid. It's significant, I think that in his fantasy he even goes so far to tell Annie that he loves her. And if you remember how much of Dan is in Jeff, the meta commentary at the end commercial makes it even more poignant because he talks about how he loves people but is afraid to tell them. Much like Jeff.

    Not sure if I want a season seven. More open to a movie. As long as the movie is titled

    Community: The Search for Troy

    1. 1) Welcome, supercapo! I love when the reviews posted here are able to lure people out of lurking and into the comments section. :) Also, HOW MUCH DO YOU LOVE NEW GIRL? I'll talk about that show forever. Sorry. Anyway. Back to Community!

      2) I'm not sure why Dan and Co felt the need to backload all the emotional depth and development into the final episode. And while I actually over all liked this finale, I can't help but think, mournfully, about how much stronger it could have been if the same depth and emotion would have been placed throughout the season.

      Amen! I think my tweet during the episode was something like: "where was THIS show all season?" I feel a bit cheated because it's clear that the team is actually capable of writing real, emotional, heartfelt stories and romance (!!!) well. Why they chose to do episodes about meta road trips, e-mail hacks, and incest is beyond me.

      3) I really did love the end of Jeff/Annie because to me, it's not an end. And Harmon's recent interviews basically confirm what I think: they just got the timing wrong... for now. But as Annie says, who knows what the future holds. I think that was a nice little wink and nod to her keeping that door open for Jeff. Plus the coy little way she tells him that she's in her twenties right before he kisses her was just precious and indicative that she wouldn't mind there being more mistakes with him in the future. ;)

      JEFF, BB. HE GREW UP SO MUCH. Okay, so let's just pause and remember that the Jeff we met in the pilot lied to an entire group of strangers and got them to turn on each other because he wanted to get in a girl's pants. The Jeff in the finale? He let the love of his life leave the state because he realized that loving people sometimes means watching them leave and a) knowing you're better off because you loved them and b) knowing that there's hope they will return someday.

      I definitely do NOT want a season seven. Season six was really bad, apart from the finale and a few good episodes. I can't imagine the quality declining even further and the finale wrapped the show up so nicely that I think we just need a movie and to call Community good.

      I APPROVE OF THAT MOVIE BY THE WAY. I think actually that having Abed and Annie leave is the perfect way to set-up a movie: it allows the group to come back -- Shirley, too! -- together from being scattered. And as we all know, those tropes are the best kind.

      Thanks so much for your comment!

  3. Supercapo, 100% on the movie title.

  4. Could I just applaud loudly what you said about Joel McHale.

    1. You CAN, anon! It's no surprise to anyone around here that I absolutely adore that man but he seriously knocked it out of the park in the finale.

  5. Well, that was beautifully awkward and painful to watch. The goodbyes felt necessary and healthy and realistically (well, you know, Community realistic) bittersweet.

    I loved what Abed had to say this episode (I am happy with a show feeling like a friend and I am fairly patient with screwups. I just want to feel that they care about me too. Does that make sense?) I cried twice during this episode and both times had to do with Abed. The first was when Abed was obliquely referring to Troy. That stabbed me in the heart. And the second was when Jeff hugged Abed goodbye. The expressions on their faces were so wonderful. This whole group really started with Abed and I feel like a lot of the show was Abed observing Jeff and Jeff learning from what Abed witnesses about him. I want more than anything for Abed to be okay. Other characters are probably the touch point for many people (and Joel McHale and the other cast members have done amazing work) but for me it will always be Abed who is closest to my heart.

    Just a couple small things,

    I LOVED that Seth Green showed up. I have had a fan-crush on him for about 20 years (wow, that's a long time) and it made me smile so much to see him on Community.

    Shirley was back and everything about that was wonderful.

    The moment that made me proudest of Jeff (and happiest with all the Jeff and Annie stuff) was right after Annie told him he should kiss her or regret it. He looked at her and asked "What about you?" I felt that was hugely significant. Jeff was thinking in that moment about what effect it would have on her. He may not entirely understand what she wants (and she probably doesn't at this point either, I didn't always know in my early twenties) but he knows enough to ask her "What about you?". Good moment of unselfishness and concern from a guy who started out so selfish and self-absorbed.

