This is not a standard review, it is more a short and shallow analysis, but I will rate anyway. I read some reviews and they all summarize the plot and go on from there. This natural approach surpasses the main theme of the episode, which is in my opinion leading. For a recap of the plot, see the other reviews as in for instance the one mentioned in the footnote.
Review courtesy of Bert Both (Johan van der Groep)
S03E15, Origins of Vampire Mythology
The show starts with our seven heroes in the study room. Troy and Abed are doing a ‘best friends’ child game. The others are watching it tenderly, and Pierce complains he never has had a best friend in the group. Today’s sowing is done, every one has ‘best friends’ in his/her mind.
Chronically the next recurrence of the theme is with the Dean. He is playing in his office with his train set and is obviously feeling lonesome, as his talking of ‘human being’ to his toy dalmatians suggests. Then the vice Vice dean enters, who doesn’t ridicule him for his playing, but in a way plays with the Dean by crushing a beloved Dalmatian. They are the opposites of best friends.
Jeff and Shirley are the next couple. Shirley exactly knows why Jeff asked her to join him to the carnival and he declares she is the only one who really understands him. She deals with his vanity, soothes him. For Jeff she is the best friend possible, on her part it is a parental thing. He won’t even let her take the ride she has missed since long.
An odd couple are Pierce and Chang. Both outcasts, Chang didn’t say no to Pierce’s invitation to go to the carnival. When they are walking together a song about best friends is heard. Like with his women, Pierce buys Chang’s friendship , who in turn acts as a whimsical girl and makes it out as one.
Meanwhile in appartment 303 Annie is trying hard to be Britta’s best friend. She plays a card game, comforts her, makes it up after she is betrayed again. This is also a onesided friendship, with distrust, although in the end they share an understanding nod.
The sixth pair are Annie’s boops. Not only diamonds are a girl’s best friend. The episode through the audience is offered an insight in their friendship, which I like to think Harmon, the alleged fabricator of this episode, has done for thematical reasons only ?.
And then it’s getting late this friday evening and the attention seems to be shifted to amorous friendship. Shirley is at home with Andre, Jeff and Annie exchange glances and Britta looks endeared at Troy.
In this episode the ‘best friends’- theme is omnipresent and goes far beyond the plot. It is the carrier of jokes and it is a vehicle to show different kinds of friendship. No lesson meant of course (and non taken), it is not that kind of show.
I admired the construction of the episode and the way it embroiederd on the previous one, with Troy and Abed best friends again, and prepared the next one for Britta and Troy. I liked the small puns and the reference to movies and to older episodes with the clever twisting of lines. I laughed at the way Annie and Troy handled the love-addicted Britta. It was a solid episode, a hard needed quiet one in familiar settings and in sitcom style.
I would rate it an A, wouldn’t some subplots not ‘wearing thin’. Jeff being jealous again with an analogue monologue as before: we have seen enough of that. Community is an ambitious serie and the price the makers have to pay is that they attract critical viewers. Therefore the rating is an A-.