Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Community Christmas Episodes Ranked


In preparing for this week’s podcast episode and this blog post, I ended up watching all four of the Community Christmas episodes. First time I’ve done it since randomly watching them a couple years ago, while catching up with a friend. So like I did with the Friends Thanksgiving episodes, here’s my ranking for Christmases at Greendale Community College.

4. Intro to Knots

I tried really hard to like this episode so that Season 4 didn’t end up at the bottom of my list. But despite the setting of the study group’s Christmas party, the politics involved in Cornwallis’s antics were distracting from any holiday mood or theme. It was like the episode with the purple pen, but with Christmas presents. Also, this one kind of triggers memories of Annie Edisons I knew in college who argued for 100% instead of being pleased with their 90% grade; who needs some useless PT school flashbacks?

3. Regional Holiday Music

I know this episode was meant to be cringy, but if it weren’t for the meh-ness of “Intro to Knots” I think this one would have been my last favorite Christmas episode. As it stands, this episode was just kind of weird, especially Annie's song (I know they were all supposed to appear brainwashed, but she just appeared stupid, to say the least). Maybe if I’d watched and/or made fun of Glee I’d have felt differently, but I just had a hard time with this one. That being said, this episode did give us a couple really good lines like “What are regionals? They’re this close!” And of course the classic meme fodder line, “Oh, Britta’s in this?”

2. Comparative Religion

This is where my ranking of Christmas episodes finally deviates from the season order. First off, I still enjoyed this episode (I previously wrote about it in 2019). While recording this week’s podcast episode, we kind of touched on why I love and hate this episode. Honestly, it all comes down to Shirley. Having been a missionary in the culturally diverse Canada Toronto Mission, and living in the equally diverse Dallas/Fort Worth area now, I’ve been exposed to other cultures and religions in a way that I’ve grown to love others’ traditions and even had some religious envy on how their beliefs function compared to stereotypical Christianity. So seeing Shirley judge her friends for how they treated “Christmas” (read: Shirley’s December 10th holiday party) really bugged me. If for no other reason, it bugged me that Shirley assumed her study group was full of Christians. I wouldn’t even assume that living in the south. 

1. Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas

TJ and I talked about this episode in depth during our recent podcast episode, as well as both of us writing about it previously (me in 2017 and TJ last year). But what I love about this episode is that it shows how Christmas can mean different things to different people. Yes, of course I believe in celebrating the birth of Christ at this time of year. However, Christmas has become more than a religious holiday, as it brings people together regardless of religious beliefs. As Abed articulated, “The meaning of Christmas is that Christmas has meaning.” In many ways, that’s even more appropriate, considering the Savior wasn’t born at the Winter Solstice (as Britta notes). We give this time of year meaning, whatever that meaning is, and I believe that brings the spirit of Christmas (the spirit of Christ) into our homes.

So if you’re only going to watch one Community Christmas episode, you have my preferences (in case you care, here’s TJ’s rankings: season 2, season 3, season 1, season 4). Until our next Community and/or Christmas themed content… CHRISTMAS PTERODACTYL!  

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