The Moth Chase

Elevating the Art of Procrastanalysis – Academics wasting time on pop culture

Out Chang-ing Chang

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Yes, of course, Chang is faking his Changnesia.  Still kind of a bummer that he’s not really Kevin, as it would be fun to have a new character on the show instead of Chang the villain.  It’s hard for me to see what’s left to do with the Chang-against-the community dynamic.  As Jeff points out, everyone else seems to forget that he tried to kill them and that he put the dean in a dungeon.  Is there anywhere left for this relationship between Chang and the others to go, since it’s already hit an extreme level of bad, and the opportunity for good is a ruse?

I appreciated the exploration of the intertwined topics of forgetting and forgiving that Kevin’s presence on campus generates.  What measure of forgetting really is possible, and how much of the gang’s forgiveness of Kevin hinges on his apparent forgetting?  In other words, if he seemed to remember the harm he had inflicted while still feeling and acting like a cartoon alien, would that make him more or less sympathetic?  I especially liked Jeff’s concluding revelation that, in light of what Chang has done, pretending to forget and to become a different person is a totally understandable decision.

This episode showed better focus in storyline and themes than previous episodes this season, but again, it wasn’t very funny.  It had cute and pleasant moments, like Annie and Troy’s Houlihan and Partner high fives and Kevin repeating Annie’s lesson that the microscope makes things “big-ger.”  Ken Jeong’s great performance as Kevin is another reason I’m sorry Kevin will soon be replaced by Chang.

Today I’m sending off my resume to the McGuffin Institute so I can proclaim “Grant granted!”  How about you?

E

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Hi E,

Yeah, I’m not really sure where this can go, especially with only a few episodes left. I kind of wish we’d just been left with Kevin, and am uncertain as to who is at the other end of his phone. I can’t really think of a former character who would make a good super-villain – who is there beyond Chang himself in the Community villain department? Neither the dean of that other community college in the show, nor (the ghost of) Pierce’s (deceased) father (our other two big villains) seem up to it. And it feels too late to introduce someone new now. Unless we’re headed for some Seinfeld-esque ending where everyone who the group ever hurt has banded together to take them down, I can’t see where this is going…and oh my goodness – I hope it’s not that!

I think you’re right on the cop partnership being one of the strengths of the episode – Troy is just great at playing that innocent, predictable goofyness, and I always enjoy an Annie/Troy adventure. For a moment, watching Annie bend Troy’s responses to her will was quite funny. But in the end, I think I was most intrigued by Shirley in this one – a rare occurrence! Something happens to Shirley through Abed’s camera that is quite lovely – she is always revealed through his eyes as broken, but trying to live into practicing whatever it is her faith has her preach. In Messianic Myths and Ancient Peoples she ends up trying to sacrifice herself for Abed, and in this one we’re reminded of her deep capacity to forgive. The reason this interests me is not because I have all that much invested in Shirley – more so, I’m intrigued that it’s Abed’s lens that makes her lovely. Watching Abed watching his friends can do different things to their characters (Jeff certainly doesn’t come off well in this one!). I like that through his camera we get to see the Shirley who Shirley understands herself to be.

I actually found Britta’s psychological theory about Changnesia quite plausible and kind of wished it was the one that the show was going with…
Natalie

Written by emstaley

March 15, 2013 at 9:42 am

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