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Basically I have SO MANY feelings about Community's finale last night. That I actually wrote a goddamn essay. God what is this show doing to me. At this rate, I'll be writing fanfics soon.

You know the more I read people's reactions about Community last night, the sadder I feel. This was such a positive, sweet and fun fandom and now things are turning really ugly and negative. Yet, I can understand very well why people are angry. This isn't just people whining over their ship not getting enough attention or whining about too many parodies (those people could be laughed off) now there is anger and fury at the way the women were handled, at how Jeff is suddenly most eligible greendale bachelor, how the ensemble dynamic was spoiled and how Britta was cruelly treated and written OOC.
Though I do not agree wholeheartedly with all of this, I do agree with alot of it. The unfortunate implications in the finale were really at astronomical levels and I find it hard to believe that Dan Harmon DOESNT know that. I've been reading this guys blog and twitter regularly like the crazy stalker fan that I am and this is guy is not an oblivious fool nor does he strike me as a sexist asshole. So I am left feeling very confused as to what his intentions were with this finale. What's his plan? Why have the girls fight each other? Why have Britta make a fool of herself? Why have Annie and Jeff make out at the worst time possible? That said, I do feel like there was a REASON for all this, not just to shock the audience or take potshots at Britta, but real narrative reasons.
I feel like Harmon understands the art of storytelling better than most. By that I mean, I think he is very aware how people can read television and how television affects and influences people. As I said to someone else at the community-tv comm, Community is as much a show about television and all the cliches and tropes found there-in as much as it is a show about students in community college.
The way everyone has SUCH strong feelings about the finale and is voicing them is not a coincidence. I feel like this is what the writers wanted to see happen, they wanted to do something to make us viewers and fans REACT. However, even if that is true it doesn't take away the deeply unfortunate handling of the women in this episode. Before I continue with what I want to say about Britta and Britta/Jeff. I want to first say that I feel kind of pissed off at the fangirls who are saying Dan Harmon is some kind of gross chauvinist pig who is basically writing Jeff as his handsome self insert now. and that Britta was treated like shit because she is based on his ex-girlfriends (which btw, didnt he just say she was like them a bit rather than explicity based on any or all of them? but even if he did say that, does it really mean that he has some kind of pathetic grudge over all his old gfs and britta was strictly created to mock all of them? there is such a thing as amicable break ups people!) I find it insulting personally as a fan of Britta that people can assume her presence on this show was all so Harmon can take potshots at his old girflriends. I think he has alot more respect for his craft, his audience and his characters. I can't imagine him taking the time to create, and develop Britta as a character JUST so she can be brought down as a joke/slap in the face to old gfs at the finale. Seriously people, you really believe that shit? I don't understand how anyone can think Harmon hates Britta. There is no writer in this WORLD that hates his own creations/characters, even the bad ones! But Britta isnt a villain or an antagonist, she's just a flawed human being. Maybe her flaws were based on or inspired by women that Harmon dated but it doesn't mean she's just there to be hated otherwise why give her any redeeming qualities at all? Harmon said before that Britta's becoming more openly flawed and mocked made her much more sympathetic to others. I suspect everything that happened in the finale was calculated, but what I don't understand is...to what end? What is trying to be achieved here? Making everyone mad on Britta's behalf and side with her? Making Jeff/Annie seem really unappealing now? Reminding everyone what a jerk Jeff is? Making.....wait a minute. I think I just answered my own questions. You know, it occurs to me...you know Harmon DID say that regardless of how people react, they will still take the story where they want to take it but depending on people's feelings would depend on how things are framed and handled even as they progress to the same destination....You know, it would be kind of hilarious if this was Harmon's way of dealing with some issues they had so far. Which is the unpopularity of Britta, and Jeff becoming too good a guy too soon. Not to mention how Jeff/Annie is the fandom favorite, even when it seems like Jeff/Britta is supposed to be the endgame. By pulling this shit....well, I think I can see where this is going afterall. Before I get into that though, I really wanna talk about Jeff/Annie for a minute.

