Community: Intro to Recycled Cinema
April 28, 2015 2:49 PM - Season 6, Episode 8 - Subscribe

After Chang moves to Hollywood and becomes a big hit as the "Haaaaaaaaam, girl!" guy, the Greendale Committee take advantage of the three minutes of footage Abed has of him to make their version of Plan 9 From Outer Space.

So Chang has moved to Hollywood, where a commercial in which he says, "Haaaaaaaaaam, girl!" has become a big hit, and Spielberg has come calling. How can those he left behind at Greendale take advantage of this situation, beyond their insurance premiums lowering by 6 percent? Well, Abed has three minutes of footage of Chang from some movie in which he was playing a police chief, and Frankie knows a guy (your favorite, Steve Guttenberg) who can totally distribute that as a movie if they can turn it into 81 minutes. So, only 79 more minutes to go! And let's make it sci-fi, because....

Abed isn't super on board with this idea. For one thing, he wanted to make a "normal" movie first so then he could make weird ones. For another thing: "I have three minutes of footage and he's clearly a police chief behind a desk in New York." But Elroy can do the CG! And technically Abed would be robbing the school of a lot of money! Abed consents only if they can make an actual GOOD movie...over the weekend. Everyone else doesn't care so much, including Elroy flat out saying, "So, let's crap out this piece of crap." "This attitude concerns me," Abed says.

So the movie's title is "Chief Starr and the Raiders of the Galaxy." Jeff is the mayor of outer space, in a terrible white wig and fake eyebrows. Britta and Annie are his daughters(?), Annie is also an assassin pleasure droid or something. The Dean doubles as Chang. Frankie plays the space drums in the cantina scene, Elroy is "Minotaur Man" who covers for his eye falling off. There is also a CGI....thing. Magnitude dresses up as a carrot who gets shot. Annie pulls a laser bomb out of her shirt in an improvisational moment. There's also a robot with the same catch phrase as the CGI thing, so the CGI thing turns out to be an evil spy. Everyone also ends up in the Frisbee room, about to die, with a puppet monster. The three minutes of Chang are...surprisingly kinda well done in CGI and fudginess, go figure. (As usual, the best use of Chang is very little Chang.)

In the end, the final cut comes out as 87 minutes. Guttenberg loves it, but it has to be 81 minutes. So let's cut Jeff's death scene, it's 6 minutes and 30 seconds....Jeff objects to this, and runs away with the laptop. "Is he doing a bit?" "That's a long bit." Jeff runs to the Frisbee room, where he attempts to learn film editing online from THAT Kyle Biederman. (Whoever that is.)

Abed goes after Jeff, only to find out Jeff's upset because Chang of all people left Greendale and is a hit, and he's realizing that everyone else will leave him and he'll be the last one there, even Pierce got to die. (Nah, that'll be the Dean, dude. But yeah, you're probably second left.) They discuss the quality of the movie, somehow without EVER mentioning Ed Wood or Plan 9, which you'd think Abed would totally mention in this case. Anyway, they decide that life is a big dumb movie, but sometimes you'll have Annie reach down her shirt and get an improvisation idea from God anyway. Jeff declares, "Let's cut my stupid scene out of this piece of crap." After cutting the scene, they need to add 30 seconds, so they add a scene of Jeff and the CGI-thing in hell, which the Guttenberg loves.

However, all that cashy money turns out to disappear with the words "Chapter 11," "Youtube" and "broadband." Of course. But everyone group hugs anyway. And Chang manages to piss off Spielberg by telling him to lick his butt, forcing him to be kicked out of a tiny door and replaced by Russell Park. Everyone tactfully ignores Chang's return as he creeps into another meeting, discussing how the cosmetology school is out of free haircut volunteers.

