Community – “Paranormal Parentage” (Season 4, Episode 2)

For a while there, it seemed like Community was going to revolutionise television sitcoms.

Community Modern Warfare

Modern Warfare

“Modern Warfare” seemed to promise a new age of sitcoms that never quite happened. Those ambitious episodes gobbled up time and money, leaving weaker, less innovative episodes to bracket them. Character growth stagnated, as it tends to in sitcoms. And often, the show simply couldn’t reach the heights it aimed for.

But it’s not fair to criticise a show for something it could have been. Community, at its weakest and its strongest, still remains a show with an incredibly strong comedic cast, talented creative voices behind it, and a steadfast refusal to be conventional.

Community S4 E2 - "Paranormal Parentage"

Paranormal Parentage

So I was happy with “Paranormal Parentage,” a distinct improvement on the season premiere. It was entertaining, funny – Troy enjoying the “indoor swing” – and had a clever story with legitimate character beats.

It wasn’t perfect. It’s valid to complain that Troy was infantilised this episode, but it’s not like he’s a paragon of constancy – remember when he was a football jock? The sets looked cheap, but the show’s low(er) budget has been obvious since Season Three. On the whole, it was an enjoyable episode of television… even if it wasn’t anything revolutionary.

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