In honour of today’s long-awaited return of Community, I am launching a new type of blog which I hope to bring back quite a bit throughout the year. I love TV, and especially I love good TV. When it’s done well, it’s an amazing medium. I like to think that I have good taste, but most of all, I really want to share the things I love with you guys! So I intend to introduce some of my favourite TV shows, why I love them, and some of my favourite episodes. I’m not claiming to be an expert here; I don’t intend to give you some in-depth analysis of why the show works or its symbolism or what have you. I just want you to know why I like things, so that you may then like them too.
As mentioned, today’s blog is about Community! It being October 19th and all, I thought it was fitting. (Note for those who don’t get it: Season 4 of Community was set to premiere on October 19th, but the date was pushed back, so the cast released a video to say that whatever date season 4 premieres, it will be October 19th in our hearts. That day is today.)
Community is one of those shows that has been really up and down in terms of numbers, but has a devoted following of core fans. It centres around an odd collection of students at a community college who form an unexpected bond. It’s more than that, though. Community is both goofy and sincere. It leaps bounds of believability in the antics that happen in the show, but the relationships between the characters are as real as anything. It tugs on your heart-strings and still manages to get those surprise laughs that burst out of you and make you sound like a goat. Or a duck. Or you know when sometimes you snort when you laugh? That too.
There is so much that I love about Community, from Troy and Abed’s weird and perfect friendship, to Jeff’s speeches, to the Dean’s outfits, to how much Britta sucks, Shirley’s mean streak, Annie’s Boobs. (Not what you think.) The whole thing is worth watching, but these are some of my favourite episodes.
Season 1 – “Physical Education”
I mean the very concept of naked billiards should stand on its own, but I also love this episode for defining Abed as a character. Rather than just being the “weird guy” trope that is used so much in TV, this episode takes the time to show that Abed is happy being himself, that he is confident in his quirks and that makes us embrace Abed as a person, not just a character.
Season 1 – “Modern Warfare”
This is quite possibly the best episode of television ever made. And I do not say that lightly. If you only watch one episode of television for the rest of your life make it this one. It’s innovative, dramatic, hilarious, and a completely new concept that takes you by surprise. I love this episode. So much.
Best tags of Season 1 – The spanish rap from the Pilot, and The Oh Christmas Troy tag from “Comparative Religion”
Season 2 – “Epidemiology”
Community has fantastic themed episodes, and their Halloween episodes are some of the best. This one has to be my favourite by far. I love the zombie theme, scored by ABBA and Dean Pelton’s notes to himself. It’s the perfect blend of poking fun at something you love while at the same time poking fun at yourself.
Season 2 – “Advanced Dungeons & Dragons”
Of all the background characters that get pulled into the storyline, and there are a lot of them, Neil is probably one of my favourites. Not only is it a fun representation of D&D, it also does a great job of establishing Pierce as a villain character without making you hate him. The character of Pierce has a great love/hate/pity relationship with the audience, and this episode seals that.
Best tags of Season 2 – Abed convincing Troy he can run into a cartoon tunnel from “Accounting for Lawyers” and Starburns’ appearance on Troy and Abed in the Morning from “Aerodynamics of Gender”
Runners up – The two paintball episodes are so good. No one thought it would be a good idea to do paintball two years in a row but it totally was.
Season 3 – “Remedial Chaos Theory”
People have lauded this episode as possibly one of the greatest sitcom episodes of all time. I already gave that title to “Modern Warfare” but this is a close second. The timelines give a great twist to a bottle episode and explore options we’ve all thought about (except the darkest timeline, no one could have thought of that).
Season 3 – “Digital Estate Planning”
It’s no secret by now that I love Community’s concept episodes. The video game concept is so well done here; and the 8 bit design is so perfect. Plus it’s a really great development for Pierce’s character, who is often seen as a villain or as a character to be pitied. I love episodes when Pierce grows.
Best tags of Season 3 – The Inspector Spacetime from “Advanced Gay” (any shout out to Doctor Who is an automatic favourite) and Pierce trying to use the self-serve ice cream machine from “Urban Matrimony and the Sandwich Arts” (this is such a great bit of physical comedy from Chevy Chase and reminds us why he’s such a legend)
This show is seriously one of my favourites, and if things continue on the track they are, possibly ending after this season. I hope not. Six seasons and a movie, you guys. Six seasons and a movie.