You can watch the episode Here
Ok, let me get this out of the way. I think this was not a good episode. If there was an episode that reflected the departure of Dan Harmon and the drop in quality for season four, it was this episode. I come from a childhood where I watched every Muppet movie (Muppet's Take Manhattan, Great Muppet Caper, etc), I grew up on Sesame Street, and watched the Muppet Show at night with my family. And because of my love for our felty friends, this episode was cute, but beyond this one trick pony, there wasn't much else to it. Compare this episode to the claymation episode and you see a stark difference. The claymation Christmas episode was funny and true to the genre but more importantly there was a good reason and it moved the overall plot along.
The gang are all sitting in the study room, but no one is talking to each other and everyone seems tense. The dean comes into the room and states that this awkward silence has been going on for days. He suggests that they use puppets to talk about what happened so they can clear the air. "What ever happened to us is between us and Jesus, and Jesus don’t snitch." -Shirley. This made me think that they did some horrible thing together like kill someone, but we later find out that this is a bunch of hoopla for nothing. So while the Gang is in the study room with their well made puppets, they are remembering this faithful day as though they were professionally made puppets (like Avenue Q).(Mind you, the dean seems to be over exaggerating they entire episode. No fault to Jim Rash but because he was in that stupid Pinocchio costume the whole time, feeling up Jeff, etc)
Flash back to a few days prior, the gang is sitting around studying. Troy and Abed are playing bingo but instead of numbers, they mark a corresponding box based off of what people say. Abed explains that since they've been friends for so long, they know each other well enough to predict what the others will say. The Dean arrives with a tour of perspective students and tells them that the Gang is a regular piece of Greendale. After they leave, the Gang tries to shake up their routine by "Going on an Adventure." They break into song and decide to go for a balloon ride. Still caught up in their musical number, they accidentally launch the hot air balloon without their guide without a way to get down. Pierce makes things worse by sending them higher into some stormy clouds. They eventually land and run into George Costanza, I mean, a mountain man. George explains that he used to go to Greendale but then decided to live in the woods where you can be anything you want. Cue next musical number. Before George leaves he gives them some psychedelic berries.
Hours later, the gang is sitting around a fire still under the effects of the berries. Shirley then tells the gang something that has been weighing on her for a while. Basically, she leaves her kids at the store because she was trying to follow a man who she thought was her husband. She feels horrible but no one remembers them telling them that. They all shared something that they are now wish they hadn't. But this is ridiculous. They had opened this story by stating how they were all best friends. How they knew each other so well. They have been through so much YET as soon as they tell something to their best friends that has been bothering them, they cloister up thinking that they will judge them? It's ridiculous. Jeff left a girl friend because she had a son (thus abandoning him like his father abandoned Jeff), Troy started a forest fire by burning a ant hill, Britta doesn't vote.
But Annie has a story that really has to be dealt with. She got the answers to a history test after she let their history teacher rub her feet. SUPER CREEPY. And she reveals this to the Dean! Will nothing be done!? Yes, Greendale Professors are horrible (as shown in one of my early blog posts), but they don't have sexual relations with their students. But everyone looks past this and agrees that they are all best friends again! hooray! Nothing has changed! Accept Annie was touched by a professor. And all she is worried about is that the Gang will thing that she is "a big slut." Priorities.
Sans Annie's creepy interaction, this episode would have been better for the first or second season. This way, the group's friendship would not be as strong or well tested. The conflict revolves around them worrying about what they thing of each other even though they have all grown so close. Bit of a disconnect.
Any way... Here's Danny Pudi (who plays Abed) praising the shows ability produce shows such as this episode. I think he's giving a very different perspective on the episode.
Well, hopefully, this week's episode will be better. Here are some pictures from the next episode. Seems Christmas really snuck up on us.
Let me know if you have any comments/ have a different opinion. Otherwise I'm going to assume that you think I hit the nail on the head.
See you all soon,
PS. best part of the episode...