When I wrote about Fred Durst’s planned CBS sitcom this morning, I segued into talking about last night’s brilliant episode of “Community” (S3E04, “Remedial Chaos Theory”), which I called “one of the best episodes of comedic television I’ve ever seen.” But the thing is, it’s EVEN BETTER than I realized.
The episode presented seven different timelines for a scene at a party — one reality for each character who went downstairs to get the pizza. The show had a happy ending with the seventh reality, but that may not be the reality the show’s writers are using. When Do I Laugh picked up on some telling clues:
- The episode begins with a brief argument about whether Troy and Abed live in apartment 303 or 304. This episode was season three, episode four. What this hints at is that this episode takes place before the last one.
- In every timeline except Jeff’s (supposedly the real one), Pierce mentions that he had sex with Eartha Kitt in an airplane bathroom. He tells Omar in 303 that the members of the study group are the only ones he’s told about that event.
- Abed’s timeline is the only one in which Shirley finds out that Britta smokes pot. In 303, when Britta burns the list, Shirley says, “oh no! She’s got her marijuana lighter!”
- In Abed’s timeline, he finds a nickel. At the beginning of 303, he gives Pierce a coin to pay for the water fountain.
- This isn’t a proof, but from a storytelling perspective, Jeff and Annie kissing is the biggest event in any timeline (other than Pierce dying). Their relationship in 303 is alternately very friendly and extremely strained, which makes sense in a post-kitchen-make-out timeline.
All of this has been layered into a sitcom that has 22 minutes of airtime each week. Dan Harmon and his writing staff create the deepest f**cking comedy on TV.