Sunday, January 5, 2014

Community - Introduction to Teaching

As Jeff (Joel McHale) struggles to fit into his new role as a teacher at Greendale Community College, which isn't helped when the college's low bar of teaching is put in jeopardy after Annie (Alison Brie) decides to join the class and demand more of him, Abed (Danny Pudi) convinces the rest of the Study Group to enroll in a new blow-off class, Nicolas Cage - Good or Bad?, which consists entirely of watching Cage movies and pondering what the teacher (Kevin Corrigan) explains is an unanswerable question (but one which Abed is determined to find an answer to).

While Jeff actually discovers he may enjoy teaching once he begins to take his position seriously (an attitude not shared by the rest of the Greendale faculty), his new-found respect for the profession creates an argument with Professor Buzz Hickey (Jonathan Banks) which eventually erupts in a full-school riot when Mr. Winger lets the truth slip about what an "A-" really means to the Study Group.

Although Abed doesn't find the answer he seeks, and his entire faith in movies and pop culture is shaken to the core, Shirley's (Yvette Nicole Brown) insightful comment to paint the actor as some sort of modern day prophet helps ease his pain. And following the latest riot the Dean (Jim Rash) enlists the help of both Jeff and Hickey to form a student-teacher Save Greendale campaign which apparently will take the place of the old Study Group this season.

Even though this episode still has much to do in setting up Jeff's new role in the school and the introduction of Hickey (who will apparently be taking Pierce's place at the table), "Introduction to Teaching" flows better than the season premiere providing some old school Community insanity with a serious discussion of Nicolas Cage's troubled career in movies, a reminder of just how little anyone working at Greendale actually cares about education (including Harmon's dream of what a faculty lounge is actually like), and yet another riot on the Greendale campus.

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