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Welcome to Character Evolution! For the next three weeks, we will be focusing on three episodes this season that represent the evolution of three main characters: Dean Pelton, Shirley and Chang. Feel free to chime in on how they have evolved in the last three seasons, including how the show itself revealed their motivations and quirks. While the focus is mainly on these three characters, feel free to bring up how the other characters have evolved in this season as well.

The week this episode was shown, we had the most disheartening news in the history of fandom (now second only to that awful news we had early this summer). Many have commented on how telling that this episode aired after the hiatus news broke out. Is this episode symptomic of the Community fandom? Did it unwittingly reveal the difficulties behind the scenes? Let's discuss!



3. 08 — Documentary Filmmaking: Redux

Character development: Dean Pelton
Let's look at the evolution of this season's newly-minted main character Dean Pelton. For a deeper analysis, we can look at the following episodes and see how he developed in the last three seasons: 1.01, 1.05, 1.06, 2.09, 2.17, 2.21, 2.23-2.24, 3.11, 3.19. Feel free to pull up your own favorite Dean moments from other episodes.
  • What was your initial impression of Dean Pelton? Did you think his character was going to be significant in the latter seasons?
  • How would you tie in Dean Pelton's objective of improving Greendale with the things we've seen him attempt and accomplish for the school and its students?
  • Would you say that Dean Pelton has been successful in his objective? How much of his success (or lack thereof) could be attributed to his own personality?
  • Were you surprised that the Dean did not graduate from Greendale? Do you think Luis Guzman was right to say the Dean thinks he's better than Greendale?

Character study:
  • What was Abed's role in this episode? Why did Abed step up for the Dean in the end?
  • What made Jeff commit to the role of Dean? Isn't his usual MO to put in as little effort as possible?
  • Why did all the students stay for four days of filming? Was it a case of Stockholm Syndrome?
  • Did Pierce actually play it smart? What was he doing while holed up in the trailer?

Other questions:
  • Favorite line and scene?
  • Anything else you'd like to discuss?

Extra credits:
Production Code: 308
Directed by: Joe Russo
Written by: Megan Ganz

Character Evolution: 3.08 Documentary Filmmaking: Redux | 3.11 Urban Matrimony and the Sandwich Arts | 3.21 The First Chang Dynasty

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
crittab
Jun. 20th, 2012 04:57 am (UTC)
Character development: Dean Pelton

What was your initial impression of Dean Pelton? Did you think his character was going to be significant in the latter seasons?


Dean Pelton was the first character to make me laugh out loud on Community ("That being said, I wish you well!"). I don't know that I expected him to become more than the occasional announcement guy, but I'm SO glad he did!

How would you tie in Dean Pelton's objective of improving Greendale with the things we've seen him attempt and accomplish for the school and its students?

We know Dean Pelton is a weird one, so his version of improvement is to have a lot of dances and spend money in weird places. All of the things he's done make sense from his own twisted logic, like going insane while trying to make the best Greendale ad possible.

Sometimes I think his odd/unspecified sexuality and his attraction to Jeff detract from his desire to do well (like when he blackmailed Jeff to spend a day at the mall with him), but ultimately it usually comes back to his key character trait of wanting to improve Greendale, and that's admirable, if slightly misguided.

Would you say that Dean Pelton has been successful in his objective? How much of his success (or lack thereof) could be attributed to his own personality?

Yes and no. If you give him time to alter your state of mind, then I think the way the study group has come to love Greendale shows that he has been successful. However, if you can't put in that time, then he's probably just messing things up.

Were you surprised that the Dean did not graduate from Greendale? Do you think Luis Guzman was right to say the Dean thinks he's better than Greendale?

Nope, I think the point of Greendale is that it graduates underachievers. The Dean is many things, but he is NOT an underachiever. We also know he was the Dean of another school (that no longer exists), which suggests a longish career in academia.

I thought the Luiz Guzman thing was just weird.

Character study:
What was Abed's role in this episode? Why did Abed step up for the Dean in the end?


Abed just wants to have an award worthy documentary. And he was really into Hearts of Darkness. I think he stepped in because despite how he sees himself, he genuinely does care and wants things to have a happy ending.

What made Jeff commit to the role of Dean? Isn't his usual MO to put in as little effort as possible?

I think he just got wrapped up in it the way everyone did. They all went crazy. When he was still Jeff being Jeff, he did all he could to sabotage his own role.

Why did all the students stay for four days of filming? Was it a case of Stockholm Syndrome?

Pretty much, I think. That, and when some guy who has control over your academic career goes nuts and asks you to do things, you're likely to just do them.

Did Pierce actually play it smart? What was he doing while holed up in the trailer?

I think Chevy Chase was taking a week off.

Other questions:
Favorite line and scene?


"I loved you innnnnnnnn....... IMDB... That was tragic."

Loved the end scene with the group hug. Very sweet.

Anything else you'd like to discuss?

Usually when Community does an homage episode they still go out of their way to have jokes for people who don't know a lot about what they're referring to. I 'got' the chicken finger episode despite not having seen Goodfellas... but this one, I just didn't 'get'. It took me a few viewings to actually enjoy it, but I still feel it's one of the weaker episodes of the season, just because there wasn't enough for me to grab onto.

Edited at 2012-06-20 05:01 am (UTC)
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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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