Episode 360: Discovering (and Loving) Community

Hiya!

I know I’m very late to the party but I just finished watching all 6 seasons of Community on Netflix. I do have to ask, though, where has this show been all my life?

A week ago, I just finished watching the latest episode of Rick and Morty on Netflix. As per usual, after the episode ended, Netflix popped in a few suggestions as to what I might want to watch next. I got the usual ones like The Witcher (since I have yet to finish it) as well as the other usual suspects. However, this time, there was something different. Netflix suggested a show called Community.

My brother, who I was watching Rick and Morty with, let out a big yelp and said it was one of the funniest shows he’s ever seen. So, since we had a bunch of time on our hands, I decided to watch the first episode of Community and, well, I was kind of disappointed. I thought it was an okay sitcom but, ultimately, it didn’t seem all that interesting.

I almost quit but my brother said I should give the next episode a try before not ever giving it another chance. He said I had to watch the 2nd episode all the way until the end before making my decision. I agreed and, once again, I wasn’t really impressed with the show…

…until we got Troy and Abed doing the Spanish rap.

I don’t know what was with this rap but I was entranced! I just had to watch more. Without me knowing it, my brother and I quickly blasted through the entire 1st season of Community. The only reason why we stopped was because we realized it was already 3:00 in the morning! Besides, it was a good idea to stop as we still had 5 more seasons to go.

If you don’t know, Community is a show set in Greendale Community College and it follows a small study group consisting of Jeff Winger, a suspended lawyer trying to get his license back, Annie Edison, the naive and studious girl (who’s pretty young so they try not to sexualize her), Britta Perry, an activist who makes some rash decisions (which makes her the worst), Shirley Bennett. a devout Christian divorcee but with a quick temper, Pierce Hawthorne, a billionaire and narrow-minded racist, Troy Barnes, a rather kind and gentle doofus and, of course, Abet Nadir, a true geek with a vast knowledge of pop culture.

If it isn’t obvious, Troy and Abet are my favorite characters in the show but that doesn’t mean I don’t like the rest of the Community study group. In fact, when it comes to ensemble casts, I have to contend that Community has probably the most tight-knit ones I’ve seen in a long while as, if one of them isn’t there, it feels like something is missing. We’ll get to that a bit later.

I also have to remember that, even though the show already has a huge enough cast, Community has so many memorable side characters like Dean Pelton, Senor Ben Chang, Star-Burns, Leonard, Fat Neil, Vicki and Magnitude! They might not be seen in every episode but they do leave their mark on the show as they are almost as recognizable as the regular cast.

Community has a lot of really excellent episodes and it was actually hard for me to pick which are my favorites. I guess all the fans love the one about Dungeons & Dragons, the paintball war ones and, most definitely, the one that started the entire “darkest timeline” meme. Oh, those are definitely up there. However, I would also like to highlight some of the other episodes, like the war between the blanket and pillow forts, the zombie outbreak during Halloween and the one with all the fake flashbacks to episodes we’ve never seen. However, yeah. The best episode is definitely the one with the “darkest timeline.” If you haven’t seen it, you owe it to yourself to do so!

Community was incredibly good and funny for the first 3 seasons but it did seem to lose a lot of its steam by the start of the 4th. The “gas leak” year was still okay but you can tell a lot of the spirit seemed to disappear. It turns out Dan Harmon, the show’s creator (as well as one of the minds behind Rick and Morty) was fired, a couple of the writers left as well and Anthony and Joe Russo, who directed several episodes for the show, had to leave to direct, of all things, Captain America: The Winter Soldier! This was also the last time we would see Pierce Hawthorne because of a dispute with Chevy Chase. This, for me, started the decline of the show.

Season 5 rolled around and things started to change even more. Troy left the show to sail around the world with LeVar Burton. They added Jonathan Banks as a new professor as well to kind of fill in the ranks. This was mostly a patch for the leaking cast as he too left by the 6th season as well as mainstay Shirley. They were replaced by a consultant hired to “Save Greendale” (a kind of pun based on fans wanting the show to get a 6th season to fulfill the “6 seasons and a movie” prophesy) and Keith David’s character who also joins the “Save Greendale” movement within the school. While not bad characters by any measure, they just didn’t really mesh well with the original group and, to be frank, a lot of the original jovial soul that made the earlier seasons just seem to fizzle out for me.

That’s not so say that later episodes weren’t funny. They just didn’t match up the standard they set up during the earlier ones. The episode where the entire of Greendale pretend the floor is lava as a going away present for Troy was pretty funny. The totally animated GI Joe episode was creative as well. It’s just Dan Harmon (who did return in Season 5 and 6) and company just could not hit the high bar they set up for themselves.

They were at least good enough for me to keep on watching Community and I finished all 6 seasons of the show in just 4 days! Considering there are a total of 110 episodes, that means I watched roughly a total of 55 hours of television in half a week! That’s how engrossed I was with Community! Since the entire show is now available on Netflix, I do hope the people who haven’t seen it before go binge watch it. I also hope that fans will go watch some of the episodes as well.

Maybe then we’ll finally get that movie, huh? Hey, Netflix can even produce it, you know? Wouldn’t that be special?

Byee!

Have you watched Community? What did you think of it? Better yet, what was your favorite episode? Let me know in the comments section below!

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