    I liked how they hinted at how uncomfortable TV often is with children on screen ("Head back to your child area.") Is it because adults are generally just uncomfortable with that or is it because it is nearly impossible to work with a toddler? (I spend most of my time with a three year old and getting anything done when and how I would like is difficult.)

    I really liked how they showed the others meeting up at the bar for a drink after Abed and Annie leave. It felt like they were friends who just enjoyed spending time together whether they had some college related thing in common or not. (I wish that feeling wasn't missing so often this season.)

    Thanks so much to you Jenn and Deb for your reviews, your passion and your thoughtfulness. Here's to the future!

    1. Becca! As always, I love when you comment on things. ;)

      I never related to Abed, really, but Danny Pudi has absolutely sold the character for me in the really poignant and emotional scenes and episodes (the movie one from this season. "Virtual Systems Analysis," and the finale). I am totally there with you -- one of the scenes I cried profusely at was Jeff hugging Abed goodbye. There's just something so... tender and understanding about their relationship? I don't know how to explain it but they really understand each other more than you think they would. (One of the other times I cried was when Abed talked about Troy. DANGIT, DANNY PUDI.)

      Seth Green was such a random appearance! I know he's been on The Soup before but it was amusing to see him on this show, too. I AM SO GLAD THEY GOT SHIRLEY BACK IF ONLY FOR A LITTLE BIT. I love me some Yvette Nicole Brown.

      Dangit, Jeff Winger. I fell so in love with him in that moment and I totally agree with your analysis of it. He doesn't know what she wants, but he knows that he'll NEVER figure it out unless he asks. He's constantly concerned about her and in this episode, I think he realized that loving her now -- moving forward -- means just figuring out what she wants from him and letting her call the shots. Such a moment of selflessness and it was wonderful.

      HAHAHAHA about the child thing. I honestly have no idea what was up with that but momentarily I thought it was one of Joel's sons because the child looked almost exactly like his sons did. And then I remembered his kids are like, toddlers now, not babies.

      Also also: the little kid said "I did it!" when he ran off and I think it's the cutest thing ever to be uttered on this show.

      I, too, liked that Jeff went back to the bar and was with his friends. Because you know he needs to be surrounded by them. It would have been really sad if he had gone home and wallowed. But it gives me hope that he hangs out with them, even just for that night.

      THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR COMMENTS BB. <3 Deb and I look forward to doing more things together (and separately, too) here! I'm so thankful she came aboard this season because I would not have made these reviews otherwise.

  6. Basically if I can't say it today, when can I say it? I love you guys.

    Just to separate this bit out in an off topic post, but - I found this blog because of Community, and started commenting to talk about the show. I’ll continue to visit and read (the writing is far too good to stop doing that) but the likelihood is that, for reasons already gone into, I won’t appear much in the comment sections in future once this thread winds up - though I am eyeing up Rae’s Hannibal posts like the man himself eyeing up a particularly juicy liver (I suppose it's too much to hope that Special Agent Annie Edison will be joining the task force hunting him down). I’d therefore like to take this opportunity to thank Matt, Log Lad, Rose and all the other commenters whose names escape me at the moment but most especially Deborah and Jenn for putting up, and even engaging, with my comments that kept turning into essays full of inaccurate speculation and irrelevant diversions. You guys have genuinely enriched the experience of watching this strange, remarkable show and caring about it’s deeply flawed, but also deeply human cast of characters.

    I seem to have spent a lot of time talking about drink in particular, so it seems appropriate to sign off with an old Scottish toast - “Here’s tae us, wha's like us? Gey few, and they're a' deid.”

    We now return to your regularly scheduled programming...

    1. Awwwwww, thank you so much for joining us for Community this year, Richard! We really loved hearing your comments and being able to continue the conversation there. The goal of this website -- when I first started it -- was to be able to provide a home for people to have in-depth discussions about television. I'm so glad that people feel so at home in the comments sections and that literally every thread is full of thoughtful, intelligent commentary. :)

      As my people say: SALUTE! ;)

  7. I agree with Richard....Jen, if he gets interested in anything else without my knowledge on this website, please let me know. I will start watching.

