In Season 1 Episode 24 titled "English as a Second Language" of Community, when Jeff discovers and tells his study group that Annie was the culprit, he tells everyone to not look at her. Everyone closes their eyes except for Abed, then Jeff says - "She is the Ark of Covenant" to which Abed also close his eyes. Then he says - "Picture her as Paul Giamatti" and everyone says "Uggh".

So I don't understand the meaning of these two dialogues. What was there about Ark of Covenant that made Abed close his eyes and why everyone went Uggh when he said to picture Annie as Paul Giamatti?

  • 1
    IMHO the least you could do before posting a question is googling: google.com/search?q=Ark+of+Covenant+close+eyes or even just searching this site: movies.stackexchange.com/search?q=Ark+of+Covenant
    – BCdotWEB
    Dec 6 '20 at 10:14
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    @BCdotWEB 1. Why would someone need to search before posting a question here? 2. You're assuming that everyone should know that the Ark of the Covenant and closing one's eyes have anything to do with each other. But someone who knew that wouldn't need to search, nor to ask this question in the first place.
    – Kyralessa
    Dec 7 '20 at 11:41
  • @Kyralessa If I have a question, my first thought is "let me google that". Is that perhaps a futile search in this case? As my link proved: no, google.com/search?q=Ark+of+Covenant+close+eyes offers plenty of results. And as I proved even searching this site itself (a common courtesy before asking a question IMHO) also offered a solution. Entering a couple of (relevant) words into Google and hitting enter is a far more efficient action than writing a 100 word question. knowyourphrase.com/give-a-man-a-fish
    – BCdotWEB
    Dec 7 '20 at 14:11
  • @BCdotWEB Could you point me to the section of the help for this site that says people should "Google it" before posting a question? And if the question shouldn't have been asked, why didn't you vote to close instead of answering it?
    – Kyralessa
    Dec 7 '20 at 14:27
  • @Kyralessa To me the requirement of doing a bit of effort yourself falls in the same category as "basic politeness". People don't have instructions outside their houses that say "don't enter here with muddy shoes" and yet you wouldn't do that, it's implied in the social contract. Basic politeness WRT Usenet and mailing lists and forums etc. where others try to help you has always (for twenty+ years) been "I've tried to look for an answer but couldn't find it" and then show your work (because quite often they haven't done the work).
    – BCdotWEB
    Dec 7 '20 at 16:55

The Ark of the Covenant in Raiders of the Lost Ark would kill you if you looked at it.

Jeff wants Abed to close his eyes. Abed is an extreme movie fan who often can only be related to in the context of pop culture movies. So the best way to get Abed to close his eyes is to relate the act to a popular movie. Jeff chooses Raiders of the Lost Ark, a popular movie in which if you looked at the Ark when it was open it would kill you. Abed can relate and closes his eyes.

Paul Giamatti is the physical opposite of Alison Brie.

Everyone always cuts Annie a break because she is a very pretty young woman. Jeff wants to strip that away and make them look not at her appearance, but at what she did. To overcome the cuteness, he has them close their eyes and picture her as Paul Giamatti--an extremely non-cute (many would say outright unattractive) actor. Picturing her as Paul Giamatti allows them to see through her cuteness to the fact that what she did was bad (at least for the group; arguably, getting Chang fired was a good thing to do since he was a lousy teacher).


As explained here:

She naturally turns Chang in and he’s replaced by a real Spanish teacher, and now the whole class is in trouble. Jeff flips out on Annie for it (after a nice sequence in which everyone’s groans is can’t disguise Annie’s happy sigh), and convinces the whole group not to give in to her young cuteness (“Picture her as Paul Giamatti!”).

  • That is okay but I want to understand why specifically Paul Giamatti? Why not some other actor/actress ?
    – Ankit Seth
    Dec 6 '20 at 14:00
  • @AnkitSeth Why not him? He's an old(er), not exactly cute man, the opposite in just about every way. He's fairly famous. Why should it be someone else?
    – BCdotWEB
    Dec 6 '20 at 21:47
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    It seems rather bad form to criticize someone for asking a question and then to go ahead and answer it.
    – Kyralessa
    Dec 7 '20 at 11:42

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