Sunday, 23 March 2014

COMMUNITY, 5.10 – 'Advanced Advanced Dungeons & Dragons'

Sunday, 23 March 2014

written by Matt Roller | directed by Joe Russo

This was a decent sequel to the all-time classic "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons" from season 2 (when the show was arguably at its creative peak), and yet obviously didn't quite manage to surpass it. Some things worked in the episode's favour this time—as the stakes involved a mere background character known as Fat Neill last time, whereas this story was about Buzz (Jonathan Banks) reconnecting with his middle-aged nerd son Hank (David Cross), and the actual storyline and sound design of the group D&D session was an improvement.

However, it just couldn't escape being a redo of an idea they've already aced and, consequently, this didn't rate as highly with me. It suffered from "sequelitus", unfortunately, and the core idea just wasn't improved on enough—unlike how season 2's paintball finale took the idea from "Modern Warfare" and seriously went to town with things. Still, it was very entertaining and I loved the casting of Arrested Development's David Cross as Buzz Hickey's son. Plus the scene where Buzz used some "good cop, bad cop" techniques on Abed (Danny Pudi) playing two captured Hobgoblins was hilarious. As usual for Community, there was also lots of fun little moments and ideas peppered throughout the half-hour (like the fantasy naming of the group's role-play characters that included the first name of series producer-director Tristram Shapeero).

I also have to wonder why Community is mimicking some of its best ever episodes, in a potential final season that only has thirteen hours to play with.

20 March 2014 | NBC