Community Community

All I want for Christmas is for some other shows to try as hard as Community.

Last night, the under-watched smile factory that is NBC's junior-college comedy scored yet another win with an animated holiday outing inspired by Abed's meaning-of-Christmas crisis. And if there is any show that can pull off a fantastical, stop-motion episode, it's the one that has already done wonders with its spoofs of action films and horror movies.

But this was no mere lampoon of the classic Rankin-Bass claymation classics. Instead, the episode stayed true to Community's offbeat oddness by turning Abed's Christmas confusion (he is a Muslim, after all) into a trek through the Winter Wonderland of his already detached psyche to see if he and his classmates could crack the reason for the season. Along the way, we got dialogue that crackled like a Yulelog, a TV Guide Magazine shout-out, some pretty messed-up deaths (told you it was offbeat) and a non-resolute resolution that is sure to have Lost fans adding exec producer Dan Harmon to their naughty list.

For as ambitious as the episode was, there were surprisingly few fumbles. Things only seemed to go off the tracks during a train sequence that just got a little too weird, and we definitely could have used more of Baby Shirley's singing. Girl can blow! But other than that, this was a real holiday treat. Now let's just hope that Santa was watching and leaves the gang some better ratings under the tree.

Did you watch? Was it a hit or a humbug?

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