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Recap / Community S 6 E 13 Emotional Consequences Of Broadcast Television

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As their sixth year at Greendale draws to a close, Abed asks everyone to imagine pitching a TV show about what they would do in Season Seven. Meanwhile, new developments threaten to separate the group for the foreseeable future and Jeff wonders about his place in the world.

This was the final episode of the series, due to the cast being hot commodities and busy with their own projects. All that is left is the movie now.


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The Community episode Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television provides examples of:

  • Adult Fear: Jeff spends the entire episode wrestling his thoughts over the possibility that he would lose touch with the people he's learned to love over the years.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Jeff tells Annie that intellectually and physically he's given her up, but he's had no luck emotionally.
    Jeff: The heart—which cynics say is code for penis—wants what it wants.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: In Jeff's Imagine Spot of being married to Annie and having a child.
    Imaginary!Annie: Is this really what you want?
    Jeff: Of course! I mean, I'd be fine with a dog too, but whatever you want.
    Imaginary!Annie: Do you have any idea what I want?
  • Ascended Extra: Invoked, as Jeff's initial pitch for Season 7 has the rest of the cast replaced by recurring characters Dave, Todd, Garrett, Vicky and Leonard.
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  • Author Appeal: In a reflection of creator Dan Harmon's partiality towards redheads, Jeff's fantasy at the end episode replaces everyone in the group with attractive redheads.
  • Back for the Finale: Yvette Nicole Brown reprises her role of Shirley in several of the pitches for Season 7.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Jeff and Annie, in a parallel to the S1 finale, "Pascal's Triangle Revisited."
  • Black Comedy: The episode's Tag, depicting a Parody Commercial for "Community: The Board Game", takes a sharp left turn into this, with a generous dose of Breaking the Fourth Wall and existential angst.
    Dad: I got it! The whole show is happening inside this game!
    Son: Then explain this! [holds up a small booklet]
    Daughter: What is it?
    Dad: It's a script... of a fake commercial at the end of season six starring this family...
    Son: Sorry Dad, guess I win.
    Dad: You stupid child. Nobody's winning anything, don't you see? This means we don't exist. We're not created by God, we're created by a joke. We were never born, and we will never actually live.
    [the family falls into silence and stares at the table as the camera zooms out]
  • Book-Ends:
    • The first and last two study group members Jeff interacted with are Abed and Britta.
    • In the Pilot, Jeff forms the study group to get closer with Britta. The series closes with the study group officially disbanded leaving only Jeff and Britta remaining in Greendale.
  • Call-Back:
    • To the show's pilot episode
      • Jeff's private pitch for Season 7 has him repeating his original Winger Speech (complete with a Title Drop of the show), albeit with the Study Group replaced with attractive redheads who Jeff describes as somewhat similar to the original group.
    • To "Pascal's Triangle Revisited"
      • Jeff and Annie share The Big Damn Kiss after expressing uncertainties over a major life-changing decision.
    • To "Anthropology 101"
      • "Hah, GAAAAAAAAY!"
    • To "Introduction to Finality"
      • The final shot of the episode, before The Tag, is a fade to black with "#andamovie" appearing in white text.
    • To "Advanced Introduction to Finality"
      • Jeff's fears about the future resurface, however this time it's his fear that everyone else will move on from Greendale and leave him behind, whereas it was originally his fears about moving on from Greendale and leaving his friends behind.
    • To "Repilot"
      • Jeff's second pitch for Season 7 features Annie and Abed becoming teachers at Greendale, whilst Britta becomes the school psychologist.
      • Probably unintentional, but in addition to being a Take That! to Season 4, Chang's fart during Abed's fourth "cool" also works in-universe: in Repilot the group blamed the weirdness of the previous year on a gas leak.
    • To "Basic Intergluteal Numismatics"
      • Jeff brings up the Ass Crack Bandit.
      • And, following on from the end of that episode, it's strongly implied to be Annie.
    • To "Geothermal Escapism"
    • To "Analysis of Cork Based Networking"
    • To "Queer Studies And Advanced Waxing"
      • Dean Pelton's eccentric sexual preferences are again narrowed down to a specific niche, this to being transgender rather than being gay.
    • To "Intro to Recycled Cinema"
      • Jeff imagines strangling (many clones of) Abed again.
  • The Cameo:
    • Seth Green appears in Jeff's initial Season 7 pitch as Scrunch, the tech mogul who bought Greendale.
    • Justin Roiland voices Ice Cube Head.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    Britta: If I had no self-awareness, I think I would know!
  • Creator Cameo:
    • Dan Harmon voices the narrator in The Tag.
    • The whiteboard features several lines of seven numbers, each preceded by "nm" - these are the unique ends of the IMDB page addresses for the various cast members; for example, Joel McHale is nm0570364.
  • Creepy Monotone: In one of Jeff's fantasy pitches, Todd makes the observation with a detached affect that lots of things can be forced; for instance, a human head through a drainpipe.
  • Cue the Billiard Shot: Played straight and then lampshaded by Abed when the scene cuts to the group at Britta's bar.
