Professor Duncan: You have destroyed the Duncan Principle!
Community - Social Psychology
OH COMMUNITY, THE SHOW THAT ACTUALLY REWARDS ME FOR OVERTHINKING CHARACTER BEHAVIOR TO AN APPALLING DEGREE
i’m sorry, i should explain. see, this is the episode of community where annie asks abed (and troy, but troy’s behavior in this ep is a whole other breakdown and i’m 25K into a troy POV fic and I AM TAKING A 10 MINUTE BREAK FROM TROY’S BRAIN OKAY) to help her with an experiment. when abed says he was planning on going to an indiana jones marathon that day, and even bought a whip for it, annie asks him to please help her out because they’re friends. the experiment then turns out to be the testing of the “duncan principle,” or the theory that everyone will break if they’re made to wait for long enough. abed out-waits annie, the other students, and professor even-though-i-know-his-name-in-this-show-is-duncan-he-will-always-be-john-oliver-to-meeeeee, and thus proves the duncan principle the other way. when annie demands to know why on earth he would wait so long, abed tells annie he was livid, but he stayed because she asked him to and said they were friends. his point is made, they make up, yada yada end of episode, everybody have a cookie.
EXCEPT, OKAY, THE THING IS. the thing is that abed IS livid; he’s livid during the scene pictured above, where he’s out-waiting everybody, and he is still livid afterwards. because, you guys, ABED IS HOLDING THAT WHIP WHEN ANNIE COMES INTO THE ROOM IN THAT SCENE WHERE SHE ASKS HIM WHY HE DIDN’T JUST LEAVE. he’s holding it even before then, while he’s talking to troy, because he’s waiting for annie to come in and wants to be sure it’s in his hands when she does; he fiddles with it during his entire conversation with her. because expressing emotion is difficult for abed, but he was furious, and that marathon he missed meant a lot to him, and so he brought the whip that he TOLD HER HE BOUGHT to send across the message he wasn’t sure he was going to be able to pass to her aloud—that she had hurt his feelings, and taken advantage, and he’d missed something that was important to him in the process. he brings the whip! to make sure that message is communicated! whether he can communicate it or not! which, that little thing says so much about abed even before abed himself tells us, shows us both the depth of his feelings and the depth of his self-awareness of the difficulties he has expressing them, and it’s done with a deft hand that would be so easy to miss but just punches you right in the heart when you catch it. ugh. UGH.
and just, all of that, that whole little exchange; that was when i first really fell in love with abed, i think, as a character. because it’s so well done and so understated and rings so true to life, and the fact that annie picks up on it and responds in kind, in a way, is what really made me fall in love with annie as a character, and just, goddamn, i love this show so much.
(also, how much do i love that in season two, during the dinner with andre dinner with abed episode, abed’s like “yeah, willie exaggerates, i bought indiana jones’ real whip from him, he moves about 70 of these a year,” THIS IS HOW YOU CONTINUITY, EVERY OTHER SHOW ON TELEVISION, PUT A LIME IN THE COCONUT AND MODEL YOURSELVES OFF COMMUNITY okay stopping now.)