It’s witty. It inspires animated gifs. It has in-jokes, references pop culture and references references to pop culture. If there was any doubt Community was the internet’s new favourite show, then all you need to do is look at the online outrage caused by the show’s mid-third season ‘hiatus’. Truly it is the new Arrested Development: destined to go down in flames as the funniest little show that was never given a proper chance.
I have raved about Community before, but that was when I was at the start of its 2nd season, and the show has really found its stride since then. A comedy following a study group at a failing community college, it transcends the usual sitcom tropes not only by being aware of them and commenting on them (film nerd Abed is our man on the inside) but by turning them on their head, neutralising any story thread that’s in danger of becoming cliche (so long, Jeff loves Britta). Thankfully, this means the show’s writers can concentrate on crafting fun situations, rather than worrying about ‘story arcs’ or finding the new Ross and Rachel (even if it already has the new Joey and Chandler).
Too funny to be cheesy and too cool to be smug, Community has cracked the ‘Friends formula’ of having any two players together in one scene and still having a different dynamic. Gags range from snappy one-liners (“Man, pizza guys are getting worse and worse looking. I guess all the good ones went into porn”) to season-long payoffs (the ‘Beetlejuice’ sight gag blows the mind), but the real comedy comes from character, which has been consistently brilliant since lesson one. It even manages to make Ken Jeong funny, with luckless loser Senor Chang the latest in a long line of TV punchbags.
Whether it’s cancelled tomorrow or gets six seasons and a movie like it deserves, I love Community to bits and you should too.