Community, Season 6 Episode 12: “Wedding Videography”

I’m not writing an introduction today, I’m jumping right into this review. I like the twist of this week’s episode of Community better when they did it on 30 Rock. There were some good aspects to examining the group’s dynamics and how they make everyone else’s lives about themselves, but it fell flat amongst the revelation that Garrett and Stacey are not first cousins, but not far from that either. The reason it worked on 30 Rock is that Liz and the guy she dated were distant enough relatives that they wouldn’t know each other. The reason it doesn’t work in “Wedding Videography” is because Garret’s grandmother and Stacey’s great aunt are the same person. Their parents would have been first cousins and therefore surely they had met as children. One of the things I don’t like about Community is the way secondary characters are treated, and because Garret’s hopeless, of course he’d end up accidentally marrying his cousin. Why couldn’t he just have a nice wedding day. Also surely you’d know that your grandmother’s name is Polly. Community is better than this – anyone who has seen the first two seasons knows it is – and this just felt like too much of a hackey sitcom plot for me to like this episode, despite its positives.

Now, back to the premise: Abed is filming Garret and Stacey’s wedding, and we see the gang before and during the wedding – they’re all the worst, so they interrupt the ceremony during the vows and Jeff comes to a realisation during his “Best Man” speech. It’s so Jeff Winger to appoint himself Best Man. I liked the scene with Frankie and Annie, as Frankie is telling Annie that she needs to stop helping people all the time because she likes to feel needed. It doesn’t make her happy. Then Frankie makes a joke about Jeff’s ego and Annie starts daydreaming. Later Frankie tells Abed and the camera that she wanted to tell Annie that she needs to get away from Jeff, which is after Jeff describes the group’s codependence. What I really respect about this season of Community is that when they added Frankie and Elroy, they had them react to the group’s history as any sane person would: “This is a study group? You two dated?” Frankie may enjoy spending time with these people, even if she doesn’t know how to do small talk, but she realises that the group dynamic is messed up.

Something that Community visits every once in a while is the idea that the study group aren’t actually good for each other. They’ve nearly disbanded more than once, and as much as I’ve complained about the show being too meta this season, I do like it when other characters point out how much they need to make everything about themselves, such as when Shirley gave birth, or Todd joined the study group for the terrarium assignment. Todd was great this week: “Am I God? I could be God.” There’s a reason that Todd was invited to celebrate the wedding and not Jeff Winger: he’s actually friends with Garret, whereas in the study group’s mind, they’re everyone’s best friends. They’re actually not, they’re just really self involved people. I liked the discussion they had at the end when Britta points out that she’s only the worst when she’s around the rest of them – they call her the worst so they can feel better about themselves. It’s a very Jeff Winger thing to do. As a self-appointed Britta fan, I’m glad she stands up for herself here, because I know she’s not the worst. I really enjoyed these moments of examining the group’s codependence and self-centredness, it’s too bad they had to ruin it with a hackneyed wedding subplot.

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2 thoughts on “Community, Season 6 Episode 12: “Wedding Videography”

  1. Tracy says:

    Agreed. It’s a terrible episode, not so surprising considering that the writer is a crazy advocate for incest. I mean, who supports incest? What kind of sane or educated people do that? More importantly, is Dan Harmon on crack to hire a writer like that for this show?

    Community has been lighthearted and silly from the get-go. That’s the charm. The show always comes across with a very inclusive attitude towards different paradigms, but never promoted any specific political or social agenda though every character has theirs.

    That’s one of the reasons it has been loved by the younger audience. It shows people in a pluralistic community voicing various opinions in different ways without trying to make conclusions of its own on them or siding with any side. Even in the way characters responds to other’s opinions are often not unanimous. There is essentially no pitching ideas or drawing conclusions, and the show simply lets the audience see the ideologies that exist and leave the rest to you organically. That’s what gave the show a true sense of community. And if ever there was one thing ever pitched, it was the idea of community and how the group should stay together. Even when it comes to the characters, the same approach was clear. Not one character is shown as any more right and reliable than others. Everyone in the group has some major idiosyncrasies that are not always represented as flaws or strengths. They all do stupid things and suddenly help randomly.

    This along with a smart plot is what gave Community a sense of reality and comforting objectivity which grounds the crazy fantastical escapades in each episode.

    This episode is completely out of sync with the show in quality, story, writing and overall concept. Every character is acting against their personality, just doing and saying random things. Garret who’s usually very interesting is just a lame regular groom. Abed who is so strict with his filming is suddenly recording random poorly made footage of wedding videos. He didn’t even try. And then at the end you get this apparently now-perfunctory ending bit that’s overly melodramatic or straight out creepy. Come on, a stupid writer with an deviant agenda comes out and promote incest? It feels forced, out of place, but most importantly would be similar to an ad promoting pedophilia. Dan Harmon, are you being blackmailed or have you simply lost it?

    I weep for Community. I used to love this show so much, waiting for each episode and looking forward for the silly jokes and adorable goofs being themselves. There was a goodness there, a lack of control and scheming, a lack of shameless agenda promotion.

    But you guys have lost your heart and your way. You are not genuine anymore. It’s just old tricks with no souls.

    This episodes along with several others this season are the worst of all seasons, even including season 4 & 5.

    • Thanks for commenting. There were so many positive reviews of this episode, and there were good things, I just thought that the whole incest storyline brought it all down. Frankie trying to get Annie away from Jeff was great, and I loved all of Annie’s names for her dragons. This season has had its hits and misses, but I still like it, and even watched the whole thing: I never finished seasons four or five. I watched two episodes of four and it was so atrocious I had to stop. Five dropped off for me when Troy left, but I think this season has been really good but definitely not great. The writers are really good at integrating new cast members, and I thought both Frankie and Elroy were great.

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