Community: Season 3, Episode 16

Virtual Systems Analysis (19 Apr. 2012)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Comedy
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 1,018 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 2 critic

The study group takes a three hour lunch. Annie suggests Abed shows her how the Dreamatorium works so Troy and Britta can be together. But their 'Inspector Spacetime' simulation soon turns ... See full summary »



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The study group takes a three hour lunch. Annie suggests Abed shows her how the Dreamatorium works so Troy and Britta can be together. But their 'Inspector Spacetime' simulation soon turns into a hospital bound drama in which Abed takes on the personalities of the other group members. Written by The TV Archaeologist

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Release Date:

19 April 2012 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


When Abed is impersonating Jeff, the vending machines sell buttered noodles See more »


The "control panel" in the Dreamatorium starts out perfectly centered between four squares, but changes to being more toward the right of the four squares when Abed becomes Jeff. See more »


References Cougar Town (2009) See more »


Performed by Buddy
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User Reviews

Community's streak of good episodes ends with this one.
20 April 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Community is one of my favorite shows, its only real flaw is that out of every season of 20 or so episodes you get five episodes that are bad, maybe 3 that are average, and the rest are good to brilliant. The brilliant ones are the ones that keep me coming back, for example last week's episode where Britta has to be kept away from her ex boyfriend Blade was a hilarious episode 10/10.

This one fails, not big time like a few of the other community episodes but it attempts to be different and in the process forgets that it also needs to be entertaining. The ultimate problem is that this episode leans largely on a very weak plot-line in community one that should only really be touched upon jokingly and never focused on fully. For example in the 11th episode of this season, Troy and Abed decide they need to be "normal" for Shirley's wedding so they go in the dreamatorium to weird out for several hours and normalize themselves. In that context its funny, its touched upon briefly and if you think the dreamatorium is a stupid plot-line gimmick you don't have to deal with it for long.

In this episode Annie and Abed go into the dreamatorium, a room in their apartment that they have painted with stripes so that they can go in there and play make believe for several hours. At one point during the dream sequence Pierce say's "can I just say I have no idea what is going on here." That line was essentially throwing the casual viewers a bone, saying look if you don't get this don't worry it doesn't make that much sense anyways. So Annie and Abed go in there to play make believe and Abed soon gets bored with Annie since she doesn't know how to play in his make believe world of inspector space time, so he develops a game where by Annie is a hospital administrator, something she wants to be in reality, and from there the show goes on in a strange direction where Abed's social awkwardness is further explored and examined.

Here are a few of the inconsistencies with this episode, we are shown two things Abed weirding out big time, and Troy having an obsession with Abed. While Abed does get weird, and while Troy and Abed have a strange relationship, its not the the extent that this episode shows it. Troy would be able to go and have a good lunch with Britta as it has been shown many times before that they have a solid relationship that may be more than a friendship.

There wasn't really any of Jeff Winger (Joel McHale) in this episode and he is basically the necessary anchor within this show, he is shown a few times but in the dream world where Abed is essentially playing Jeff as the way he thinks Annie perceives him. So a Jeff-less episode already had the odds set against it, and by focusing the action all on the dreamatorium this episode just drifted too far off into weird land.

Here's the other weakness of this episode, usually we have two or three plot lines to follow, so in case we find one dull at least we will be entertained by another. For example last week episode 15 of this season, we see Britta freaking out at Annie's apartment, Jeff and Shirley teaming up to investigate Blade, and Pierce attempting to become best friends with Chang. All three funny story lines, if you didn't like one then you'd like the other two at least. Where as this episode has its one and only plot-line of the dreamatorium, I briefly was hopeful that they would flash over to show Britta and Troy eating lunch but we didn't get any of that.

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