People who have already attempted to watch Community must know how difficult it is to write a review on the show, and how important it is that more and more people appreciate the creative mess that Community is. NBC has a good collection of sitcoms, Friends, Fraisier, and more recently 30 Rock and Parks and Rec. Community is just another show on this channel, albeit a less popular one. In fact, a much less popular show, as its very existence is troubled and unsure.
Community garnered a decent fan following and created a cult right after its first season, much like Arrested Development after it came out. It also received generally favourable reviews of its first season. The basic storyline follows a study group of seven identities in a community college – each more whacky and real as the next. Jeff Winger gets found out for having a fake college degree, and he needs to graduate again to resume work as a lawyer. And at this community college he meets the rest of the main characters of the show, good girl turned drug addict Annie Edison who is only trying to be successful at a community college, the blatantly honest and awkward Britta Perry with misguided feminist ideas, the adorable but weird Abed Nadir who cannot get over meta-humour and pop culture references, the prideful Troy Barnes, the loving housewife Shirley Bennett who has more of a kick to her than people assume, and finally Pierce Hawthorne, the old man with the evil ideas but good intentions. We also meet their psychotic Spanish Professor Ken Change and the overly enthusiastic Dean Craig Pelton. I could not even begin to describe each of these characters in one line; it would defeat the whole purpose of the show. What sets Community apart from all other sitcoms, is its ability to create characters which are real and have more dimensionality that a typical sitcom character. We see each of these identities grow and behave differently as time passes, and learn new things by making hideous, embarrassing mistakes.
Each of the episodes are named such that they sound like names of college courses, and the episodes are generally a parody of pop culture references and common TV tropes, whilst not losing the real essence of the show – the characters. There is a certain warmth and depth to the show that I see lacking in most sitcoms, and this is only one of the reasons why Community is a show that very quickly became one of my favourites.
The show has been on air since 2009, and just started with its fourth season in February 2013. This season was supposed to be aired in October 2012, but got delayed. This particular season is only a half season and has been written with a series finale, because it is not hoped that the series shall continue. The show has always been in danger; there had a been a protest asking NBC to continue the series for atleast six seasons and a movie, but most fans have lost this hope now and hang on to the few episodes left that we could watch. Dan Harmon, the creator of the show, is no longer a part of the show running which not only brought a lot of disappointment to the fans, but also made me skeptical about how good the show will remain. It is also interesting to note that Community, Scrubs and Arrested Development all have writers in common. But one of these writers Megan Ganz left Community for Modern Family. Fortunately, the show is still quite funny, and we now begin to see the shifting in the idiosyncratic behaviour of the characters, and see them defined. This is only an indication to the coming series finale. I recommend that everyone watch this show, I can guarantee atleast a few laughs. The way to watch the show is to watch it from the beginning and not just pick a random episode.
Here’s to hoping that many more shows like Community are yet to be aired.