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TV Tonight: Community Rolls the Dice with D&D Episode

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Throughout its second season, Community has weekly redefined what its half-hour comedy can look like: there was a Christmas stop-motion episode, an Apollo 13 parody, a study-group mystery involving a stolen pencil and an honest-to-God zombie episode. Tonight, the show plays—literally—with its structure again by constructing an entire episode around a game of Dungeons & Dragons.

Time permitting, I’ll do a longer review/breakdown of the episode tomorrow, but it’s yet again an example that Community has something that’s essential to excellent TV—a sense of adventure and play. Not to mention a creative gauntlet to the competition: I’m not sure that The Big Bang Theory has ever done anything so wholly, committedly geeky. And though I haven’t played D&D since high school (and I played a lot), to my recollection anyway, it’s as faithful a reproduction of gameplay as I would expect from a sitcom.

Of course it’s unfair to compare any show with one of the greatest episodes of one of the greatest TV shows ever, but I would be remiss if I did not use this as an excuse to embed one of my favorite scenes from Freaks and Geeks. Go, Carlos the Dwarf!