Sometimes, things can surprise you. The quality on Community this season has had its ups and downs, but Grifting 101 breaks through the mediocrity to show, once again, why Community is one of the heavy hitters for modern sitcoms.
Whilst the main cast are their traditional selves, and play their parts admirably, the true lynchpin of the comedy within this episode has to be the King of Ham, Matt Berry, portraying the enigmatic Grifting professor, Roger Desalvo. It is Berry’s acting that truly carries the show forward, as he delivers his lines with panache, whilst uttering a quote that would not feel out of place within Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace - all this helps to sweeten the deal. The only major downside to his character is the knowledge that (he will not return, for) his story has been told and there is no reason for him to return to Greendale.
Alongside the title cards, the strongest reference to The Sting was the soundtrack to the episode. The ragtime music helped set the atmosphere of the show, even taking a variation of Scott Joplin’s “The Entertainer” and mixing it within the song of the title sequence, though the cootie catcher itself remained unchanged.
Community has once again returned to a wonderful fanfare. Matt Berry’s Professor of Grifting brought a real highlight to an otherwise lacklustre season, and the writers showed the world, once again, why Community was a show beloved by so many.