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‘App Developments And Condiments’

They say that when a butterfly beats its wings in one part of the world, it has the power to cause a hurricane in another part of the world. This theory is demonstrated this week as Jeff’s simple failure to invite Shirley to a group meal results in a terrifying world dictatorship (well, the world of Greendale at least).

The writers of this storyline thinly veil their concern that we’re allowing technology to take over our lives, as the blame for this transformation of the community is found in a new app – MeowMeowBeanz (what kinda stupid name is that I ask you?)

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The app allows people to rate everything around them out of 5, but most destructive of all, they can rate each other. Naturally, this rapidly gets out of hand, with the ‘Fives’ being gowned in white as some sort of deity, the ‘twos’ and ‘threes’ depicted as spending their lives obsessing over becoming a ‘five’, yet logically understanding this is impossible, and the ’ones’ are cast out into the cold of social isolation.

This is a truly ingenious episode – a mine of social analogies which dissertations could be crafted on – from comments on our reliance on technology, to our pre-occupation with rating the world around us, to our desire to move social groups yet knowing it’s improbable although not impossible, and the fragility of the highest social standing as they too are based on popularity.

This is an incredibly intellectual episode, and one which deserves more than just one cursory viewing. Enjoy.

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