  8. Well, that was extraordinary - the sort of episode that I had stopped believing the show was capable of producing over the course of the last two seasons. I tend to agree with the views expressed that we should have had more build up to this, but taken on it’s own merits the episode had the heart, the respect for its characters and its history to make it a worthy last ever episode should that be what it turns out to be. I’m feeling a bit of a splodgy, gooey mess of emotions at the moment, so apologies if I throw a splodgy, gooey mess of words on the screen and see what sticks. But anyway…

    Oh, Jeff, Jeff - I loved his growth in this episode, going from his initial shock at hearing Abed and Annie are leaving and desperation to game scenarios where they stay to that heartbreaking, beautiful scene with Annie in the study room and dropping them off at the airport before coming back to the bar and embracing the fellowship of those friends who remain. I really think Jeff is going to be okay. But yes, it should have been spaced over more episodes.

    And on the subject of Jeff -

    but honestly -- to me -- it's "without Joel McHale, there is no show." He's the anchor and he's always been the anchor. And JEFF has always been the anchor.

    I completely agree with this, but I think it needs to be added to with a word - sentence, paragraph - of praise for Alison Brie. What she has done over the six years of this show in taking Annie Edison from a giddy, idealistic schoolgirl with a dark past and control issues to a mature, confident young woman with a great future ahead of her - and all the time staying remarkably consistent to the fundamentals of her character - has been truly remarkable.

    So I’d say it’s not just that without Joel there is no show, it’s not just that Jeff is the anchor - it’s Joel and Alison, it’s Jeff and Annie. It’s especially remarkable in that - trying to be as charitable as possible - neither of them have set the world on fire in their careers outside Community and yet, as we’ve all observed before, put them together on screen and something extraordinary happens, as it did again in this episode. So I’d argue that, certainly since “Debate 109”, and arguably since “Football, Feminism and You” it’s been the relationship between these two actors and these two characters that has been the rock that has anchored the show. It’s even more remarkable in that not only was this not intended by the show’s creators and writers but they actively fought against it - some things are just too big to be contained.

    So, let’s talk about that scene in the study room then. It’s easy to say that Jeff never told Annie how much he loved her - I’m sorry, but he did in every way that counts except for the use of the actual words. And you can from the look in Annie’s eyes when Jeff does his “I let you go” speech and that gentle offer she made to him (“I think you should kiss me goodbye or you might regret it for the rest of your life”) shows she understands what he is saying. After six years, these two are connecting on a level where they barely need words anymore.

    A couple of other thoughts about that scene - firstly it may be an overactive imagination on my part, but I got a distinct Casablanca vibe from it, especially the bit at the airport where Rick shows how much he loves Ilse by sending her away (“if that plane takes off and you’re not on it you’ll regret it - maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life” - it’s difficult to imagine those words did not at least inspire Annie’s line) - another scene where emotions and feelings are conveyed by looks and actions, not just by mere words.

    (To be continued)

  9. (Continued)

    And secondly, this applies for most of the episode when Annie is in her interview suit but it’s especially clear in that scene - Annie’s fringe is clipped back the same way it was for most of the first two seasons but which we haven’t seen for a long time now (certainly not in S6, probably not S5 either). Symbolic of a new beginning perhaps. I don’t know if this is a deliberate callback, but as this is Community I wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised.

    As for the future? I know Harmon gave that interview a while back saying Jeff and Annie will get together and there’s been a lot of stuff today about all that talk of Season 7 and how open ended stuff is implying that Annie might be back after her internship but I have to say I don’t see it myself. I took the “kiss me goodbye or you might regret it for the rest of your life” line as Annie saying, in the most tactful, compassionate way she could that she is unlikely to ever come back once she leaves - after this there are unlikely to be any more opportunities for Jeff to kiss Annie as though he meant it, as she deserves to be kissed. And in a way I think this is right and proper - part of Jeff Winger’s journey has been from a man who prided himself on how good he was at being selfish to someone capable of putting others first (especially, and always, Annie Edison) and the keystone of this arc was the moment when he showed how much he loved her by letting her go. Hopefully the memory of a truly noble and selfless act will be some consolation in the dark hours of the night before morning. To bring Annie back and insert her once again into the Greendale asylum would cheapen this somehow.