    Abed: You guys think bar scenes always have to start at a billiards shot? Or do you think every time someone takes a shot in billiards they start a new bar scene without knowing it?
  • Did Not Get the Girl: The series ends with Jeff not being with neither Annie or Britta.
  • Expospeak Gag/Side-Effects Include...: In The Tag.
    Narrator: Dice not included. Some assembly required. Lines between perception, desire, and reality may become blurred, redundant, or interchangable. Characters may hook up with no regard for your emotional investment. Some episodes too conceptual to be funny. Some too funny to be immersive, and some so immersive they still aren't funny. Consistency between seasons may vary. Viewers may be measured by a secretive obsolete system based on selected participants keeping handwritten journals of what they watch. Show may be cancelled and moved to the internet where it turns out tens of millions were watching the whole time. May not matter. Fake commercial may end with disclaimer gag which may descend into vain Chuck Lorre-esque rant by narcissistic creator. Creator may be unstable. Therapist may have told creator this is not how you make yourself a good person. Life may pass by while we ignore and mistreat those close to us. Those close to us may be those watching. Those people may want to know I love them but I may be incapable of saying it. [voice breaks, beat] Contains pieces the size of a child's esophagus.
  • Fantasy Sequence: Several in the episode, all about pitching the hypothetical season 7.
  • The Fellowship Has Ended: With Abed and Annie's departure, the study group isn't really a group anymore.
  • Flashback Echo: There is an echoing effect before Jeff' Imagine Spot of season 7.
  • Grand Finale: A clever Affectionate Parody of grand finales seen in TV sitcoms, as well as the effective Series Finale.
    • It even parodied the infamous final scene from St. Elsewhere.
    • It still ends up using a number of traditional tropes, as Annie gets an internship with the FBI, moving to Washington DC, and Abed got a job to produce a tv pitch, moving to Hollywood. Jeff and Annie also have a Big Damn Kiss and clarify where their relationship stands. The last shot of the cast implies And the Adventure Continues.
  • Great Gazoo: Parodied, with Chang's pitch for Ice Cube Head.
  • Group Hug: One for the entire group at the end of the episode before Annie and Abed leave for Quantico and LA.
  • Held Gaze:
    • One happens between Jeff and Annie before their big damn kiss.
    • While dropping them off at the airport, Jeff goes in to give Annie and Abed individual hugs. As Jeff pulls out of his hug with Abed, the two share a meaningful look, and Jeff decides to hug him again.
  • Imagine Spot: About 3/4 of the episode is the cast making hypothetical concepts about what they would do next year if they somehow stayed a group. This results in the opening sequence being played repeatedly throughout the episode, most of them the classic with the origami fortune teller, except for Britta's which was several pictures of overseas atrocities and environmental catastrophes.
  • Irony: Jeff originally started the study group to hook up with Britta and didn't want any of the others around. By the end of this episode she's the only one of the original Greendale Seven left with him.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Jeff lets Annie go, so she can pursue her dreams.
  • Lampshade Hanging: In the initial Season 7 pitch by Abed, Shirley meets Frankie and questions if this dynamic is going to work.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Abed, of course, but really the point of the whole episode. What do we do after six years/seasons? Depart from the format and you're weird, stick with it and you're boring. And what are we going to do about the hemorrhaging of actors/characters? And won't the audience feel sorry for, say, Annie, if she doesn't move on to better things after six years of community college?
  • No Ending: Jeff resigns himself to staying as a teacher at Greendale while Annie and Abed leave to pursue their dream careers, with Britta still taking classes and tending bar, and Frankie helping improve the college and keep Jeff anchored. He never rebuilds his law career or finds his purpose. Though as Annie points out, this can always change.
  • Political Correctness Gone Mad: Unsurprisingly, the Dean is this again. Turned Up to Eleven with his proposal to bring both Shirley and Elroy back, and even a entire third African-American person (who in this sequence, sits far away from the table in the corner and doesn't say anything.)
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • Dean Pelton of all people drops this one:
      Dean Pelton: (to Abed) No offense, but isn't the shape of your brain kinda fucked up?
    • Also happens in Britta's version of the show, because she imagines it as a dark and gritty drama.
      Britta: (on the phone to a senator) I guess this is fucking war!
  • Put on a Bus: Elroy got a job with Linked-In, Annie's got an internship with the FBI, and Abed got a job in L.A.
  • Rambling Old Man Monologue: In Jeff's pitch Leonard starts a monologue about his experience at Pearl Harbor.
  • "Ray of Hope" Ending: For Jeff, he's lost most of his circle of friends and is still at Greendale with less than half of them. It makes him fear he will be alone in the end, having accomplished nothing in his life. Annie points out something, however; life can always change and toss surprises at you. Just as bad luck had Jeff attending Greendale in the first place, good luck can give him what he wants. She also asks Jeff to kiss her; even though they can't start a relationship, he would regret life forever if he never kissed her again after proclaiming his love. This allows Jeff to say goodbye to her and Abed and going to Drinks Night with the rest of the Save Greendale Committee.
