Community (2009–2015)
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Messianic Myths and Ancient Peoples 

Shirley asks Abed to make a film about Jesus, but he quickly angers Shirley by turning it into a self-indulgent mess. Meanwhile, Pierce begins blowing off the study group to hang out with the "hipsters."

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Alfred Dennis ...
Richard
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Joe
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Edith Jefferson ...
Pearl

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Storyline

Shirley gets inspired to create a religious film and asks Abed for his creative input only to discover that he wants to make one of his own. Meanwhile, Pierce comes to terms with being the oldest member of the group and is recruited by another set of students his own age. Written by NBC Publicity

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Comedy

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21 October 2010 (USA)  »

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16:9 HD
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Abed reveals to the Dean that his character's name in his movie is "Abed," the Dean replies that he loves Charlie Kaufman. Charlie Kaufman is a screenwriter and director whose movies often explore questions of identity; one of them, Being John Malkovich (1999), famously features the eponymous actor John Malkovich playing himself, similarly to Abed's role in his film. See more »

Quotes

Professor Ian Duncan: Open your books, because Abed has broken the Internet.
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Connections

References E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) See more »

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At Least It Was Here (Community Main Title)
Performed by The 88
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User Reviews

 
In honor of "Community"- a review of every episode. (S2;E05- "Messianic Myths and Ancient Peoples")
19 May 2017 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

(This is the thirtieth installment in an ongoing series. I am in the process of writing brief reviews of each and every episode of creator Dan Harmon's beloved cult-comedy series "Community." This project was originally conceived as a response to NBC's cancellation of the series before its renewal on Yahoo's streaming service. As this is a hobby, updates will come incrementally and it may take some time for me to complete this.)

It's always a pleasure to get an episode of any series that takes its focus off of the traditional leads and allows the rest of the cast to shine, and that's precisely what "Messianic Myths and Ancient Peoples" does. While at its heart "Community" might be an ensemble piece, the fact remains that at the end of the day, the main focus often does fall back on the same few characters- namely Jeff (Joel McHale), Britta (Gillian Jacobs) and Annie. (Alison Brie) Not that I'm complaining because they are excellent characters being portrayed by wonderful performers who add a great deal to the series.

But that's not in the case of this episode. No, "Messianic Myths and Ancient Peoples" turns the tables with the focus almost entirely placed on the shoulders of Abed (Danny Pudi), Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown) and Pierce. (Chevy Chase) And it comes very-much appreciated, especially in the case of Shirley and Pierce, who are well-used but often under-utilized in the grand scheme of the series. Especially knowing where the season goes from here, spending some quality time with their characters in this episode is vastly important, and both get a lot to do and make some great decisions that inform their characters. And despite Abed almost becoming a "mascot" for the series, to this point he's often been generally defined by his friendship with Donald Glover's Troy, so it's nice seeing him in a story that places him in a more proactive and independent role.

While cruising the internet during Anthropology class, Shirley irks the fellow students by asking them to see what happens when you search for "god." Determined by the ire of her classmates, she enlists Abed to help her produce a viral video about Jesus. But things quickly spin out of hand when Abed takes over the project and becomes obsessed with the bible, eventually turning what should have been a 30-second internet video into a feature-length film where Abed stars as a filmmaker who researches Jesus, only to discover that in a way he IS Jesus... as he puts it, a "Jesus movie for the postmodern world." Abed's pretentious film soon becomes the talk of the campus, leaving Shirley feeling abandoned and enraged by Abed's increasingly ludicrous claims about how amazing the film will be and his dedication to staying in-character as a Jesus-like figure, which she sees as blasphemous and disrespectful. At the same time, Pierce becomes furious at the group and decides to join a clique of elderly trouble-makers known as the "Hipsters" (so called because they all have hip-replacements) lead by the constantly immature Leonard. (Richard Erdman)

I've always found it confusing, but on the whole this does seem to be one of the more unpopular episodes of the second season. Perhaps its because the focus is taken off of the traditional leads and because traditionally likable characters make some poor decisions... but I found it works quite well and I very much enjoy it. It shakes up several members of the group and puts them into compromising scenarios where they have to take long, hard looks at themselves. This is especially true of Shirley and Abed, and their storyline is genuinely hilarious and oft-touching in a way. They both bring out the worst in themselves and must work to overcome the mistakes they make. It's also a great deal of fun seeing Pierce in his own one- off storyline, especially when paired with the delightful group of misfits known as the "Hipsters." I certainly won't complain about getting some more Leonard in the show.

And while the episode does generally have little impact on the rest of the season and series, I would argue that it's still quite important and impactful for the characters involved. There's something that feels "necessary" here. I can't quite place my finger on it. But I'm glad this episode was produced. And I definitely am glad that it helped to build the interpersonal relationships between members of the study-group we often don't get to spend enough time with. So, for that and for a really strong sense of humor (the meta-ness is off the charts in this episode!), I give "Messianic Myths and Ancient Peoples" an excellent 9 out of 10.


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