    As for our other departure -

    Abed's poor coping strategies imply bad things for his move to Los Angeles.

    Unfortunately, I think you’re right. Greendale is a relatively small community full of people who know and love Abed and are tolerant and understanding of his quirks - Los Angeles is a megacity full of strangers. If Abed tries to force LA to comply with him (and I think he will try), it’ll break him. Without Troy to befriend him or Annie to mother him I have real difficulty seeing a good future for Abed. Annie is definitely going to be okay, so is Britta (but more on that later) and probably also Jeff if he can get past the first few months without climbing into a bottle and refusing to get out again, but Abed? I’m really having difficulty seeing it.


  10. (Continued)

    And for the other one of the core four who is staying -

    Important question: HOW IN THE WORLD is Britta going to afford rent on the apartment now that Abed and Annie have moved out? I feel like this is important.

    She won’t, and it is. My own personal future headcanon (which will almost certainly be proved wrong if there is a 7th season or a movie) is that in a month or two’s time Britta’s going to be kicked out of the flat for failure to pay the rent and that at that point she will move - with much grumbling and snark - onto Jeff’s sofa. After a while, when the pain of Annie moving away has died down a bit, she will move into his bed (because it’s ridiculous to sleep on a sofa when there’s a double bed with only one person in it, right?). They will never be particularly passionate, they will never be particularly physical, they will never admit to being in love or even an official couple but months and years will go past and short of Annie returning and begging Jeff for a second chance (which is unlikely to happen, though blessings and congratulations from a distance may) they will simply stay together. As was said in Pascal’s Triangle Revisited after all (and confirmed at the end of Season 5 with the bizarre marriage plans) Britta is Jeff’s safe choice, the one that allows him simply to be himself without making undue demands on him and that is what he is going to need to get past losing Annie (and Abed) from his life. I think something like this is probably the best chance these characters have of something like a happy ending at this point, which, given that this is Dan Harmon’s Community, probably means it’s not going to happen.

    I know Dan Harmon has talked about a seventh season with an almost completely new cast (perhaps only retaining the dean and maybe Jeff as teaching staff), but I have to say I’d be almost completely uninterested in any show that did not have both Jeff and Annie in it, and I’m having difficulty seeing a credible and satisfying scenario for Annie to come back (I don’t want her to fail again in the real world as she did at the start of S5). You can only catch lightning in a bottle once, and you can’t replace Jeff and Annie and shouldn’t try.

    As for a movie - come up with a decent excuse to get the gang together for one last hurrah and sure, why not?

    Confession time - before S6 started I had this vision of a series that respected everything we’d been told about Jeff and Annie, would give the plenty of scenes together and the final tag of the final episode would go roughly as follows -

    Jeff is sitting at a breakfast table marking a stack of papers and drinking a coffee. Sunlight is streaming in through open windows. Annie creeps out of the bedroom door behind him only wearing one of his shirts. Unknown to him, she tiptoes up behind him and embraces him.

    “Milord.” He looks up with an expression of perfect happiness on his face.
    Fade to black, end credits.

    Then the movie could have been a Community twist on a wedding caper film, with lots of scope for cameos from the old gang. That would have my personal pitch for a perfect final season, but we didn’t get that - we got this instead. And although the season as a whole was flawed, the finale was worthy of the show and respectful of the characters and the journey we have been on with them. It was a good place to end.

    Ave atque vale Community. Hail and farewell.

  11. I don't agree with Richard? This...this feels wrong. If Harmon ever allowed a closing of Jeff and Annie, "Milord, Milady" would be perfect. I don't know if if had the chance he would take it, but if ever the doors are finally closed, I could see that. What I can't see is Jeff with Britta. She has her parents now, and as much as Britta makes Jeff act better, it is always begrudgingly. What I really want for them is a good life. I don't know if the safe choice of Britta is the good life.

