Community Episodes

2009, TV Show

Community Episode: "Spanish 101"

Season 1, Episode 2
Episode Synopsis: Jeff tries to become Britta's Spanish partner, but his scheming backfires. Elsewhere, Shirley and Anna pitch in with Britta's social-justice case.
Original Air Date: Sep 24, 2009

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Season 1, Episode 2
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Aired: 9/24/2009
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Community Episode Recap: "Spanish 101" Season 1, Episode 2

In this episode of Community, Jeff tries to become Britta's Spanish partner, but his scheming backfires. Meanwhile, Shirley and Anna pitch in with Britta's social-justice case. It seems that the Jeff-Britta love connection is central to driving the plot of the show, with little else happening to give depth to the other characters. Going into the second episode, the real question is this: Is this series a one-trick pony? Let's find out.

It seems that the Jeff-Britta love connection is central to driving the plot of the show, with little else happening to give depth to the other characters. But when Spanish professor, Senor Chang (The Hangover's Ken Jeong) shows up can humor hopes be restored and save the show? Or will they all fail their Spanish project as well as our expectations?

When we first catch up with Jeff just before study session, his smooth-talking, confident ways are reinforced by him stealing a faculty parking sticker for a prime spot. He kisses the hand of every lady (with the exception of Britta) in the study group and gives high fives to every guy awaiting his arrival at their usual table, in light of his tardiness. It's apparent he has somehow trained this group of Spanish-challenged classmates with his slick-talkin' ways. He can do no wrong in their eyes, but his intentions are questionable if not shallow. By the end of the intro, he's got Annie's notes from class and Shirley batting her eyelashes. Britta isn't impressed, using such repellent phrases like "I have douche ray vision." Jeff remains undeterred and hands her a two-week anniversary card, saying it's been two weeks since their first impressions, and he'd like to fix the wrongs he's done. She politely declines.

In addition to Jeff, it seems Annie and Shirley are equally as taken by Britta as well. They look up to her and her work overseas in the Peace Corps as motivation to make changes at their own school. Britta looks uneasy when asked to help the Guatemalans in a silent protest.

Cut to Spanish class, and guess who's standing at the head of the class? The Hangover's Ken Jeong! In front of a sea of confused faces, Senior Chang tries to speak to their uncertainty. It's possible his knowledge of the Spanish language could be limited considering his Asian descent, but he combats the haters in the room with hilarious lines such as "Why not math, why not photography, why not martial arts, surely it should be in my nature to teach you something of ancient secret". But he reassures them his knowledge will "bite you in the face!" It's true, I must admit, his presence was a nice surprise in an otherwise dull climate, and he did make me smile during his brief stay. His comedy was familiar, though, and included his signature shouting and nonsensical condescending upon a helpless audience.

When the class is assigned a project by random cards, the shuffling of partners begins. Jeff bribes Abed for his card, because his matches Britta's. But somehow Jeff not only got the card, but traded shirts with Abed, only to find out that Britta had a completely different card than he swapped for. Jeff finds out Pierce has his match, and suddenly, it's the two of them partnering up after hours to put together an eloquent Spanish conversation by morning. We soon learn that the two go about this task in very different ways.

Meanwhile, Britta's friends are still trying to put together a silent protest and look to Britta for advice. However, she looks embarrassed and uneasy to participate, though in the end she agrees. Why is she so hesitant? Could it be she was never in the Peace Corps? Hmmmmm...very interesting.

When we check back in with Pierce and Jeff, we find Pierce has brought some wine and wants to have a "sausage fest" with Jeff. He's obviously looking to connect with a friend, but Jeff isn't having it. With little to no studying having occurred in a two-hour period, Jeff stands up and says he wants to pretend to care about whatever Britta's doing and storms out. I find it particularly sad in this scene that Chevy Chase isn't given a chance to shine. He has few punch lines, but I find myself silently cheering for him during his short spurts on camera.

There is a tender moment when Jeff joins Britta amongst the other activists. While the protesters have their mouths taped and hold signs that read "Silence = Death", Britta apologizes for being so hard on Jeff. "I'm not perfect," Britta mouths under the masking tape. "I am, so if you need help in that department I'm your guy," Jeff jokes back. But this moment was interrupted by an extremely drunk Pierce, who stumbles out of the classroom and has an altercation with Jeff. Pierce tells Britta that Jeff was pretending to care, but ultimately, Pierce is set on fire from the vigil candles and runs away screaming into a nearby fountain. Jeff and Britta come to terms with that random scene and Britta drops more hints about her possible non-involvement in the Peace Corps by saying things like "it's more than I ever accomplished."

Next morning in Spanish class, just as Senor Chang relays the fact that Pierce and Jeff had an argument and could not complete the project as partners. Britta explains to Jeff just as Pierce is about to get up in front of the class with his tiny sombrero that Pierce gave her 100 bucks to be partners with Jeff because he just wanted to be friends and be accepted by the coolest guy in class. Jeff feels horrible, and we cut to a montage of Pierce and Jeff giving an extremely long presentation to the class, complete with many different props, scenes and setups. Some of these sequences are actually hilarious and was the first time I laughed all episode.

Immediately upon completion of their passionate project, Senor Chang gives them both an F. Pierce jokes. "Did you say S'?" Haha, yeah Chevy!. The episode ultimately ends with Pierce and Jeff arm-in-arm and the door of possibility creaking open as Britta flirtatiously describes Jeff as no longer being a sexual option after that class performance.

So what did you think? Do you buy the sexual tension between Jeff and Britta? Do you, like me, want to root for Chevy Chase in this comedic role despite the thin portrayal he is given to work with, or has he lost his touch? It's possible that you may have clicked away right after Ken Jeong's cameo, and I'd completely understand that. Will you stay tuned in for next week?

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In this episode of Community, Jeff tries to become Britta's Spanish partner, but his scheming backfires. Meanwhile, Shirley and Anna pitch in with Britta's social-justice case. It seems that the Jeff-Britta love connection is central to driving the plot of the show, with little else happening to give depth to the other characters. Going into the second episode, the real question is this: Is this series a one-trick pony? Let's find out.

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Premiered: September 17, 2009, on NBC
Rating: TV-PG
User Rating: (583 ratings)
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Premise: A comedy series about an oddball group of students attending a community college in Colorado.

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