Community (2009–2015)
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The Art of Discourse 

Shirley gets Pierce kicked out the study group, Jeff and Britta plot revenge on a group of high schoolers who make fun of them for attending community college, and Troy helps Abed accomplish some of his movie-clichéd social goals.

Director:

Adam Davidson

Writers:

Dan Harmon (created by), Chris McKenna
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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
Joel McHale ... Jeff Winger
Gillian Jacobs ... Britta Perry
Danny Pudi ... Abed Nadir
Yvette Nicole Brown ... Shirley Bennett
Alison Brie ... Annie Edison
Donald Glover ... Troy Barnes
Ken Jeong ... Ben Chang
Chevy Chase ... Pierce Hawthorne
Lisa Rinna ... Mark's Mom
Jared Kusnitz ... Mark Cahill
Dean Collins ... Scott Waugh
Aaron Hill ... Pizza Guy
Richard Erdman ... Leonard
Jillian Rose Reed ... Kelly Cortlandt
Bryn Allen Bryn Allen ... Girl Scout
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Storyline

After Pierce crosses a line with Shirley, the group is forced to choose between the two. Meanwhile, Jeff and Britta face off against a group of young bullies, and their mother. Troy and Abed embark on a college "bucket list" of things they must accomplish before they graduate. Written by NBC Publicity

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 April 2010 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lisa Rinna guest stars in this episode and Jeff says something about her being on the real housewives. She is now on the real housewives although she wasn't when the episode aired. See more »

Goofs

When Troy is hit in the head with the cake, the first strike is in a totally different place than seen in the next shot. See more »

Quotes

Troy Barnes: My uncle was struck by lightening. You would think that would give you superpowers. But now he just masturbates in theaters.
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Connections

References The Real Housewives of Orange County (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Party Where Your Heart Is
(uncredited)
Performed by Trevor Armstrong
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User Reviews

 
In honor of "Community"- a review of every episode. (S1;E22- "The Art of Discourse")
2 January 2017 | by MaximumMadnessSee all my reviews

(This is the twenty-second part in an ongoing series, in which I am writing brief reviews of each and every episode of Dan Harmon's beloved cult- comedy "Community." Originally conceived as a response to NBC's cancellation of the series before it was revived for its final season on Yahoo.)

OK... I'm gonna level with you. I know "The Art of Discourse" isn't exactly a fan-favorite. And there's a pretty good reason for that. But when it comes to "Community", especially looking back now that the series is over... I love this episode. I love it, I love it, I love it. Because it's just so quintessentially "Community" in virtually every way, both good and bad. A lot of people seem really against this episode due to its frankly grating main storyline, but I find it all too endearing and entertaining. To me, this is a fine example of the show doing what it does best, and with style and great humor to boot! Yeah, it might be that one episode in the first season that makes fans want to shove cotton-wads into their ears and claw at their eyes... but sue me. I think it's great.

Jeff (Joel McHale) and Britta (Gillian Jacobs) run afoul a group of loud-mouthed, snotty-nosed teenagers who are visiting Greendale to check it out. Unable to deal with or even really comprehend being punked by High Schoolers, the two begin to plot together to try and get back at them... a plot that just might involve Jeff trying to seduce the "hot mom" (guest star Lisa Renna) of their leader Mark. (Jared Kusnitz) At the same time, Pierce (Chevy Chase) finally pushes Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown) to her breaking point, while Troy (Donald Glover) helps Abed (Danny Pudi) accomplish a list of goals based on the tropes and clichés of old college movies.

The thing most people seem to remember about "The Art of Discourse" is the villainous Mark and his gaggle of friends. And the reason they are so memorable to so many is that they are almost intolerably annoying. With their penchant for just repeating what the other characters say in a snarky tone, inserting a prolonged "Duuuhhh" at the end of every sentence and just being generally obnoxious, a lot of people view them much in the same way that they view characters like, say... Jar Jar Binks from "Phantom Menace" or Willie from "Temple of Doom"... unwanted and infuriating comedic side- characters that get far too much emphasis. But I actually think they're kind of the ideal foils for Jeff and Britta. The perfect villains for our two leads thanks to their beautifully simplistic and hilarious execution and portrayal. They're grating for a reason, and I think they work exceptionally well. It's just so much fun seeing such stupid characters getting such a rise out of everyone else. Oh, I hated them for the longest time. But once I got over it... I can't help but laugh at them every time they show up on screen.

The subplot involving Pierce and Shirley is actually quite good natured and has a lot of fun moments, and it's nice to see the two working off of each other. Despite his falling out with the series later on, Chase is actually really good when he's given the chance to stretch his acting chops, and it's always nice to see Shirley getting some business in an episode. I also really enjoyed Troy and Abed's mini-storyline here, and even though it might not play into the overall plot as much as I'd have liked, it does pay off in a big, bad way that I won't spoil. Add to that generally great humor, solid direction, tight writing and good supporting performances by our guest-stars and you got one heck of a great Season One installment for "Community."

It might not be an episode for everyone. And in fact it might be an episode for almost no one. But for me, "The Art of Discourse" easily earns a perfect 10 out of 10 for its sheer hilarity and high entertainment value. Duh!


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