Other things:
* Elroy has already forgotten Chang's name. Did you ever know his name? Uh, he's that Asian guy whose name is some kind of sound?
* Elroy also wonders why a billiard ball that's a green three (which doesn't exist) showed up in his RV.
* Quitting is sometimes the only way to survive.
* Abed got the dialogue for his original movie from a former cop. "Real life former cops aren't great with dialogue."
* "Great actor. Huge McRib problem."
"My character can't have good grammar?" "Not in a space battle."
"Why am I wearing a blouse? It's sci-fi. It doesn't matter." (Jeff has a great monologue about his wardrobe, and about showing off his body, that I could not write down.)
* "How about this bar? Everyone is so accustomed to violence!"
* "I can kill you in these Frisbees and nobody will ever find you."
"I'll never look at a hot air balloon the same way again. Or James Franco's balls."
posted by jenfullmoon (19 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Abed: "You helped me learn something about film-making today that I think we all need to apply to life: It's okay to plan some stuff and it's okay to figure out what we did wrong, but our plans are randomly gonna fall apart and our lessons are randomly gonna be wrong, and if we just keep the cameras rolling and shoot a lot of crap, eventually Annie is going to reach down her shirt and put out a laser bomb.
I didn't write that. We didn't plan that. God made that happen. God made this movie. And it's dumb. And we're dumb for being in it. Life is a big dumb pointless movie with no story and an abrupt ending where the hero gets shot by Dracula in the middle of a lunch order during an outtake. But somewhere in there, every once in a while-"

Jeff: "..Annie reaches down her shirt."
posted by bigendian at 5:06 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

It wasn't deep, but I haven't laughed so hard in a long time.
posted by ShooBoo at 7:20 PM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]

Elroy is the only decent actor in their farce. He deserves so much better than Chief Starr and the "Raiders of the Galaxy". Annie's acting skills, just like in the Karate Kid, are killer (in a bad way). And I love that Britta can't just go with it. She really should pay her rent though.

"I love you?"
"She's your *daughter*!"
posted by tracicle at 11:44 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

"You make things harder for all women when you do that!"
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 4:49 AM on April 29, 2015 [3 favorites]

* Interesting character stuff for Jeff
* Nice to have an episode that focused on the original characters (even though Frankie is my favorite now)
* Chang was well used for a "chang"
* "I don't go out the way I came in?"
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 4:52 AM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

I loved the tiny door so much I can't believe it
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:59 AM on April 29, 2015 [10 favorites]

The steel drums are back!
posted by drezdn at 7:17 AM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]

Good number of laughs, but overall something felt weird to me about this episode.

What's up with angry Jeff? Is it depression and frustration about his life finally kicking in? Or is he on steroids?

This is the second cheesy group hug? We had one at the end of the G.I. Joe episode. They both felt way out of place.

I wish so badly that they hadn't put the Frankie on the steel drums in the last episode and had waited until this scene for the payoff. The payoff would have been so much more grand.
posted by 2ht at 8:29 AM on April 29, 2015 [8 favorites]

posted by divined by radio at 8:45 AM on April 29, 2015 [3 favorites]

So the real-life former cop is Buzz Hickey, right? I seem to remember him threatening to punch people in the heart.
posted by crLLC at 6:17 PM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]

That's how I read it. Totally a poke at Buzz.
posted by Etrigan at 6:47 PM on April 29, 2015

posted by Going To Maine at 8:09 PM on April 29, 2015

Seriously, top-notch, good episode, would watch again.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:10 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

Glip Glop is a racial slur against Traflorkians.
posted by squinty at 8:29 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

I enjoyed it and completely agree 2ht that they should have waited for this episode to reveal Frankie playing the steel drums. That payoff would have been so more rewarding.

Props to our space Dracula, he can make the rain happen on cue. Loved the reuse of the frisbrees for the trash compactor scene. I get the feeling that there are just random closets and rooms on campus filled with them due to some red tape mix up of the frisbees not being recyclable, but as plastic, can't be thrown in the trash.

Not bringing up Chang's downfall as a star when he returned may have been one of the nicest things the group has ever done for him on the show.
posted by Atreides at 8:43 AM on April 30, 2015 [3 favorites]

Just remembered: "He wants you to play Blue in the upcoming Play-Doh movie."
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 10:21 AM on April 30, 2015 [3 favorites]

Just remembered: "He wants you to play Blue in the upcoming Play-Doh movie."

I think this has to be a joke directed at Rob Schrab, longtime Dan Harmon cowriter and director of many of this season's Community episodes. Around the time that this episode was filmed (I think) it was announced that he'd gotten the coveted job of directing the second Lego movie.

Also, Jeff's Chris Pratt fixation was hilarious. I haven't listened to the most recent Harmontowns, but is Dan still randomly going off on Pratt in that weird, somewhat affectionate way?
posted by purpleclover at 5:47 PM on May 22, 2015

I would like to add the tag "ham" to commemorate the ham girl guy but I'm unable to.
posted by Monochrome at 3:38 PM on April 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

This episode only supports my working theory that Randall Park improves everything, even if it was already pretty great to begin with.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:38 PM on December 24, 2020

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