    My personal ending that I wanted with season 6 was for them to start right before Christmas. An event happens, frisbees/Frankie/yadah yadah yadah, and the tag is Jeff and Annie ending up in an unexpected, passionate kiss. Episode 2 avoided the topic, but I whenever the two of them were not in a scene, I would want them sneaking around in the background referencing not only Abed's episode where he delivered a baby, but also as a nod to various movies like 9 and 1/2 weeks, The Notebook, etc. with occasional gender roles being reversed and only references to what happened (it might be Yahoo, but it ain't HBO, so relax just misplaced honey, leftover fake moustaches, the boombox scene from Say Anything from a different angle) to hint at a passionate and spirited relationship that was obvious, but never an episode that threatened the group. The finale could have stayed the same, except instead of it being the first kiss in, what, 5 years, it could have been a couple that loves each other accepting their paths were diverging.

    Otherwise, I agree with Richard.

  12. I don't agree with Richard? This...this feels wrong.

    That's okay:-) I'm not saying it's the good life (or even a good life, though not an awful one either of course), just that it's probably a default option or path of least resistance in the event Annie doesn't come back. They probably could do better, this was just something I saw that would be relatively safe and easy.

    I like your S6 too, BTW.

  13. " Annie asks: "Do you know who you are, or do you try to evolve?""

    Actually, Jeff was the one who asked himself that. I don't recall Annie being particularly mature in Pascal's Triangle Revisited.

    About Jeff's arc this season, here's my cheat sheet:
    Episode 2: Jeff is concerned that he may never get out of Greendale.
    Episode 5: Jeff admits that he actually likes Greendale. It's become a home to him.
    Episode 8: What's a home without a family? Having finally admitted that he doesn't want to leave Greendale, he is frightened with the thought that the others don't feel that way, and they will one day leave him behind. With what turns out to be prescience, he makes particular mention of Abed and Annie's potential.
    Episode 10: Abed's fake Winger speech to pacify the Dean ends up unexpectedly hitting home for Jeff, who realizes how much he's holding on to his Greendale family . . . but what else can he do?
    Episode 13: explained above.


    1. D.D., I totally realized my error when I published the post regarding the Jeff/Annie conversation. I should know that Pascal's Triangle Revisited scene better by now, considering how many times I've watched and re-watched it. :P

  14. Hello everyone! Having been away for the last week or so, I'm quite late to this farewell party but I wanted to thank you all for your kind welcome and the respectful and interesting discussion in general. (Thanks for the name-check, Richard! And Matt, to whom I never replied a couple of weeks ago.) It's been short but sweet participating in this li'l community. ;)

    I watched the final two episodes back-to-back and the difference was amazing. I found Wedding Videography pretty mean-spirited on the whole, and I was so disappointed about that. Some of the jokes and set pieces were quite funny, and I recognise that the group tried to make things better by the end, but I just couldn't get behind most of it. So the final episode was a delight by contrast. :)

    It's like Abed said: things need to be joyful, bright, warm, a comfort. Those of you mentioning the dark tones this season have totally hit on something there. When I think of the first three seasons, I think of vibrant colours - from pillow forts to paintball all the way to Annie's outfits, even. This season has been a lot more muted.

    So, Abed. I guess I have always viewed Community through Abed's lens, from the minute he started talking about seasons way back in s1. Every parody, every "homage", every spoof episode, I have seen/watched as if it were an Abed construction. (If that makes sense.) So for that reason, Abed is my personal heart of Community - and I know that everyone has different ideas on who that is, if indeed it is any one individual. And that's why I found Jeff's relationship with him so touching. Jeff is the leader, but Abed is the touchstone for a lot of the things that happen. For all his alleged craziness/inability to live in the real world, Abed is frequently the one who knows what's what - even though he has to use pop culture to express and explain it all. His season 7 pitch idea ultimately allowed the group to express and come to terms with their feelings about moving on (to some extent, especially Jeff) in a way they might not otherwise have done. His speech about Troy was a great example of that. His was the only sane psych evaluation, and I'll always remember him rendering Jeff speechless by saying "I know I'm not Batman. You could try not being a jerk sometimes." I feel like Jeff learned a lot from Abed, even though he was often irritated by him too. Abed was the first person he met, the first person to start him on his journey (to use the cliche), and, if you're sentimental like me, that's just... aw. And if even someone like Abed, who has gone by formulas and rules for so long, feels able to move on, well, that's got to hit Jeff hard. Jeff's delivery of the line "six seasons and a movie", as if the wind had been knocked out of him, nearly pleading, almost broke my heart. But hey. Oh, a small random remark about Abed: whenever I see the opening credits of Community (the ABCD bit), I see the letters as ABED. Ha! I know that's just my brain being weird, but there it is. ;)

