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The Onion A/V Club Reviews: Community: ‘G.I. Jeff’

On 04, Apr 2014 | In Press & News | By SBI

I have little to no knowledge of the ‘80s G.I. Joe cartoon, both because I was slightly too young for its heyday and because I spent most of my childhood watching this. (Open challenge to Community: If you make a Gospel Bill episode, I will give you $5 and an A.) So I was a bit apprehensive about “G.I. Jeff,” which was being sold almost entirely on its connection to the earlier cartoon. I shouldn’t have worried, though, because “G.I. Jeff” was an enjoyable spiritual sequel to a season two episode (as most of this season’s episodes have been), in this case “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas.” Also to my surprise, this episode comes closer to matching that earlier one than many of this season’s spiritual sequels have. I ended up enjoying it quite a bit, even without being completely immersed in the world the show took place in to the degree that it might have really struck me as hilarious.

All of which is a long-winded way of saying that I liked this episode, but I also don’t have a lot to say about it. I liked that it turned into a weird, Inception-inspired attempt to break out of Jeff’s subconscious for a while there. I liked that it wasultimately all about death, as you knew I would. I found a lot of the individual jokes funny, but I also found the way that the episode’s whole conceit kept getting more and more ridiculous as Jeff struggled to wrangle everything together into a coherent narrative funny. (In particular, I liked how the toy commercials kept getting more and more ridiculous, starting in a place where they felt like something you might have legitimately seen on a Saturday morning and concluding in a place where Toy Jeff hits his inner child in the face.) It all added up to an episode that was more than just the sum of its parts—and the parts were already a lot of fun to begin with.

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