Community is one of my favorite sitcoms of all time. The whole concept is so simple but also so great. A show about flawed people who have failed in life, meeting each other at a Colorado community college, and trying to be better people. I love how the show explores different genres and styles of comedy that other sitcoms just can’t do. Dan Harmon, the creator, and showrunner may be a bit problematically at times but he is a genius. What he managed to produce was absolutely brilliant.
Community made some very high concept episodes while on air. And some of them like - The remedial chaos theory, The ass crack bandit, Modern espionage, Abed’s uncontrollable Christmas, Geothermal escapism, Digital estate planning, Advanced dungeons & dragons, Cooperative calligraphy, A fistful of paintballs and for a few paintballs more - have a special place in my heart. But these high concept episodes are not the only thing the show has to offer. The main characters are also very compelling, and there’s always heartfelt moments between them which gives the series an emotional core.
The show also had such a diverse and incredible cast. Joel McHale (Jeff Winger), Chevy Chase (Pierce Hawthorne), Danny Pudi (Abed Nadir), Yvette Nicole Brown (Shirley Bennett), Gillian Jacobs (Britta Perry), Donald Glover (Troy Barnes), Alison Brie (Annie Edison), Jim Rash (Dean Pelton) and Ken Jeong (Ben Chang). Are all amazing actors and have great chemistry together. And I love how literally almost anyone can find a cast member they relate to when watching the show. The secondary characters like Garret, Neil, Vicki, Magnitude, and Starburns are also great and don’t disappoint. They totally helped to bring some crazy and hilarious situations in the show to life.
During quarantine, I decided to rewatch all 6 seasons of the show for the third time. And that was probably the best decision I’ve made over these 3 very weird months that most of us went through. Somehow, Community is even better when you watch it for the third time. I don’t want to spoil anything for people that haven’t seen it yet. So I tried to summarize my thoughts about each season in a non-spoiler way, enjoy!
I still remember seeing the promos for the show and thinking: “The guy from The Soup and Chevy Chase in a show together? I have to check it out.” Truth is, it takes a while until the show finds its feet. But when it does, it is amazing! The first 7 episodes’ main plot lines fully flesh out the characteristics and motivations of each one of the main cast. I personally really liked it but it may turn some people off. Generally, this is a great season to watch and to get hooked.
Seasons 2 and 3
These are, in my opinion, the two best seasons of the show. I don’t think I have ever seen anything like these 2 seasons on TV before. So many iconic episodes and scenes come from them. They are definitely the peak of Community. Almost every episode is fantastic. The whole cast is in perfect harmony and it is so awesome to see Troy and Abed becoming one of the most iconic TV duos ever. Also, Jim Rash is hilarious in every single scene he is in.
Well, this is a strange one. Dan Harmon was fired after season 3 and the quality of the show wasn’t the same without him. There are a lot of inconsistencies and you can feel something is missing. But still, there are some very good episodes.
So much better than the previous season. Harmon was re-hired and the show had a soft reboot. Unfortunately, Donald Glover and Chevy Chase decided to leave, and after that Community never fully regained its original glory. But it was still pretty entertaining and better than most sitcoms.
NBC canceled the show after season 5 but Yahoo picked it up and produced Season 6. This season was an amazing achievement for Dan Harmon and his team of writers. Because at this point, the show had lost 3 original cast members (Yvette Nicole Brown left after Season 5). And that kind of threw the entire dynamic of the show. They tried to fill in the gaps with new cast members and even though the newcomers did a great job, I missed the original cast. But at the same time, I'm really glad this season existed. The Season 5 finale would've been the way to end the show. There are some great episodes on Season 6 and the series finale was so good. It really hit me hard. The scene where Jeff hugs Abed at the airport was so heartbreaking. Also, the tag of the last episode with a family playing the Community board game completed with the Dan Harmon voice-over demonstrates the meta tone that the entire show had.
Overall, Community was an amazing show. Even with the many problems over the years and all behind the scenes drama, it holds up well. The quality dips and rises at times but it is totally worth getting into it. And I really like that the show, which is now available on Netflix, is finally getting the attention it deserves.
Now it's up to some studio (I’m looking at you, Netflix) to make Dan Harmon’s promise of 6 seasons and a movie come true. Harmon has said a few times before that he has some ideas. And since he is such a great writer, I’m sure it will be an awesome movie.