Home Economics (Community)
|Episode no.||Season 1
|Directed by||Anthony Russo|
|Written by||Lauren Pomerantz|
|Original air date||November 5, 2009|
"Home Economics" is the eighth episode of the first season of the American comedy television series Community. It aired in the United States on NBC on November 5, 2009. The episode revolves around Jeff's (Joel McHale) living situation now that he no longer has the money he earned as a big-shot lawyer and the emotional aftermath of Britta (Gillian Jacobs) and Vaughn's (Eric Christian Olsen) breakup.
Ben Chang (Ken Jeong), the study group's Spanish instructor, notices Jeff (Joel McHale) sleeping in class and startles him awake by yelling "¡Buenos días!" As the students file out, Troy (Donald Glover) asks Annie (Alison Brie) for advice on a good date activity for a girl he likes, not realizing that Annie has a crush on him. Annie, despite her feelings, instructs him on a very romantic evening for him and his new friend. Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown) notices Annie's disappointment. Meanwhile, Britta (Gillian Jacobs) notices that Jeff looks less well-groomed than usual, and begins to interrogate him about it but he walks off when Vaughn (Eric Christian Olsen) walks up. He is cold to Britta after their recent breakup. He tells her that she's "toxic" and "the exact opposite of an antioxidant". Pierce (Chevy Chase) offers to talk to Vaughn, and decides to persist despite her explicit insistence not to.
Britta and Shirley notice Jeff bathing and brushing his teeth outside, and Shirley recognizes it for what it is, as her ex-husband had been in the same situation after accidentally calling her by another woman's name -- Jeff is living in his car. The group discusses Jeff's situation, and Pierce discusses his sexual exploits in the 70s. Then he tells Britta that he tried talking to Vaughn, but the only result is that Pierce is now the keyboardist in Vaughn's band. Jeff walks in, and Britta attempts to smoothly discuss the economy and segue into Jeff's living situation but Shirley bursts out with it. Jeff claims that he's got a minor issue with condo fees, and Abed (Danny Pudi) invites him to stay in his dorm room for the time being.
Jeff and Britta sit outside on a bench and Jeff shows her, on a laptop, his old condo, particularly focusing on his hand-crafted Italian faucets. She points out that his car is being towed and he ends up asking to crash in Abed's dorm. He finds Abed's cheerful acceptance of his low station in life infuriating, and can't understand why all that Abed needs to be happy is Lucky Charms and television. Shirley witnesses Annie lending Troy a blanket -- a family heirloom no less -- for his picnic date. She insists that Annie tell him how she feels before another woman gets him. As their conversation wraps up, music starts playing -- Pierce and Vaughn's band are playing in the cafeteria. A catchy light reggae tune begins, and Vaughn starts singing lyrics about his breakup, naming Britta by name and calling her "a bitch and a liar". The song, it turns out, is entitled, "Getting Rid of Britta".
After the show, Britta confronts Pierce and Vaughn, who are practicing, calling the song disrespectful of both her and rhyme schemes, but Vaughn ignores her. He then gets into an argument with Pierce over the song's authorship, throwing a tantrum and kicking Pierce out of the band, which Britta mistakes as Pierce having defended her. Annie continues instructing Troy on how to woo his date, preparing drinks and candles. Finally, she reaches her breaking point and shouts that she has to tell him something -- and then claims her appendix is bursting. He accompanies her to the health center, where it's confirmed that she doesn't have appendicitis. Troy cheerfully leaves, while the doctor suspects Annie may have some rare disease and insists she be quarantined.
Britta finds Abed and Jeff and observes that they missed Spanish class. She becomes concerned that perhaps leaving the material world behind wasn't good for Jeff, and that rather than growing as a person, he has become even more adolescent. Abed begs her to take him back, observing that their newfound friendship is good for Abed but bad for Jeff. Britta strides into Abed's dorm room and confronts Jeff, telling him that for him, material possessions are vital. Jeff is not interested, but she throws a paper bag at him. He pulls out a hand-crafted Italian faucet with a notch carved in it to indicate what he describes as "optimal cleansing temperature for combination skin", and Britta reveals that she snuck into his old apartment and stole it. She tells him to get an apartment and install the faucet there to remind him that he is capable of being a "huge phony" again.
Pierce walks up to Vaughn and reiterates that he's no longer in the band. He asks him to lay off Britta, and Vaughn agrees, getting on the stage to sing his newest song, entitled "Pierce, You're a B". Pierce is at first taken aback, but then laughs and nudges the students in the audience, bragging that he's the one in the song. Annie runs up to Troy and his date on the lawn, still wearing a hospital gown, and takes a small step to assert herself, asking for the blanket back. Troy, bewildered, relinquishes it, and Annie defiantly tells Shirley, who had witnessed the event, that it was a "big step" for her. Shirley sympathizes, wrapping the blanket around Annie to preserve her modesty.
Britta finds Jeff, and notes that he's properly groomed again. Abed wanders up and Jeff tells them both that he's staying in a motel and looking for apartments. Abed confirms to Jeff that he'd have cheerfully let Jeff stay in his dorm room indefinitely had he wanted to.
Around 5.45 million Americans watched "Home Economics".
Todd VanDerWerff of The A.V. Club rated the episode B+, who didn't find any of the individual subplots extraordinary but enjoyed the interplay of the cast and the good use of Vaughn's character. Jonah Krakow of IGN rated the episode 8.0 out of 10, declaring that the show has finally capitalized on its strong cast and writing, but disliking the "cliché" storyline between Troy and Annie.
- Seidman, Robert (November 6, 2009). "Broadcast Finals: Grey's, CSI, The Office, 30 Rock, The Mentalist, Bones up in finals". Retrieved June 14, 2012.
- VanDerWerff, Todd (November 5, 2009). "Home Economics". The A.V. Club. Retrieved June 14, 2012.
- Krakow, Jonah (November 6, 2009). "Community: "Home Economics" Review". IGN. Retrieved June 14, 2009.
- "Home Economics" at the Internet Movie Database
- "Home Economics" at TV.com
- "Home Economics" at TV Tropes