Community: Advanced Documentary Filmmaking


by Stephen Janes (@stephenkjanes)

Ever since the return of Ben  Chang, or “Kevin,” to Greendale, only one person has stood up against  the lie and suspected a ruse all along. Of course, that person is Jeff  Winger, who can’t believe that the rest of the school has seemingly  forgotten about what “Kevin” did in the past. In the new episode,  “Advanced Documentary Filmmaking,” Winger’s suspicions are correct;  unfortunately he doesn’t see through to it long enough to realize he’s  right.

The campus has days to prepare  for an organization who is willing to give the school $40,000 for the  study and advancement of “Changnesia.” Winger initially is reluctant  to help in any capacity, but decides he can use this situation to his  advantage and discover what really is going on with Kevin. While Winger  is planning the presentation, Abed is shooting the entire planning process  for a documentary, effectively taking himself out of the episode for  the most part.

I have to say, this season of Community has been pretty bland up to  this point. While I wouldn’t go as far as to say this was a great episode  or anything, I will admit that I had more “laugh out loud” moments  than previous episodes. Many of these moments came from Annie and Troy,  who were acting as a detective duo in trying to discover Kevin’s true  origin. With Troy playing the opposite game and Annie’s adorable naivety,  the two were at their best I thought and brought a great upbeat element  to the episode.

One thing  that dragged about this episode was the return of the branching storylines.  I’ve stated in previous reviews for this show, but Community is at its  best when the entire group is together. However, it took a few timely  jokes from Pierce to realize that this episode wasn’t so bad with the  branching storylines. I found myself laughing at nearly everything Pierce  was saying, but I felt somewhat bad doing so with his timely racist  jokes, which is expected from him.

I did enjoy  the rivalry dynamic between Winger and Kevin, even though it was completely  different from what we’re used to seeing with Winger and Chang. Kevin  was simply happy and amazed by the new world around him, while Winger  was doing everything in his power to debunk the mystery surrounding  his return.

We see at  the end of the episode that Kevin actually is living a lie when he calls  somebody on his cell phone saying, “They bought it hook, line and  Winger.” I naturally bought into the lie with Kevin as of this episode,  only to see that my earlier suspicions, as well as Winger’s, were correct.  As far as his contact, it is uncertain, but you can expect to see more  of “Chang” and less of “Kevin” in the upcoming episodes.

As mentioned  before, this episode wasn’t the greatest of them all but it certainly  had many retaining moments and was fun to watch. This will undoubtedly  mark the beginning of the Chang era once more which makes me excited  for the return of a true antagonist to the show.

Rating: 3.5  out of 5 stars

    One Comment

  1. Chris SMarch 15th, 2013 at 11:27 am

    I have to agree. This episode was much better than previous episodes from this season. Hopefully we are back on track. #SixSeasonsAndAMovie !!

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