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Friday, May 18, 2012

Thursday TV Recaps for Poor People! The Final Finales.

Posted by Elinor Jones on Fri, May 18, 2012 at 4:34 PM

Welp, last night was the end of the seasons for 30 Rock and Community. I’ll now be able to watch TV lying down, not taking notes, and not constantly shushing my husband, on Thursday evenings. And you’ll all go back to glaring at the fancy cable show recaps, wishing you’d picked a different major and could afford cable. It will suck to be us soon enough again. But last night, with these finales, we poors were given something beautiful.

30 Rock

Avery and Jack decide to renew their vows following Avery’s return from North Korea. (Vow renewals a cheap trick reality shows pull for ratings. Can’t hurt for 30 Rock to try, too!) Then Jack learns that Avery has fallen into a fingertapping romance with her co-captor. Liz and Criss inch closer to having a plant/baby together. Jenna is still out to get Mabel—“Can’t hack it in the big city? Gonna move to the bay area now and pretend that was your dream the whole time? Have fun always carrying a light sweater!” Kenneth and Hazel (ew) kiss, and then he finds out that Hazel sabotaged his page application. Tracy learns about racism and black role models from a guy who is not Questlove.

We’re perfectly set up for next season, the show’s last. Liz will finally get her kid, which she could not have done earlier in the series because the writers knew that babies ruin grown-up shows. Jack will be single again and we’ll wonder if he’s gonna hook back up with Avery’s mom, maybe rekindle things with Nancy Donovan, or pull a Don Draper and marry a hot 20-something? Kenneth will come back into the page program. The only people I’m not sure about are Tracy and Jenna. They'll be insane narcissists, I guess? I’ll miss this show but I’m happy with this season, and I think it’s going to wrap up in a graceful and timely manner next year.

P.S. Happy birthday, Tina Fey! I got you something. It’s a hastily written blog post that’s mostly about a different show. Hope you like it.

Community

And then there's this. The 90-minute three-parter was almost more than I could handle. In the first episode, “Digital Estate Planning,” the study group is transformed into adorable 8-bit video game characters, causing me to say, out loud, “Oh Jesus Christ, you guys.” Because it was so cool.

I dont know how to write out the Mario jump sound.
  • I don't know how to write out the Mario jump sound.

These guys really know how to sink their poorly-rated talons into our prematurely-nostalgic demographic, don’t they? The episode doesn’t exactly fit into the bigger story arcs of the spring, but it doesn’t matter. The bit with Annie and Shirley committing a double homicide—LOL, right?! And Britta finding a home in a witch lair and being NOT the worst at making potions. And especially this:

community_shooting_lava.gif

This episode is silly, pandering, and excellent.

The next part, “The First Chang Dynasty,” brings us back to the imprisoned Dean, the Doppeldeaner, and Chang’s rise to power. Troy learns that he can get help from the air conditioning guys to get the real dean out, but it would mean leaving Greendale and his friends to study air conditioning repair. The group instead plans an elaborate Ocean’s 11-style heist during Chang’s birthday party. They even plan in a way to make it looks like it fails before it actually works! Then it stops working for real. Jeff and Chang start a (not) light saber fight, but then Troy gives himself over to the AC cult in order to save the group and the real dean. As Troy says his goodbyes, he whispers something inaudible to Abed. Ocean's 11, Star Wars, and Lost in Translation? Hello, I'm 29, and I will gobble all of this up.

And finally the real finale, “Introduction to Finality.” Abed is handling Troy’s departure poorly and agrees to have Britta therapize him, but Evil Abed shows up, and he's ready to go darkest-timeline on everybody. He quickly tears Britta down: “You’re VH1, Robocop 2, Back to the Future 3. You’re the center slice of a square cheese pizza. Actually, that sounds delicious. I’m the center slice of a square cheese pizza. You’re Jim Belushi.”

Shirley and Pierce get the okay from Dean Pelton to open their sandwich shop (did the show’s contract for Subway product placement finally expire? Thank God.) Evil Abed arrives to cut off Jeff’s arm just as Jeff gives an inspirational speech about how helping only yourself is bad, and helping others is good. Meanwhile, Troy helps out the guy who murders John Goodman’s character. Evil Abed fades back into regular Abed; he knows that they are all better for knowing, and caring about, each other.

End on happy montage of people killin’ it at life set to the show's theme song, but slowed down.

Flash on a book called The Science of Death Faking, and a blond, not-dead Starburns looking mischievous.

Fade to white. #sixseasonsandamovie

I got actual goosebumps. Community knows it’s only around for as long as its fans are supporting it. Ending with that hashtag was them saying: “Thank you, fans. We are going to try to keep doing this, and we know we can’t do it without you.” I love when cynical bastards reveal their gooey hearts, and I loved this. Remember, they made this episode without knowing if it would be their last, and you can tell they were going to tidy, memorable closure. Sigh. This show is so good. Do you guys think it can stay good? And can it really make it to six seasons? Discuss.

The end! Thank you for watching TV with me this season, and for reading these posts and commenting. In the words of your friend and mine, Mr. Kenneth Parcell: “Kiss my face! Have a wonderful summer!”

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