Dan Harmon

‘Community’ Season 5 Episode 6 Recap: “Analysis of Cork-Based Networking”

Community’s fifth season has, thus far, spent much of its time taking care of old business. First order of said business was jump-starting the show in light of Dan Harmon’s return as show-runner; we had to tie up the loose ends, explain the speed-bumps of the “gas leak year,” and most importantly, establish that the show could be great again. Once that was done, there was the matter of departures: first a proper send-off for the already-absent Chevy Chase, and then last week’s epic farewell to Donald Glover. Now that all of that is out of the way, this week’s episode, “Analysis of Cork-Based Networking,” merely has the job of being a good, solid episode of Community—and our first real look at what that show will be from here on out. … Read More

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‘Community’ Season 5 Episode 5 Recap: “Geothermal Escapism”

There are two types of episodes that Community does particularly well, though they seem direct contradictions of each other. The first is tightly focused, character-and-dialogue driven stories—bottle episodes, a bit of television terminology that the show itself made common knowledge in season two’s “Collective Calligraphy.” For all their narrative complexity, “Advanced Dungeons and Dragons” and “Paradigms of Human Memory” would also fall into that category, as would last week’s excellent “Cooperative Polygraphy.” And at the other end of the spectrum are the big, high concept, gimmick episodes, wherein character and emotion are smuggled in underneath spoofs of genre tropes. The multiple paintball episodes are the most obvious examples; the Ken Burns-influenced “Pillows and Blankets” and Law & Order-styled “Basic Lupine Urology” also leap to mind. But no stunt episode had as heavy an emotional burden as last night’s farewell to Troy Barnes, “Geothermal Escapism,” which makes the show’s dual success as comedy and drama all the more remarkable. … Read More

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‘Community’ Season 5 Episode 4 Recap: “Cooperative Polygraphy”

Those lucky enough to get screeners for last night’s Community had been hyping it in a big, albeit spoiler-free, way for weeks before it aired. So going into “Cooperative Polygraphy,” I was expecting something big: yet another paintball free-for-all, maybe, or one of the hyper-specific parodies that’s become one of the show’s specialties. But this episode is the perfect counterpoint to last week’s showy take on the David Fincher crime flick. Where “Basic Intergluteal Numismatics” completely altered the look of the show to fit another filmmaker’s aesthetic, “Cooperative Polygraphy” strips Community down to its bare minimum, leaving a group dynamic that’s unmistakably the brainchild of Dan Harmon. Despite taking place entirely in the study room, “Cooperative Polygraphy” never feels claustrophobic. The tangled relationships between these characters and their near-infinite comic potential are all Community needs to land its funniest, most effective installment yet of Harmon 2.0. … Read More

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‘Community’ Season 5 Episode 3 Recap: “Basic Intergluteal Numismatics”

An old, familiar feeling crept into the bones of this Community fan during last night’s episode, “Basic Intergluteal Numismatics.” The premise is simple: a spoof of the David Fincher playbook (Seven and Zodiac, specifically), with moody photography, constant rain, bright flashlights, and muted color saturation illustrating the investigation of a serial criminal on the Greendale campus. The twist is that the evil-doer is the “Ass Crack Bandit,” who drops quarters into posteriors. It’s a technically well-executed episode, with the stylistic parody elements on point and the cast going through their familiar paces. But it’s also kind of a Xerox of the third season’s inspired Law & Order spoof, and like most Xeroxes, it’s not as sharp as the original. And that’s when I got that unfortunate shudder: this was like watching season four again. … Read More

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‘Community’ Season 5 Premiere Recap: “Repilot/Introduction to Teaching”

When the troubled fourth season of Community drew to a close last May, our final recap took the form of a question: should this show continue? It wasn’t that year four had been a total washout; if there were only a couple of great episodes (and there were), there were also only a handful… Read More

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Everything We Know About ‘Community’ Season 5 So Far

Sherlock‘s third series may have owned yesterday’s trailer buzz, but today it’s all about Community. This morning gave us our first look at the chronically embattled sitcom’s fifth season, set to return to NBC on January 2. Unlike most TV previews, the trailer’s pretty plot-heavy, setting up a season-long arc that keeps the central cast together despite last season’s resolution. In honor of both the big reveal and December 10 — forever immortalized by Yvette Nicole Brown and this GIF — we’ve rounded up everything we know about Community Season 5, which faces the tough task of living up to the series’ first three installments and living down its fourth. … Read More

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Why the ‘Sharknado’ People Are Doing Bad Movies Wrong

Last night, the Syfy Channel aired a little something called Sharknado, a made-for-TV movie about… well, a shark tornado. “Enough said,” as the ads insisted. The film, which featured such D-list luminaries as Tara Reid and Ian Ziering, was the latest collaboration between the network and Asylum, the studio behind such “mockbusters” (closely titled blockbuster ripoffs viewed, almost entirely, by accident) as Transmorphers, Paranormal Entity, and Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies. Their previous Syfy originals have included 2-Headed Shark Attack, Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus, and Mega Pirahna. They’re making a very good living creating bad movies — but you can’t create bad movies. Asylum and Syfy, at risk of being a buzzkill, are doing it wrong. … Read More

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