  • The Reveal: Chang is gay.
  • Rummage Sale Reject: The Dean celebrates making it through an entire semester without wearing a single silly outfit by wearing many of them at once.
  • Running Gag: Most of the pitches for Season 7 have the Dean enter the room wearing only a diaper. The Dean takes offense, saying he puts way more effort into his costumes than that. At least until Britta's pitch makes him into a token transwoman who is also a mouthpiece for her political views. Then he asks for the diaper back.
  • Sassy Black Woman: The Dean's portrayal of imaginary Elroy and Shirley, with plenty of "yeah girls", "hallelujahs" and mentioning of "street wisdom." Naturally he gets called out for the offensiveness of this.
  • Self-Deprecation: The episode is extremely meta even by the high standards the show has set. Different characters make their own "pitch" as to what season seven will become, and the majority of them are lambasting the very narrative foundation of the show. The Tag talks extensively about all the tonal issues of the show, "Some episodes too conceptual to be funny. Some too funny to be immersive, and some so immersive they still aren't funny." Even contains a reference to the Chuck Lorre Vanity Plate in a way that is hard to determine as a Shout-Out or Take That!, as it comes out as "...may descend into vain Chuck Lorre-esque rant by narcissistic creator."
  • Sentimental Music Cue: The song playing over the closing scene.
  • Shirtless Scene: Jeff in the Dean's pitch.
  • Ship Sinking: Jeff ends up giving up Annie so she pursues her dreams.
  • Ship Tease: Massive amounts for Jeff and Annie, and finally semi-resolved. Several of Jeff's fantasies center around finding a way to keep Annie around, and he even has a simple one of them being married. When Annie finds him in the study room, he admits he can't stop loving her, but they both agree that right now neither of them are in the best place for a real relationship.
    Annie: I think if you don't kiss me right now you'll regret it for the rest of your life.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Annie's reaction to Jeff asking if the group had forgotten the Ass Crack Bandit is to start rambling that of course she's not forgotten about him, and it could have been anyone. Jeff seems to be the only one to pick up on this, however.
  • Take That!:
    • Elroy gets hired by Linked-In to figure out why nobody uses Linked-In.
    • Neither Jeff nor Annie care for the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. Though given the involvement of several of the cast and crew (notably The Russo Brothers and including Dan Harmon) on the films it's almost certainly a friendly jab, subverting this a bit.
    • Season 4 gets hit by this again. As everyone pitches what they would do for Season 7, Frankie's pitch (The fourth legit attempt at doing so) simply features the characters stating out loud the formula of their interactions, before culminating in Chang just farting; Frankie accepts that writing the "show" is harder than it looks.
    • And at the end, when Abed is saying one "cool" for each season, Chang farts during the fourth one, and lampshades it claiming it's an inside joke.
    • One of Jeff's pitches mocks the "Save Greendale Committee" concept, as well Annie no longer wearing dresses.
    • At one point Abed mentions that the "six seasons and a movie" mantra doesn't work because TV isn't about common sense, but executives making more money.
    • The Tag provides one to the Nielsen Rating system, with the narrator (Voiced by Dan Harmon) mocking the system as an outdated and inaccurate way of measuring what people are watching on TV, as well as mocking NBC for cancelling Community and numerous other shows because of low Nielsen ratings, when looking at the actual viewing figures would have revealed a much wider audience.
    • The Tag also multiple Take Thats to certain fan complaints:
      Narrator: Characters may hook up with no regard for your emotional investment. Some episodes too conceptual to be funny. Some too funny to be immersive, and some so immersive they still aren't funny. Consistency between seasons may vary.
    • The Tag additionally parodies the finale to St. Elsewhere in which it is often assumed the entire show took place in the mind of an autistic boy with a snow globe that had the appearance of the titular hospital.
    • Dan Harmon gets both Chuck Lorre and himself in one line:
    Harmon: Fake commercial may end with disclaimer gag which may descend into vain Chuck Lorre-esque rant by narcissistic creator.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Leonard in the opening scene: "School's out, bitches!"
  • Title Drop:
    Jeff: You just stopped being a study group. I hereby pronounce you... a community.
  • Toilet Humour: Chang's Running Gag fart jokes.
  • Token Minority: Parodied. Britta's proposed pitch for Season 7 has the Dean outing himself as a transgender woman to push her agenda of representing the oft-overlooked community to the point of it offending the Dean and everyone else at the table.
    Transgender Dean: Well, I'm not a joke anymore. I'm strictly transgender, I'm not all this other stuff. I represent the transgender community, and it's a real thing. I am not crazy, but I do have flaws. I'm smart-
    Real Dean: [offended] "All this other stuff"?! [scoffs] Glad to be of service, Britta. I want my diaper back.
  • [Trope Name]: The first pitching of season 7 is Abed's in which the characters are so self-aware that they talk in abstracts.
    Jeff: Abusively cynical one liner dismissing everything you just said.
    Britta: Absurd reaction.

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