I have a low tolerance for rape jokes. Even as someone who believes that comedy should take no prisoners, and that everyone and everything should be fair game for humor, I mostly find rape and molestation jokes abhorrent and not funny. Why? Because of incidents like these.
That’s why I really hate it when sitcoms have characters lying about being raped or molested for the sake of gaining sympathy. Incidents like the above happen all the time. Rape victims of both sexes are constantly accused of lying about what happened to them. I’m very disappointed in Community for having a story where Troy lies about being molested in an acting class in order to a) gain sympathy from his fellow students, and b) get into Britta’s pants.
This show is better than that. It’s also funnier than that. Community is a show that keeps the viewers on their toes, with plot twists and clever jokes coming out of nowhere. As soon as Troy lied, I rolled my eyes and groaned because I knew exactly how the rest of the episode would go: Britta would be attracted, Troy would continue with the lie, Britta would tell others, Troy would confess the truth, and the acting teacher would applaud him for tapping into real emotion. And that’s exactly what happened. This show is too good to rely on cheap, tired sitcom tropes like that. Not even Kevin Corrigan’s return as Professor Professorson, or Troy describing his emotions as “My heart is at war with my kidneys!” could save it.
I did enjoy the show’s two other plots, with Pierce finding a soulmate in a woman just as offensive and horrible as he. I also laughed for about five minutes in the hilarious conclusion to Abed’s “Who’s the Boss” subplot: Stephen Tobolowsky, upon realizing that his life’s work is discredited, opens the drawer to his desk and we see a gun…until he pulls it out further to find a copy of What WAS Happening? and starts reading it. THAT was a delightful fakeout worth this show.
The Troy subplot, however, was offensive, not funny, and a waste of Donald Glover. This episode was disappointing.