Community, Season 4

Annie, Are You OK? Community’s Maturity Problem.
Talking television.
Feb. 25 2013 3:02 PM

Community, Season 4

VIEW ALL ENTRIES

Annie, are you OK?

1361819712045
Why is Annie turning into such a baby?

Photo by Vivian Zink/NBC

Three episodes into the new season of Community, it’s become apparent that the show doesn’t really know who its characters are anymore. Understandably, Pierce has grown more and more obsolete, probably due to Chevy Chase’s impending exit from the show. But what about Greendale’s other characters, who are sticking around at least until May? In last week’s Halloween episode, for instance, Troy was reduced to a clueless infant, a grown man who seemed oblivious to anything relating to sex. In “Conventions of Space and Time,” it was Annie’s turn to play the dimwit.

Annie devolves into a small child with irritatingly ditzy qualities when she begins to play “Mrs. Winger” in her hotel room at the convention. (Jeff’s uninterested in hanging around with her—perhaps because she’s gotten so childish?—once an avalanche cancels their planned ski trip together.) She spends the majority of the episode re-enacting Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, if Kevin McCallister were a grown woman flightily pretending to be the wife of the man she not so secretly pines for.

Annie’s “girly girl” exterior didn’t feel smartly self-aware in the way it usually does—take, for instance, last season’s Christmas episode parody of Glee, when she attempted to seduce Jeff with a send-up of “Santa Baby.” (The Madonna version, not the sultry, mature Eartha Kitt one.) As she slithers around singing “Teach me how to understand Christmas,” Annie plays up her perceived innocence (and cluelessness) to the nth degree, but it’s clear the writers are making fun of the “sexy baby voice” and everything such stereotypes about women entail. (The song ends, bluntly, with “boop be doop be doop doop/ SEX.”) Unfortunately, she’s none too endearing now and saddled with a lame storyline with Jeff (that refuses to progress or just die) to boot.

Advertisement

This childish romp in the hotel room was nothing more than Annie letting out her subconscious love for Jeff, and that would be OK if it weren’t for the way it all ends: with her admitting that she’s “married” Jeff “at least” six times already in her dreams. (And Troy and Zac Efron. Is she 14?) Then she chuckles giddily as she sends Jeff off to get her an appletini. Why is she becoming such a baby? Is Annie Edison turning into Trudy Campbell before our eyes, one-dimensionally idealistic and naïve? Annie (and Alison Brie) deserves better.

Aisha Harris is a Slate staff writer.

TODAY IN SLATE

Culturebox

The Ebola Story

How our minds build narratives out of disaster.

The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics

A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers

Education

Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.

Culturebox

The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Would You Trust Walmart to Provide Your Health Care? (You Should.)

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
  Business
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
  Life
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 22 2014 5:54 PM May I Offer to Sharpen My Friends’ Knives? Or would that be rude?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
  Arts
Culturebox
Oct. 22 2014 11:54 PM The Actual World “Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.