Editor’s Note: This is my 500th post.
The opening episode of season 4 of Community, “History 101,” felt off for me. It lacked the charm the old episodes had, which I thought was mainly due to creator Dan Harmon’s departure from the show. I was worried the series wouldn’t be able to recover from this and that it would go downhill from here.
The second episode, “Paranormal Parentage,” however, reassures me that Community isn’t slipping. It’s about as funny, clever, and original as it was before. Maybe new showrunners David Guarascio and Moses Port just were warming up with “History 101.” Despite that the episode was meant to take place back in October (since it’s a Halloween episode), which might have hurt the episode’ relevance, it was still a very funny and effective episode.
Community‘s Halloween episodes rival the old Treehouse of Horror episodes The Simpsons put out, mostly because it gave the writers opportunity to put out moments of hilarity and horror. “Paranormal Parentage” continues the fashion and gave Community the opportunity to do so.
The episode parodied haunted house movies, and did so pretty effectively. But what I really enjoyed about the episode is the exploration of its character. Unlike 30 Rock, which in its past three seasons has treated its characters like punch lines, Community has given its characters depth. Jeff’s relationship with his father has always had a major role in the show, and it was well played here.
I wouldn’t put call it one of the show’s strongest episodes, but “Paranormal Parentage” makes me feel Community will be okay.