2. Virtual Systems Analysis“The scenarios you’re running here are like great science fiction. They’re impressive and detailed and insightful, but they’re not accurate for crap. Your simulations are nothing more than anxieties. You’re afraid you don’t fit in. You’re afraid you’ll be alone. Great news – you share that with all of us, so you’ll never be alone. You’ll always fit in.” — Annie This episode is almost entirely set in the Dreamatorium. Annie keeps Abed company while Troy and Britta go on a lunch date, only to quickly get frustrated with Abed’s lack of empathy. She “reprograms” the Dreamatorium (keep in mind it’s all tissue boxes and toilet paper rolls) to make Abed consider the feelings of others and, well, it breaks him and they end up in a world without Abed. On a technical level, it’s an impressive achievement. Danny Pudi jumps between impressions of the other characters, while the rest of the cast plays Abed’s versions of them. (Joel McHale is especially good at this.) It’s exceedingly clever and intricate, and both Pudi and Alison Brie are just amazing in the episode. (In a better world, they’d be on the Emmy nomination list this year.) But it’s the emotional content that makes this one of the best half-hours of TV all year. In Abed’s scenario, he has to be locked away because nobody needs him anymore. He sees himself as something that people grow out of. This leads to one of the most heartbreaking and insightful scenes of the year. (I wrote about the episode and how much the scene meant to me personally here.) For all its inventiveness, one of Community’s greatest assets is its heart. (EJ)

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