I’m afraid that one of the best shows on TV right now, Community (NBC, Thursdays 8pm EST) is going down the path of Arrested Development. That means that it will be hailed by critics, loved by few in the mass television watching market, and doomed to a fate of being too funny, too smart, and perhaps a little too odd for most everyone else to even give it a chance.
Community, like most shows I’ve caught on to and watch regularly was referred to me by a friend of mine. Knowing that we share commonalities in our senses of humor, it was at least worth my time to give it a chance. By this time, the first season was out on DVD so I put Season 1 Disc 1 in my Netflix queue and waited for the weekend. By the time the second disc came, I was already suffering withdrawal symptoms, as I had watched the first 6 episodes on that one disc twice already by then due to the pure genius of the show.
The brief synopsis: The main character Jeff Winger is put into a situation where he must go back to school for a degree when in his 30s, and while trying to score points with a blond girl in his class, puts together a fake study group. Well it turns out that they end up bonding, and stick together throughout the course of school and hijinks ensues. This might sound cliché, and it is somewhat. But it’s just the world that the characters live in. What actually happens is much, much better.
This show has excellent writing, and the acting all around is equally as great. You can really feel that these people who portray the characters we see on TV are in fact the characters themselves.
The comedy may be to wacky for its own good though, as some of the most unique shows of the past 2+ seasons, while fantastic themselves, seem to break up the flow of the show, which is a full fall and spring semester of school at a community college. The first season had this continuity, while the second season probably had the best single episodes. The humor definitely has a “geek” edge to it, with frequent nods to popular geek culture, but this is totally a show that stands on its own.
So to anyone that might see this, I ask you to give this show a chance. You can watch a one-off show now on NBC and can even catch a few back episodes online at NBC.com. There have been up and down episodes, but across the board, Community provides one of the most well-written, laugh-out-loud comedy half hours out there now. It’s literally a show that provides you with a story and humor you simply cannot get anywhere else.