    Anyways, randomly leapfrogging elsewhere: I loved the opening credits of Britta's pitch, that was hilarious. I thought it was interesting that she had little-girl-Annie breathe, "I'm scared", then immediately replied "Be more scared". That said a lot about their relationship, about the power balance we discussed a few weeks ago.

    I'll have to come back to post my thoughts about Jeff and Annie, but just a quick question: was Annie the only one who didn't pitch a season 7? That would be quite significant, really, but then again she was also the only one to basically say "let's leave this open-ended and let the chips fall where they may". For a planner like Annie, that was interesting.

    Thank you ever so much for your reviews, Jenn and Deborah! I've really enjoyed reading them. :)


    1. Rose, I now agree with you and Richard. Even though I can relate to Jeff in some ways, Abed has always been my favorite. Awkward, self-aware, and what has normally been ignored, trying to find his place, he isn't the villain that unites the group in S4. He's the one that connects them when nothing else does. Jeff's #sixseasonsandamovie was pitch perfect and so was the response.

      Best part of these two posts are about Annie and Jeff. Jeff's uncomfortable realization that even Garrett was going to evolve explains a lot, and the day planner Annie leaving the door open with no pitch was a really great moment about how she had grown.

      I'm going to miss this almost as much as the show.

    2. Oh, and what you said about Lord Huron? I love that song! I was listening to it quite recently and immediately went into daydream-montage mode, only with scenes from another TV show that was about to end. It is thoroughly gorgeous, and fits a lot of finale-type situations. But from now on it's got to be strictly a Community montage song, heh. ;) ;)

  15. PS Oh, and based on Jeff's pitches this episode, perhaps his "bad" behaviour in Wedding Videography was partly due to feelings of consternation/envy that Garrett (Garrett, of all people) should have found love and is looking forward towards a settled future.


  16. Thanks for the name-check, Richard!

    Rose, it was a pleasure:-)

    was Annie the only one who didn't pitch a season 7?

    Yes. The trivial answer is that she arrived at the bar as the pitches were winding up, and her news of getting the internship in DC distracted attention from the game. For the non-trivial answer, see below.

    That would be quite significant, really, but then again she was also the only one to basically say "let's leave this open-ended and let the chips fall where they may". For a planner like Annie, that was interesting.

    And this is where I conditionally disagree with you and Matt. Because I think Annie the Day Planner (yes, I have only recently re-watched Advanced Dungeons & Dragons...) does have a plan, and she did have a pitch. She just refused to share them with her friends because her pitch for Season 7 would not have had Annie in it, and her plans did not include Greendale and she was trying to spare her friends unnecessary pain. So she was deliberately vague instead – no public pitch, and “let the chips fall where they may”, but also no promise to come back.

    I’ve said it upthread, but I think it’s worth saying again. I think this view is borne out by what she said in private to the one person who had the right to complete honesty from her, the man who had just told her he loved her too much to fight to keep her –

    “I think you should kiss me goodbye or you might regret it for the rest of your life.”

    Those are not the words of somebody who expects to be back when summer is over. That is somebody who is moving on with her life and expects the future to be different to the past with different people in it. Annie does not see a future where her and Jeff are kissing in private in darkened rooms where the air is thick with feelings, and by this point, nor does Jeff.

    Maybe things will change. Maybe Harmon is hinting at something when he talked about how their souls are intermingled. Maybe they will stay in touch with occasional visits back and forth and skype chats, and maybe in a few years time after both have tried and failed to find happiness elsewhere Special Agent Edison will request a transfer to the FBI’s Denver field office and reconnect fully once again. And maybe, now that she has seen something of the world and made her own choices and chosen to settle down, they could be happy together. But that’s a story that hasn’t been written yet and I don’t think even Annie is planning that far ahead as she says goodbye in the study room.

