Community season 6 continued this week with a new episode. “Laws of Robots and Party Rights” isn’t especially flashy or elaborate, but it is a joke dense episode that also has Joel McHale’s best performance since “Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking.”
The episode begins with Frankie suggesting an initiative that would allow prisoners to take classes at Greendale remotely via iPads. Jeff is all for the initiative. He reminds everyone that not all bad guys go to prison and not everyone in prison is a bad guy. Britta is super into this side of him, but he quickly adds that he’s mostly all for the cash incentive the state is offering for schools that will participate. Jeff changes his tune when he meets Willy, a slick convict who starts manipulating the Dean. Willy is played by Cougar Town‘s Brian van Holt, who gives a very strong guest performance.
In the subplot, Britta finds a way around Annie’s rule against no parties at the apartment by convincing Abed to make a movie about a party at their apartment. It’s a simple plot line but it does a great job with the relationship between all three of these characters.
Although it’s not a stand out episode in terms of concept, this episode has three big fundamental things going for it: it’s packed with great jokes, has each character at their best, and showcases all of the relationships between the group in a positive way. Britta’s attempt to explain what “hoisted by your own petard” is was fun, but what really made it stand out is that although there’s a hint of laughing a the character, Jeff’s amusement is full of genuine affection. It felt much less mean that similar gags in other episodes that paint Britta as ditzy. It was also a great touch that this episode gave us a moment of Britta getting to call Jeff a buzzkill.