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The first episode of the 2013 season of Community, History 101, focuses on the group’s last first day of college and Jeff’s efforts to graduate early.
The episode opens with a laugh track and everyone deciding to wear hipster glasses. The laugh track continues until Abed wakes up to Britta telling Abed to go to his happy place when he is stressed out. Abed’s happy place, seen periodically throughout the episode, is Abed TV and takes the form of a classic, slap-sticky sitcom complete with soundtrack and clumsy jokes. Annie has also decided to try out senioritis and play some pranks.
The group’s first day of school starts with History of Ice Cream which has been overbooked and it is first come first serve. Jeff got there early and saved them seats by tricking some hot girls and sending them away. The dean then reveals that the registration system was hacked and forms (which appeared to be ornate construction paper slips) forged. The dean says the only fair way to resolve this was with the Hunger Deans. Each game’s winner gets a red ball and class registration. Annie says they can just take it next semester, but Jeff took some online courses and needs this last class to graduate a semester early. Jeff is determined to win seven red balls so they can take History of Ice Cream together. The impending break up of the group results in Abed spiraling into his happy place.
While Jeff furiously competes (getting dirty and tearing his clothes), Annie and Shirley go to play a trick on the Dean. Annie just wants to move his stapler (which is later what bothers him the most), but Shirley convinces her to fill his car with popcorn after managing to find his keys in a seemingly random place. At the same time, Troy and Britta are making the beginning of the year wishes that Abed and Troy usually do together. Britta has no idea what the rules are and they end up fighting in the fountain. Jeff also finds out that all of this, including canceling the other history class, crazyiness is an effort by the Dean to keep Jeff around.
As Jeff gets closer to winning all seven balls, Abed goes deeper into his happy place and it becomes Greendale Babies (think Muppet Babies). Jeff has to choose between helping Abed and winning that last ball and graduating. Jeff chooses to help Abed and as he is walking over Baby Jeff and then Sitcom Jeff give one of Jeff’s speeches. Real Jeff does not even get a chance to talk. The speech Abed dreams convinces him that even after the group graduates they will still be friends. Jeff then goes home and finds out that the Dean lives next door.
I enjoyed this episode. It was far from my favorite because of the way they had Abed. There was very little Abed and Troy interaction. Other than that issue, though, they seem to be setting up some decent character development for the season. I am unclear how they are planning to do this season, though, since they started it late. Usually they have the first semester of a year in the fall and the second in the spring.