Community, Season 4

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

Community, Season 4


Annie, are you OK?

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.

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.


Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.


Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 21 2014 12:43 PM Watch Rachel Dratch and Tina Fey Do a Second City Sketch in 1997
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 21 2014 8:00 AM An Astronaut’s Guided Video Tour of Earth
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.