A Few Things Related to the Genius of Community’s Alternate Realities Episode

Last Thursday’s episode of Community was phenomenally great. Honestly. It was such a reward for longtime watchers of the show and another example of how Dan Harmon continually raises the bar. Basically, the episode featured six timelines on how each member of the study group can impact the whole just by being gone for a few minutes.

Anyway, this collection of tidbits on the episode is more for those that have already watched it.

1. This chart by Vulture helps you keep each stream straight:

2. After the episode, many hypothesized how it fit into the show’s larger story arc. One insisted that Abed’s was the real timeline, not Jeff’s. Adam Quigley, at Slashfilm, also goes in depth on the episode.

3. Alas, Dan Harmon insists all those theories are hogwash.

The “real” timeline – that is to say, the one which the NBC TV show Community will continue to track – is the timeline you see mapped at the center in those awesome transitions created by Channel 101’s Duncan Brothers. That center, or “prime” timeline, is the one in which Abed catches the die, exposes Jeff as a selfish hooligan and the group sends him down for the pizza. That is the “real” timeline. And when we were not in it, I did everything I could to make it clear. As much fun as we want to have, we never want to confuse you or lie to you. We just don’t consider that a right that we have. I hated that stupid “The Killing” show on AMC after the first five minutes; don’t show me someone discovering a body but then reveal that the camera was somewhere else and it was a pig. That’s dumb. That’s not storytelling, that’s a parlor trick and an abuse of power.

4. Finally, Harmon posted some of the whiteboards used to breakdown the complicated episode.

Basically, this was a nice reminder that Community is still the best comedy and perhaps the best show on television. You can watch “Remedial Chaos Theory” on Hulu. It’s been embedded after the jump for those who are inclined.

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