Let’s face it: I like college-based shows. Maybe because I’m in college and I enjoy a satirical outtake on that sort of life. Greek had finished a while ago and I felt like I needed to watch a show with a similar premise.
So, I decided to watch Community.
The show revolves around the (mis)adventures of a Spanish study group from Greendale Community College. In the beginning, this group is formed out of a shameful plan. You see, Jeff, a has-been lawyer who cheated his way to the top, wants to sleep with Britta from his Spanish class. He learns that she is afraid of flunking tomorrow’s test and so, he tells her of his non-existent study group.
Britta agrees to meet Jeff later in the library. However, she invites Abed – who, in turn, invites other people to join them – and thus, the Study Group is formed. The pilot episode does a great job of introducing the characters and we get a glimpse of who they really are. The characters are one of the best things about Community and the show features a wide range of them. And, unlike most of other shows where there’s an array of wildly different people, Community does it right.
Jeff is a former lawyer and used to getting his way. Britta is an idealist hippie. Shirley is the middle aged mother of two who just got divorced. Abed is a strange, strange person and he is obsessed with TV and movies. Troy is a dumb jock who lost his scholarship to a better college, Pierce a racist old man and Annie an insecure young girl who had a pill addiction and dropped out of high school. The characters are, however, much more than this. They’re all three-dimensional, their relationships with each other are well-built and their quirks funny. There is never a time in which they are out of character and you have to give the writers credit for making such a diverse, wacky cast so consistent.
There are times in which Community is borderline genius. There are times in which it’s just plain funny. Also, the variety of the cast in every sense (at one point, we learn that there are not two people in the study group who share the same religion) is endearing and it shows that friendship has nothing to do with race or beliefs.
Community does a lot of pop-culture references and perhaps that’s why it’s so easy to identify with it. Whether it be movies or TV or comics, they’re constantly being referenced, and always in funny, smart ways. I don’t think there’s a show out there who does pop-culture referencing as well as Community.
But to me, it’s the characters that make the show. They’re constantly involved in shenanigans, whether it be building a blanket fort, watching Kickpuncher, setting up a chicken-fingers mafia ring or a Día de los Muertos party, there’s always something funny happening, and the characters’ dealing with the events make everything even better. There is even an episode that’s shot entirely in clay-motion (Abed has a supposed meltdown and sees everything that way) and it’s genius.
Another great thing about Community are the short scenes at the end of each episode—most of them featuring Troy and Abed and their budding friendship. And they’re funny, like the rest of the show and absolutely not to miss.
So, Community. It’s a show that is funny, smart and has one of the most talented casts ever. It’s a show about friendship and all the good and bad things that happen when you have such a different group of crazy people together. Give it a chance and you’ll soon be adding it to your list of favorite TV series. I know I have.