I recently came back from the National Association of Broadcasters' conference where I heard director, Joe Russo from Community talk. He said Community loves doing genre episodes and will continue to do them as long as the audience follows - they're reprising "paintball" for a two episode season finale. He also mentioned that when an episode goes over their regular 5-day shooting schedule, they compensate on other episodes by making them more straightforward to shoot. When the "Halloween" episode took 7 days to shoot, they filmed the easier pen-stealing monkey "lock-down" episode.
So this past week we get another genre episode - the montage or highlight show. Shows do this all the time to save money or production schedules by just filming new intro stuff and then the editors go to work collecting footage from past episodes. And you always feel cheated, because it is a cheat. Nothing new comes out of these episodes - there is no progression. But Community took it another step and showed highlight footage that was completely new! They took it and flipped it - pretending the footage was all old stuff. Loved it! It felt simple in that the present footage all took place in the study room, but I doubt they saved much time on this episode with all the extra footage they shot. Awesome!