In this episode, as the title tells us “Tracy Does Conan.” The problem is that Tracy is on new medicine that has made him completely insane, Jenna is trying to win back her Conan spot, and Jack keeps calling Liz to his office to get joke ideas for a speech.

Oh, and Liz is still dating Dennis who, mid-episode, send Liz a message to her beeper so that he’ll call her at a payphone so he can ask her to buy him Nickelback tickets. What. A. Treasure.

I watched this episode this morning, before I went to work. I made notes, like I have every time I’ve watched an episode, and figured I’d write something up about the show after. This is another of my favorites because it introduces two iconic gags and Jack utters what is perhaps my favorite Jack line. And I’ll get to that.

But that’s not what I want to talk about just yet.

I’m sitting at work and I check Twitter while taking a break, and I see this tweet:

Right now, I am still overwhelmed with happiness over “Community”‘s resurrection. I remember watching the season finale and seeing the way they tried to wrap things up, in case this really was the end. I thought, “No, this isn’t it. They’ll get one more.”

And then they didn’t. How horrible to be robbed of a proper goodbye.

Facts about me: The series finale of “30 Rock” is one of the episodes I have seen the most. I’ve watched it at least eight times. I’ve watched the series finale of “The Office” fewer times, but still a notably high amount. On the rare occasion that I have a strong urge to watch “Friends,” I usually pick — you guessed it — the last episode. Same goes for the “Lost” finale, which I loved.1

And part of the reason for that is that I love stories. And I like the story’s end, when everything is OK.2 Maybe not perfect, but OK. I like when they’re happy! I like when Liz is in love with Kris and Dwight tells the camera how much his coworkers mean to him, and Rachel gets off the plane. How wonderful to see good things happen to these people I invested so much time in.

So that’s part of the reason I’m so happy “Community” is back. I’m just glad to revisit these stories, and to see these people get a little bit of happiness.3

But it’s not just that. I get emotionally attached to characters — have you been able to tell from reading this blog? The way I miss an old friend, I miss Liz Lemon and Jeff Winger.

And of course, these feelings are only intensified by the fact that I do miss my friends, having recently graduated from college. The very friends I watched “30 Rock” and “Community” with, obsessively, projecting our lives onto the characters, are now missing from my life.

So “Community” coming back is like a friend coming back. Here’s a thing for us to bond over from the different corners of the country. Here are the characters we saw so much of ourselves in at the most turbulent and formative moments of our lives. That’s important.

Many of the conversations around “Orange Is The New Black” have talked about the importance of representation. And I agree: That’s powerful stuff. But I see myself represented on “Community,” too. In Britta’s failures and kindness. In Abed’s nerdery. I see it in Liz’s anxiety and Jack’s sass and Jenna’s narcissism.

John Green once said, “Writing, or at least good writing, is an outgrowth of that urge to use language to communicate complex ideas and experiences between people. And that’s true whether you’re reading Shakespeare or bad vampire fiction—reading is always an act of empathy. It’s always an imagining of what it’s like to be someone else.”

I’ll expand this to say that experiencing a story in any way is always an act of empathy because you’re seeing what it’s like to be someone else. And there’s power in that. But there’s also power in seeing yourself up there. In knowing that someone else gets that thing you’ve been experiencing.

To quote a text conversation with my roommate: “Storytelling <3333333 TV ❤ ❤ <3”

Bits & Pieces

The two iconic pieces: This is the first appearance of the one and only Dr. Leo Spaceman, who promptly informs us that “Medicine is not a science.” This is also the first reference of “The Rural Juror.” I wrote both these things all-caps in my notes. THE RURAL JUROR. DR. SPACEMAN. Two of my favorite “30 Rock” things.

The quote:

Liz: Why are you wearing a tux?

Jack: It’s after 6. What am I, a farmer?

Pete is better looking with hair:

Screenshot 2014-06-30 09.42.55

Tracy’s entourage seems to have been officially shortened to Grizz and Dotcom. The world is a better place for it.

Most ridiculous thing Jack says: “He squeezes the sweetest juice out of his worker’s mind grapes.”

A ranking of Liz’s boyfriends from most to least Irish: Dennis Duffy. Conan O’Brien. You would think Conan’s red hair would give him the edge, but Dennis expressed his intention to name he and Liz’s child “Shannon” this episode.

Character I related to most: Kenneth when he had to pick up a prescription from Rite Drug at a specific intersection only to find four Rite Drugs there. #beentheredonethat

Cameo that wasn’t a cameo when they filmed it but is now:

Aubrey Plaza! Who was actually a page. It seems likely that they just grabbed a page to give a tour in this scene, and they just happened to pick her, but this is wild speculation.

Aubrey Plaza! Who was actually a page. It seems likely that they just grabbed a page to give a tour in this scene, and they just happened to pick her, but this is wild speculation.

(Edit: Friend and fan Emily Perkins would like credit for the Aubrey Plaza sighting since she texted me about it the day before I “officially” watched this episode. I contend that I would have noticed if she hadn’t pointed it out, but Emily has a hard time recognizing people, so I’ll give her this one.)

Hints that Kenneth is immortal/mystical/terrifying: He knows how to clog. Conan calls him “one weird dude.”

1. OK — I’ve probably actually seen “The Constant” more times, but who could ever get over this. No one with a soul, surely.

2. I also think this is why I tend to rewatch comedies more than I rewatch dramas. A sitcom’s plot is (usually) neatly contained.

3. Is Dan Harmon interested in happy endings? Probably not, but we’ll see.

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