I have to say, I am kind of amazed that so many of them are happy. I actually thought they would be furious, because were I in their position. I would be furious. Yet this seems to be grandly romantic to alot of J/A fans and I am thinking to myself, really? I mean I never disliked the ship so nothing I say now is out of spite or malice. I don't take ships that seriously to begin with. However, the way I read that final scene was....not romantic, to say the least. Jeff just had two women confess to him, after fighting over him in a very scary fashion. Jeff spent a good amount of time wanting Britta and then dating Slater. Before he kisses Annie, Jeff says Britta makes him feel like the man he is, but at the same time he is unsure of himself and who he wants to be with. When Annie voices similiar reservations about her current choices and her desire to be with Vaughn, they end up kissing each other. This strikes me as something that is happening out of a sense of desperation and confusion as well as mutual attraction rather than anything much deeper. Which isn't to say that no one can be happy about it, but if you're someone who wants them to be together for real or at the end, then this is kind of a slap in the face really. Then again if you just want them to be together at all then yeah it's a dream come true. Personally I feel bad for Annie cause Jeff just proved what a child he still is. Annie is a child so her actions are more forgivable I think. Basically I don't see Jeff/Annie lasting long term, especially with such shaky foundations being the groundstone of their relationship at this point. We'll see though. Maybe they are Ment2b~

As for Britta. I've said this twenty times already in the community-tv Comm. So I'll just quote myself:

I am torn because seeing the women behave childishly like that was sad but seeing Britta in FULL bitch mode was pretty awesome and hilarious. That said it made sense to me, it's been established that Britta is very insecure and has a fragile ego, I can't help but wonder if her acting out the way she did had alot to do with it. I guess I didn't feel like the show was framing it as "this is how women always act" but rather how those particular women would act. It also fit the too much of a good thing theme they had going. (as in Jeff seemed really confused and freaked out by all the attention rather than happy whereas when it was just one or the other he was much happier) Also I can't help but wonder if both slater and britta's behavior was more about their own sense of competition (and ego) than Jeff or even love (assuming both were 100% sincere when they confessed and I felt like the way they both did it was majorly messed up and again felt like it was more about them winning). I kept waiting for the show to shed more light on that or for Jeff himself to comment about that or comment that he didnt like how they were acting, but it didn't happen. I guess this seems like too smart a show to me for that to just be all but I guess we'll have to wait till next season to see how it's handled. I feel like alot of threads were left hanging but that may have been intentional.

and also

Actually I agree with this. Like I mentioned upthread, I think Britta's insecurity and competitive spirit took over and it became more about winning and proving she was better, than it was about Jeff or love. I do think she has feelings for him and maybe even very strong feelings but I think if it was just about her feelings she would NEVER have admitted it that way. For her to make a grand scene like that, she was really just trying to beat Slater at that point. Which I think is sad, because it shows how much more growing up she still needs to do before she can truly enter into a serious relationship (esp when earlier in the ep she made it clear she didnt want jeff being all lovey dovey with her. further showing that she wasn't ready for that kind of relationship yet)

Jeff's behavior though also shows he's got some major growing up to do before he can be serious about anybody as well. I mean kissing Annie after expressing his conflicted feelings over both women? Not exactly what I call classy. though I suppose this clears up any doubts that he was becoming too much of a good guy too soon.heh.


So yeah basically, I DON'T think Britta was being enitrely OOC. However, I DO think that the writers were not being clear enough with what was going on with Britta. Because if you read things at face value, then she did in fact go COMPLETELY OOC however, if you read between the lines and look at her characterization throughout the season, then it makes more sense, however the fact there were no hints dropped within this episode to support this theory is a very glaring error indeed. Suffice to say I agree with this poster like alot:
As for Britta, I really do think that she let Shirley talk her into going for it with Jeff, but the Slater rivalry pushed her over the edge into insanity where she declared her love for Jeff without even really considering if it was a good idea, never mind if it was how she was actually feeling. I think the biggest problem is that the show didn't take the time to show that she wasn't really in her right mind when she did that, probably because they wanted to end it on a Jeff/Annie note. But it really did Britta a disservice, in my opinion. She's been awesome lately, but she's virtually unrecognizable in this episode because the only clue we have that her declaration is more about the rivalry than about her feelings is the fact that THIS ISN'T BRITTA. And I think it's asking too much of an audience to have that much faith in the show's characterization.

So basically even if Harmon didn't mean for Britta to be his personal punching bag or to be OOC, it still could have been handled a hell of alot better. That said, I can't help but think that the incidents of the finale were all some kind of reverse psychology. The writers WANT us to like Britta, so they give her a hard time, they want us to be more open to Jeff/Britta without completely ignoring Jeff/Annie, so they have Jeff/Annie happen but over rather sketchy circumtances. Finally they want Jeff to still be kind of a dick so that he still has room to grow in the following seasons, so they....well have him do what he did. Very effective I'd say. and Funnily enough on his twitter he said he's happy with the reaction to the finale. Considering how angry so much of it is...I suspect he saw it coming.

I suppose all that's left to do now, is to wait and see what happens and hope that this show really is as smart as we'd all like it to be. Well, for now. I'm gonna keep the faith. Don't let me down show!

(Basically though, my favorite things about this episode were the Chang/Duncan fight and Troy with his big cookie of epiphany)
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Tai

October 2010

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