I know. I am the last person in the world who hasn’t seen this show. It’s like that I’m in that Twilight Zone episode – you know, the one where the man wakes up in the future, and everyone around him has alien features and is like, You haven’t seen Community?!
The show begins with Jeff Winger, ex-eminent lawyer whose bogus college degree has been discovered. In order to keep his license, this suave, self-important jerk must enroll in *gasp* community college.
In the first days of classes, Jeff inadvertently assembles a Spanish class study group, comprised of Greendale Community college’s rejects. Each character in the ragtag group each has a distinct reason that brings them to Greendale. They form an unlikely friendship that eventually brings out the best in one another. And yes, Breakfast Club references abound.
Throw in an over-eager dean, an absolutely unhinged Spanish teacher named Señor Chang, and a frightening school mascot, and you’ve got the wackiest, sharpest TV show since Arrested Development.
So if you were already into this show, watch it again because it’s good for you. If you, too, inhabited that Twilight Zone thousand-years-of-sleep chamber (I relate), here’s why you should cozy up to Community this Friday night:
Brisk, outrageous humor
Were there ever such tightly-written and fast-paced jokes? Probably not since Arrested Development. Community features plenty of original songs, darkly funny social commentary, and might-have-missed-it one liners.
But what makes the humor in Community so fresh is that the audience often doesn’t realize that a joke is being set up. Until, minutes later or even at the end of the episode, the furtive setup culminates into something incredible, like an explosion. (The ending of the episode “Environmental Science” is particularly magnificent.)
An Ensemble of Underdogs
My Friday Night In with Firefly indicated that I am a sucker for ensemble casts. Community has one of the best ensembles of comedy I’ve ever watched. Though each member of the study group embodies an archetype in the first episode (think Breakfast Club), throughout the season, the show develops each character in such a way that each of them is, indeed, their own distinct kind of underdog.
The result is a cast with a seamless chemistry that is marvelously eccentric and endearing.
Troy and Abed (in the Morning)
If for no other reason, watch the show for the blooming bromance between Troy (Donald Glover) and Abed (Danny Pudi), which I will not explain but rather let you discover.
And if you’re still not convinced (are you ok?), refer to this.
I guess it’s also opportune to talk about Community this week. Friends, I’m happy to report that for the first time since moving in the Bay Area, I actually felt less like an outsider and little bit more like a part of a – you guessed it – a community. So for any post-grad in a new city, or anyone yearning to belong someplace, this show champions all of us.
What are your weekend plans? Were you in on Community before me? This weekend, I’m exploring the city with my mom and already can’t wait to tell you about it!