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