“Pillows & Blankets” is the second part of the Community: Fort Wars epic, check out my 5 awesome things from Digital Exploration of Interior Design’ “Pillows & Blankets” was particularly difficult for me to break down into “5 Awesome Things” because there were so many tiny details that really made this episode so successful. It was really the overall style and composition of the episode that was the star and will take top spot.
1) ZOMG THE STYLE. One of Community’s many strengths is its ability to slip into different stylistic modes from week to week. “Pillows and Blankets” took on the loaded topic of the absurdity of war using a Documentary style approach hitting on references from basically every war ever. Docu-style is always awesome on Community (see “Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking” and “Documentary Filmmaking: Redux”) or according to Jeff, always a disaster, which is also true.
“Pillows and Blankets” took full advantage of the documentary style using maps, tons of still images, interviews, voiceovers (done by the original players because the documentary crew couldn’t afford Tom Hanks), and sources like emails, text messages and terrible war poetry read by Greendale students. The found footage from student cell phone cameras, security tapes and Britta’s terrible out of focus pictures were an excellent touch.
My favourite touch was Abed’s facebook status (narrated by Abed) where he compares the senselessness of war to the absurdity of the titles in the Rambo franchise, followed by “Leonard Likes this post”.
2) Troy & Abed. I love how the show is handling the fracture in their relationship. Over the past few episodes we’ve explored Troy’s never-ending patience with Abed wearing thin, when Troy says “nobody else will ever have my patience with you” it rings painfully true. The email Abed sent about Troy’s weaknesses was almost more heartbreaking than funny (thought the list of things Troy is distracted by is gold!). It is a continuation of Abed’s inability to realize how his actions hurt his best friends. I like how the conflict was resolved in an organic way, they both realize that they care about each other and allow Jeff to mediate the situation using magical friendship hats. Abed’s issues with understanding the feelings of others are far from over, however, I do hope that he has at least learned how to navigate the waters of friendship with a little more consideration.
3) Jeff Winger’s Magical Hatts & Ferris Buellerian Tactics. Jeff could have gone either way in
“Pillows & Blankets”. We could have gotten Insane Jeff who gets caught up in the weirdo Greendale antics which is always a treat, however, in an episode like “Pillows & Blankets” where most of the campus seems to have lost control it’s nice to have Jeff as his level-headed self manipulating the situation to his advantage as he used the journal (that was obviously meant to be read aloud) to impress Annie and pushing the war further to miss class.
Since Jeff’s character has grown (slightly) since the pilot we also got the strange Jeff weirdo who goes all the way back to the Dean’s office and dusts off the imaginary hats when no one was looking to help his friends. He was playing it cool for most of the thing but these are the bits where he cares and we know that he really does fit in with these lovable weirdos.
“I would do anything in the world for my friends”
4) Oscar Winner Jim Rash. Everything he does is gold and the running obsession with Jeff always pays off with the laughs. In “Pillows & Blankets” it was Dean Pelton writhing around on the floor in the midst of flying feathers screaming for Jeff to come save him (as Jeff is on his phone ignoring…everything)
5) The Changlorious Bastards.“Like the Inglorious Bastards except with ‘Chang’ instead of ‘In’, I don’t get it either” This week Chang has eked his way into the final spot of the top 5. In “Pillows & Blankets” Chang’s special brand of nuts is used appropriately (and sparingly) in the midst of the Greendalian madness, focusing primarily on his fighting force of preteens. Plus bonus points for the narrator calling out Chang’s narcissistic tendency to Chang everything up.
Runners Up (a.k.a Bonus Awesome): All Tomato, Britta Perry’s terrible photography, Annie “Angel of the Battlefield” Edison with her trusty lint roller, Ski-Shoot Sing, the end tag pledge drive, did anyone call the number?
What were your favourite moments of “Pillows & Blankets”? Let me know what you thought of the episode in the comments see you next week when we talk “Origins of Vampire Mythology”.