    Abed is my personal heart of Community

    I see the value of Abed. He is like the chorus in Greek tragedy – the one who explains the story to the audience without fully participating in it himself. But as I think is painfully obvious from the thousands of words I’ve poured into these comment threads (and thank you all so much for your patience) but Annie, and specifically her relationship with Jeff, is my personal heart of Community. Nobody, not even Jeff, has been changed more by their Greendale experience and nobody else deserves so much to choose their own future freed from the bonds of the past. It’s very much a sign of Jeff’s own growth as a human being and as a man that – finally - he sees this and is prepared to pay the price to bring it about.

  17. Richard, yes, I see exactly what you are saying. My meaning wasn't entirely clear from my hurried and not-very-well-expressed paragraph, but I actually agree with you (to a point). :P That Annie “didn't have a pitch” for Greendale was because she does not really envisage herself there anymore. I agree. :) Her pitch for herself involves the FBI – and then... and then... and then... But her words as the rest of the group gathers around – the idea that there are plenty of “variables” - shows that she hasn't completely closed the door on Greendale, or Jeff for that matter. That she recognises now that things can change, and it's ok to just see what happens. I hear hope and opportunity and possibility in her words there, although the notion that she's just trying to soothe the pain is also completely feasible. When she says, “I would love to teach at Greendale”, I hear sincerity there. But as Jeff pushes it, the look on her face shows “but not yet... maybe in a different life... this isn't my story now.” Incidentally, the little pictures in my head of the future Annie/Jeff story run largely along the same lines as yours – a possible reconnection in the future, paths that cross and this time run in alignment. I found your comments about Britta interesting too, in that respect. Again, I think it's entirely plausible that something like that might happen. I can see it too! But... I also cling to the notion that maybe things are different for Jeff now, now that he's said what he needed to say, and finally let both Annie (and indeed Abed) go. After all, Jeff's final comfort-pitch involves red-heads – neither blondes, nor brunettes. It's like he doesn't want to “go there” for the moment!

    I think it's been said before, but I do believe that Annie let Jeff go at the end of season 5. And as she did that, the balance of “power” shifted and Jeff was the one who found himself holding on too tightly until love forced his hand. If you love someone, let them go, right? I have adored their trajectory – it's both painful and beautiful – and was sorely disappointed not to have more subtle indications about their relationship in season 6. But I'm grateful for this resolution! Both actors knocked it out of the park – the way Joel's voice goes so low and throaty in the vulnerability of the moment, and Alison's big Disney eyes. It was lovely.

    I could waffle on about this for hours, but I should probably stop now. Heh. Just a final couple of magic moments for me:

    I quite liked the new study group comprising Vicky, Todd, etc. I think that could work in different dimension! ;)
    I liked the shot of the empty steps outside the school, the scene of a number of significant moments.

    Best wishes,

  18. Not a dry eye in my house after this episode. This was a beautiful piece of work, and certainly the one that should almost too fittingly end the show, given how it felt satisfying to most of us.

    I think it also warrants a rethink about Season 6, which seems to neatly close another story circle. As Harmon said a long time ago, Season 1 was told from largely Jeff's viewpoint, how he saw the world and Greendale, with him having to take some knocks on his twisted sense of pride time and time again. Only late that season with the first homages and parodies did the show begin to switch to Abed's viewpoint. Here, with S6 it seems that we returned to S1 to an extent, to Jeff's way of seeing things what with homages becoming fewer and background caricatures like Chang (and even Garrett!) getting some actual character qualities back, and with the show finding something emotionally resonant within the Dean's life again, something that had only happened once in S3.

    Only the Season 6 Jeff was a Jeff in denial, in escapist mode. His relationship with Greendale has always been a love/hate thing: it's his home but his ambitions for life were always bigger than that. So he has rage building inside him and he also drinks (the former isn't necessarily a consequence of the latter - and I think this is true for Jeff too) but the even bigger problem for him is that he doesn't really want to acknowledge his friends' plans for leaving Greendale, until the last moment. It comes almost out of the blue in this episode (a line about Annie becoming President from 6x08 notwithstanding) and I think it's all the more effective for it. Only then do we realize how much in denial has Jeff been, and how much of this season has been told from his point of view again. It's followed by those show-pitching sessions that you describe so perfectly, where Jeff finally understands that he has to respect his friends' wishes if he truly loves them and wants the best for them.

