You’re afraid you don’t fit in, you’re afraid you’ll be alone. Great news, you share that with all of us, so you’ll never be alone, and you’ll always fit in.
The picture of Annie in the bottom row center is the moment in Community that most broke my heart. In less than 10 seconds and without saying a word, Alison Brie managed to convey Annie’s quiet desperation and overwhelming loneliness, something that none of her friends even know about.
Because, shit. I’ve actually been there. That exact same place, complete with the dangerous neighborhood, the constant scraping the bottom of the financial barrel to the point that I was one stubbed toe away from bankruptcy, a hopeless-seeming future, and friends who were so wrapped up in their own drama that they didn’t have the energy or time to notice that Ms. Flying Buttress of Emotional Support needed some of that same support flowing back. The significant difference was that my parents still loved me, but just didn’t know how to help beyond offering a few encouraging words on the phone.
But Annie? Is completely alone.
Hell, no one even questioned it when they found out where she lived. No one even offered to help. I have no idea what any of them assumed about her situation, but I’m pretty sure none of them assumed that it was as bad as it was.
I still wonder if any of them (aside from Pierce) actually know that Annie’s been disowned and that when she says the Study Group is her family, she means, “The only family I’ve got.”
I swear that I must’ve been the only person in Community fandom who yelled at the television screen when Jeff called Annie out on taking Pierce’s money. Because he had no fucking clue about her reality. All he saw was that Annie took payola in exchange for giving Pierce a bigger, more destructive role in her play and landed into her like a ton of bricks.
And Annie? Didn’t even try to defend herself. Didn’t even try to explain. She just crumbled under the weight of it all and fled the scene, because admitting she was drowning would mean asking for help and taking the risk that her friends wouldn’t even hear her ask, let alone respond with anything more than vague words of support.
And the hell of it is this: At this point in the Study Group’s history, I’m not entirely sure that Annie’s assumptions about her friends’ willingness to help, or lack thereof, is entirely wrong.
Yeah, S3 was supposed to be the darkest timeline in Community, but I’ve always maintained that S2 represented the worst year of Annie’s life. Once you realize that, a lot of Annie’s characterization in S2 makes a hell of a lot more sense, ranging from her losing her shit over the loss of a pen to her stubbornly holding on to her crush on Jeff to the point that she was publicly humiliated.
One of my wishes for S4?
That someone, somewhere actually acknowledges that Annie is a lion-hearted girl who’s willing to roll a hard six and pay the price for that, and that she is a braver person than most.
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