Community

Fri Jul 26, 10.45-11.45pm, Sony Entertainment TV

Series four, episodes three and four
You can’t accuse ‘Community’ of not playing to its core audience of culty pop-culture obsessives – tonight opens with a trip to a convention for fans of thinly disguised ‘Doctor Who’ spoof, ‘Inspector Spacetime’ – but too many scenes are just fizzling out as this fourth series continues.

And what’s with all the hugging and learning? Not even Matt Lucas can make much of an impression as the latest interloper in the Troy-Abed bromance, while the relationship between Annie and Jeff feels forced, even as Alison Brie and Joel McHale continue to give their all.

The second episode of tonight’s double bill is at least back in safer territory: the college. The annoying Germans return to engage in a spot of turf warfare under the watchful eye of new history professor Malcolm McDowell, causing the gang to channel PoW drama ‘Hogan’s Heroes’. Or ‘Hogan’s Villains’, as it was apparently called in Germany. There’s are plenty of incidental pleasures in the detail, but the bigger picture is turning into a bit of a mess.

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