    There's a lot to be said about this finale, but one thing I'll have to disagree on is what will happen to Abed. I think him going to Hollywood actually echoes what happened to Dan Harmon there: the start may have been rough, but eventually he found some likeminded individuals in the alternate comedy circles and started Channel 101, where some of the long groundwork for future showrunning was done. Except that since Abed is starting as a production assistant on a Community -like show, his start seems to be a lot easier. There's no more appropriate place I'd send the guy myself - unless the Community movie turns out to have shades of Sunset Boulevard or Mulholland Drive in it...

    Anyway, this is the show! I enjoyed reading everyone's comments so thanks for those, and special thanks to the hostesses: it always felt like even the criticism came from a place that loves Community, or at least the older parts of it.

  19. First of all, I must say I really liked your reviews, I read some of them last year when season 5 finished and now I rewatched season 1 through 5 and then went on S6, finished it and searched for your page if you had also reviewed season 6. I was pleasantly surprised that you did.

    Now for what I wanted to say:
    The one thing that bothers me about this season is that there is no build-up for the last scene with Annie and Jeff and that Jeff did not say Annie that he loves her (maybe in his fantasy which he imagines in the study room where he says that he loves her counts) and that he did not tell her that she was the one due to which the door in finale of season 5 opened.

    So I really hope there will be movie, because I want all the loose ends to be tied up and group to be together including Troy. I would also love Annie ending up with Jeff because the one thing that separates them now is that Annie have not had lived a proper life with her own decisions and experiences and if they will jump right in, Annie would eventually begrudge Jeff for not letting her live her own life as we can see in Jeff's imagination in the study room. The one thing that Annie want for now is experience and once she have it there is no obstacle for them if they truly love each other.

    There are also few hints that Annie might come back. She likes the idea of teaching on Greendale and as I said with enough experience she can. And then in the study room she says: 'Season seven, who knows? It's out of our hands.'. Also, Annie said in Britta's bar that her internship is only for summer. So who knows what might happen then?

    And at last I wanted to say that for me the most emotional moment was when Jeff hugged Abed twice when he drove them to the airport. It is that moment when I realized that Abed had the same problems as Jeff (the fear of loosing his friends) and actually grew up same as Jeff and now they need to say goodbye to each other. Nonetheless I liked the kiss in the study room but it felt rather sad because he needed to let her go afterwards not knowing whether they will see each other again.

    Thank you again very much for your reviews and I hope that one day I will see a review of Community movie here.

    1. Hi there Richard! Thanks so much for the compliments and for reading these reviews so faithfully and for so long. I truly appreciate it and I thank you on behalf of Deb, too, who wrote so much for me this season.

      I totally and 100% agree with your Jeff/Annie assessment. Though that moment between them was great and stellar and swoon-worthy, it was not earned. There was no build-up. Like... zilch. Less than zilch, actually. There was negative build-up and yeah, you're right: at the end, Jeff still doesn't even tell Annie that he loves her which is arguably the most important part (unless they DO get a movie and are saving it for there but I doubt Harmon has thought that far ahead). I guess, like you said, he tells her in his imagination but still. Not quite the same.

      I like the idea of a movie to tie things up, but I would have liked it if the show had done a better job throughout the last three seasons of filling plot holes and earning the scenes it gave us. So much of season six was spent pointlessly and season five post-Troy was a LOT of the same. They didn't use their time well at all and people can argue that if the show had 23 episodes, things would be different but... if you can't make a consistent show in 13 episodes, making it in 23 would be even harder and WORSE.

      ANYWAY, back on track: the most emotional moment was 100% what you described. I sobbed during that one. The show did a great job in the final season of giving us some much-needed Jeff/Abed. I loved it.

      Thanks again so much for your comments! Maybe one day there WILL be a review of the Community movie, haha. WHO KNOWS.

  20. I agree with Richards. Literally every paragraph.

    And I recommend her New Girl and Arrow reviews too. Jenn and her compadres are good at this.