Pillows and Blankets

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Comedy/, 2012, 22 min.

Synopsis We open with the credits "A Greendale Campus Television Production." Feathers litter the library, classrooms and hallways as a deep-voiced narrator tells the viewer about the longest pillow fight in community college history. We see still photos of the madness: grown men and women mercilessly beating each other with stuffed pieces of cloth. "It forever changed the lives of those involved," the narrator says. We see photos of the major players -- Jeff, Annie, Britta, Troy, Abed, Shirley -- and hear stories of their wartime valor.But how did it get to this point?Craig approaches Jeff as an unseen film crew follows to "document Greendale's Guinness record." Jeff comments that a film crew at the school always means disaster. Craig ignores Jeff and asks him to please intervene in the feud between Abed and Troy. An exasperated Jeff, who wants nothing more to do with this silly fight, puts imaginary friendship hats on Abed's and Troy's heads, but the feuding students promptly pretend to remove them. Cue documentary. We see photos of Abed and Troy as the narrator explains the long friendship between the two, resulting in a magazine of their creation called "Friends Weekly." Together, they created New Fluffytown, a utopia made entirely of pillows. But when Guinness comes calling Troy wants to rapidly expand using blankets. The purist Abed demands they use only pillows, and declares world records to be "dumb." Hence, the split. Troy breaks off and begins construction of Blanketsburg. Eventually, the two nations encroach on each others territory and, when a single thrown pillow accidentally results in the collapse of a section of Blanketsburg, the fighting begins. It's civil war.We learn that Pierce has sided with Troy, explaining that Abed is "weirder and more foreign." Shirley also sides with Troy and is promoted to second in command, prompting a miffed Pierce to defect to Abed's army. Now, it is midnight and Troy has promised to attack Pillowtown, the new name for New Fluffytown, if Abed didn't retreat. Soon enough, there is a high-pitched squeal and Troy's forces attack in the library. We see shaky, grainy cell-phone footage of the battle, which ends in six minutes with no discernible victor.Britta tries to take pictures of the "sublime indignities" of war, but they are terrible. "Just because something is in black and white doesn't mean it's good," the documentary narrator intones. Pierce, meanwhile, breaks his glasses in the melee and claims another injury as the result of the fight: erectile dysfunction, swearing that it had never happened before. Jeff is seen riling up the troops on both sides in what is described as a "Ferris Buellerian attempt to delay school work." Annie provided "humanitarian relief" efforts to both sides, including removing feathers from the clothing of fallen soldiers with a lint brush. Later, Pierce approaches Abed with plans to build a secret super weapon -- the rumors of which quickly reach Troy, who brings in Chang in response. Change recruits a special unit of preteen security interns and trains them to attack. They are named the "Changlourious Basterds" and, being kids, are particularly skilled at wielding pillows. Abed sees no choice but to unleash Pierce's weapon, which is Pierce in pillows that are stuck together with tape. The Iron Man-Michelin Man monstrosity lays waste to the Basterds.The war escalates, especially after Troy intercepts an email from Abed to his generals detailing Troy's weaknesses. These include shiny things, the color red, boobs, and many more. The email ends with Abed saying that Troy is emotionally weak and intellectually insecure. Troy is hurt, and sends an angry text message to Abed hitting back by explaining that Abed had only one friend, Troy, because nobody else had the patience to put up with his general oddness. Finally, Jeff decides to step in. He has been reprimanded by Annie, who urges him to think of someone other than himself. Strangely, Jeff does just that.So Jeff summons Troy and Abed to a "secret summit meeting." It doesn't go well. Troy proposes that the loser of the war move out of the apartment. The winner can stay. Abed agrees. "Ahhh, I wanted that to go different," Jeff says to no one in particular. Soon after, the final battle in the cafeteria begins. We see it unfold in dramatic still photos intercut with quickly edited cell-phone footage and set to soaring, melancholy music. The battle reaches a climax when Craig enters and stops everything. Turns out the Guinness representative isn't coming, after all (he has been fired apparently). "What a colossal waste of two-and-a-half days!" he yells before leaving the cafeteria. Suddenly, the war is over. But the dispute between Troy and Abed has yet to end. The pair have a listless one-on-one pillow fight with each other for hours. Jeff points out that the two like each other so much that they'd rather right than not be together at all. Jeff then suggests that they put on their imaginary friendship hats. Troy and Abed look at each other for a long moment and agree to wear them. Then Abed points out that Jeff left the imaginary hats back in the dean's office. So Jeff plays along, returning to the dean's office to fetch the hats and then placing on them Troy and Abed. It's almost touching.

Directed by Tristram Shapeero  

Starring Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Alison Brie, more...

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