• Community on NBC continues to please with a few paintballs
  • Community on NBC continues to please with a few paintballs
    Written by battye
    Fri May 13, 2011 2:57 pm

    Abed said on the season finale of Community that "sequels are almost always disappointing" - but that rule doesn't apply to paintball.

    Spoiler alert for below.

    Community has done what few other sitcoms can do and use what is widely regarded as their best episode (S01E23, Modern Warfare) as a template for another episode - and have it live up to the original. Based on the success of "Modern Warfare", the second season finale was aired over two weeks, starting with "A Fist Full of Paintballs" on May 5 and "For a Few Paintballs More" on May 12. Whether the last two episodes were better than their season one equivalent is up for debate (I believe in some respects they are, but "Modern Warfare" was groundbreaking), but they certainly were not disappointing.

    To produce what is, for all intents and purposes, a sequel to such an epic episode was extremely risky. It could have easily gone wrong and been a shadow of its former self. But the writing was strong and the action was stronger with the addition of machine guns and some kind of IED which sadly took the paintball life of Magnitude ("Pop... what?") in a selfless act. A leadership challenge and some tactics at work made for a thrilling story arc.

    While "A Fist Full of Paintballs" was a western parody, "For a Few Paintballs More" took on Star Wars and employed the use of an alliance and opposition troopers - continuing the tradition of Community spoofing a range of different genres and films. NBC recently renewed Community for a third season and I'm already looking forward to what the show takes on next year - the possibilities are endless. And there was a hint in the show that another paintball episode might come next year, perhaps as a Greendale tradition which they have to find new ways "to top". If they do go with another round of paintball, I would like to see some kind of Home Alone parody. Can you imagine Annie saying, "this is my school and I have to defend it!" followed by a series of traps, setups and decoys? Perhaps the study group could be the only people left on campus as the school is invaded by armed robbers - the only defense Greendale has is in the form of the study group, armed with - you guessed it - paintballs. I think a strategic and tactical spoof of Survivor would also go down well.

    Fortunately the season two finale did wrap up a few loose ends. The ongoing rivalry with City College came out with Greendale as the winner and the storyline involving Pierce as a villain also came to some kind of conclusion when he donated his winnings to the school and revealed how long he has been at Greendale for. His second fake heart attack and infiltration of the City College troopers could be seen coming but was nonetheless a funny and cunning move. The biggest shock of all was Pierce declining to return to the group next year; I doubt he is being written out of the show, but it should add a new dynamic to the study group next season. Particularly if Pierce is left on the outer for a while, perhaps forming a new group or if he becomes some sort of enemy to Jeff (whose role as a reluctant leader in "For a Few Paintballs More" was too minimal I thought).

    It's a shame the next episode of Community will be about 4 months away, but it has ended its season on a good note and all fans of Community should be grateful that it has been renewed for a third season. In the meantime, at least there is another hour of Parks and Recreation and The Office to look forward to. Not to mention the season finale (and hopefully not the series finale) of Chuck.
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