I’m torn over “Advanced Gay.” This week’s Community was often very funny but the portrayal of homosexuals failed to go beyond the least imaginitive stereotypes. Dan Harmon and company offered little other than swishy, effeminate gay men and one very attractive cross-dresser.
The gay characters can barely be considered characters; rather they were plot pawns used to maneuver Pierce (Chevy Chase), Pierce’s father and Jeff (Joel McHale) into a final confrontation thick with double meanings and simpleminded psychology that only Britta (Gillian Jacobs) would be impressed with.
The story in “Advanced Gay” proceeded from a pair of gay students asking Pierce for his autograph. Naturally, Pierce is unaware that his new fans are gay while the rest of the study group was quick to notice the two students’ swishy, feminine mannerisms. So why did these students want Pierce’s autograph? It turns out that a famous drag queen, ‘Champaign Urbana (D.J Pierece),’ has used Hawthorne Wipes in a hit club song that has gone viral.
Pierce: “I’m gonna sue the pants off that lady.”
Annie: “I don’t think that’s a lady.”
Troy: “And why do you want his pants off?”
Pierce: “Shut-up! I only wanted his pants off when I thought he was a lady.”
Jeff: “So you were attracted to him”
Pierce: “The only thing I am attracted to is taking him to court and eating his ass alive.”
Pierce: “That’s not what I meant; stop putting gay things in my mouth.”
Pierce is initially horrified but then he notices how much the sales of Hawthorne wipes have spiked. So, Pierce decides to celebrate by throwing Greendale’s first ever ‘Gay Bash.’
In this week’s B-story, we returned to Troy’s (Donald Glover) innate talent for plumbing. If you recall, at the end of season one Troy unknowingly revealed a talent for plumbing that was immediately recognized by Greendale’s head janitor (Jerry Minor), setting off a brief Good Will Hunting mentor/student relationship between the two.
Troy’s talent emerges again and expands to include Air Conditioning repair. Instead of Good Will Hunting, we get a parody akin to The Skulls in which Troy is kidnapped by students of the Greendale Air Conditioning Repair School for a secret society style initiation. Vice Dean Laybourne (John Goodman) recognizes Troy’s gift for Air Conditioning Repair and offers him the chance to join Greendale’s elite specialty school but only if he gives up everything else in his life.
Returning to Pierce’s story, Pierce’s tolerance of the gays doesn’t last long as his heretofore unseen father, Cornelius Hawthorne (Larry Cedar) shows up to put an end to the party. Cornelius is even more racist than Pierce, to the point that he wears a toupee made of ivory in order to avoid the chance that hair from other races might touch his head.
The involvement of fathers invites Britta back to offer her really terrible grasp on psychology. Last week it was botched personality tests, this week, Britta is certain that she is watching the ‘Edible Complex’ in action between Pierce and his father and how the conflict between father and son affects Jeff and his daddy issues.
That Britta’s terrible grasp of psychology still manages to have a ring of truth to it is a smart comic touch; better that she be half-assed at psychology than a complete tool. Plus, her being close to right about Jeff’s daddy issues had the added bonus of agitating the usually unflappable leader of the study group.
- In order to keep Troy and the other Air Conditioning Repair School candidates from telling people where they’d been taken, the initiation included an Astronaut making Panini’s and black Hitler.
- I loved Troy’s brilliant assessment of Superman:
- Abed: “Are you Superman?”
- Troy: “No.”
- Abed: “Would you tell me if you were?”
- Troy: “I’d tell everyone, I never understood why he cared who knew.”
- No stories this week for Abed (Danny Pudi), Annie (Alison Brie) or Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown) though we did get yet another insight into Shirley as the only black Republican on a network sitcom.
- Gay innuendo and Dean Pelton (Jim Rash) never fails to amuse.
- John Goodman may be the best guest star Community has ever had. It’s unquestionable now that Greendale’s Air Conditioning Repair School will be part of a bigger and very funny plot later this season and I cannot wait.
- It’s official, as of this writing “Inspector Spacetime” has replaced “Kickpuncher” as the iconic pop culture figure in the faux pop culture of Community.
- Finally, I’m joining Troy in changing my college major to Watching TV with my Friend. Communications can suck it.
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