Saturday, August 27, 2011

Community (season 1)

Every time I watch a TV show it's usually a sitcom because I wouldn't want to waste an hour or half an hour on a soap opera that had been running for eternities, reality shows where fame chasers grab the spot and legal dramas that still follow the formula and tries to grab you with cliffhangers in their promos. But hey I bought the first three seasons of Breaking Bad and the first season of Parks and Recreation. And there's a lot of catching up to do.

This is the first time I've seen a sitcom that doesn't relate to the usual-shmultzy high school sitcom. It doesn't poke fun at the misadventures the characters would experience nor does the show turn them into a whole and have a story per episode grouped together ala Glee who does all of the forms above.

In the first season of Community, we see Jeff Winger (Joel McHale) an up and coming lawyer who enrols into Greendale Community College because his alma meter Columbia told him that his law degree isn't real. He would realize that enrolling in a community college would have its disadvantages in particular the fact that it's filled with high school dropouts and students who had been here for decades and still haven't graduated. Winger sees a girl named Britta (Gillian Jacobs) a former feminist and activist, and decides to hook up with her by faking a Spanist study group with no success. But he and she makes the group REAL when Pierce Hawthorne (Chevy Chase who currently looks like Larry David), an old man who has no idea who's who, Annie Edison (Alison Brie, who's apparently hot) a straight laced nerdy high school dropout, Troy Barnes (Donald Glover. BTW he's not related to Danny Glover for anybody curious) who used to be the star quarterback of his high school and was Annie's classmate, Shirley Bennett (Yvette Nicole Brown) a recently divorced mother and Abed Nadir (Danny Pudi), an aspiring director who's somewhat living in a line between reality and fantasy. They all attend the same Spanish class with Senor Ben Chang (Ken Jeong) as their neurotic and arrogant teacher.

As we follow the group who are all doing Spanish, their stories weave into the picture outlining how they're here in the first place. Community is perhaps the best sitcom I've ever seen without using the laughter track. And I'm not exaggerating. I've seen Arrested Development. Creator Dan Harmon brings this smart and inventive show into the genre and with its geniune meta and referential humor. I can think of several ways how this is funny than what I am currently watching.

First of all there's ther writers who's writing is almost phenomenal. There are moments that make other shows and movies look so cheap. (e.g. - there were two moments directly and indirectly that the show had poked fun at Glee). Second of all is Abed who is apparently the breakout of the show and is the main conduit of Harmon. He feels like a hybrid of Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother and Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory. At the very first episode I thought he's just a frustrating and weird character that the writers had to jot down. But at later episodes he apparently has a sense of resourcefulness for all of the group and apparently some qualities that the audience would relate to and admire such as emulating another character from a certain TV show or movie and comparing people with characters from the shows. This also follows as the second half of (ok you'll get the point) the duo with Troy and also that Abed can be unpredictable (e.g - how he directs his movies coincidently tends to be based too much on real life events of the group). Stay during the end credits of each episode because most of their skits are just damn funny. And third of all, the whole cast who all have different senses of humor delivered ranging in from Jeff and Britta's deadpan to Pierce's not-at-the-moment.

All of the cast gives their all and so does Jeong who shows that he can be funny at times that would be appropriate (he's not often funny when he's appearing in movies) while this gives Chase a comeback of his career. But there's also heart involved as there is motivation for the characters being here in the first place as they've plan on improving their lives and show how much of a misfit they are.

But overall Community is a must see show for all ages especially for people who are tired with the nerd's humor in The Big Bang Theory. It's currently the best show out today.

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