“Your cartoons are monuments to joylessness, nervously assembled jokes based on nothing from your life, or anyone’s life. You’re furious at me for being creative because you want to be able to create. You have all this rage and shame and loneliness — which I don’t even know how to feel, much less understand — and you decide to put what on paper? A duck.”
Look, we can argue all day long about whether or not Community “really bad” or just different when run by not-Dan-Harmon, but the above to me explains all you need to know. Danny Pudi is an excellent actor how can rise to the level of showing a complex character like Abed react with other people or with places that don’t get what he’s all about. He’s not just a self-aware pop-reference machine. He has to live honestly to himself and, more frequently, he has to face unsavory reactions to that. Especially now that Donald Glover’s Troy is gone. I was floored by this interaction. First the fake praise to the continued punishment and then to the truely punishing yelling. It led to resolution that isn’t perfect but explains human flaws.
Last week’s episode didn’t jump out as OMG the best. Honestly, the set up premise felt weak and silly. But the execution was great. The actors were great. These pairings, the feelings, those attacks, the low points… it’s all real. It’s not a play on character stereotypes or easy laughs.