Community

‘Community’ Proves Yahoo Is Betting Big on Original Comedy Programming

Yesterday, when it was announced that Yahoo would be the streaming platform to revive Community for a sixth season, the news was predictably met with a mixture of joy from its fans and eye-rolling from its detractors. What everyone did agree on was that Yahoo was a laughable outlet to resurrect Community. Twitter immediately went for the “Outdated Platform Revives Classic TV Show” joke format. It is an odd choice — why not Hulu, Netflix, or even Amazon Video? — but Yahoo has actually been working on increasing its original programming output, so perhaps this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. … Read More

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‘Community’ Isn’t ‘Arrested Development’: Why Dan Harmon Deserves His Sixth Season

Yesterday was pretty crappy, even by Monday standards: like most women I know, I spent most of it fuming over the Hobby Lobby decision, calming down, looking at Twitter, and getting furious all over again. So while Yahoo’s 11th-hour decision to bring Community back from the brink of cancellation didn’t salvage my mood entirely, it did take the edge off. Dan Harmon’s capable of brilliance wherever he lands (see Rick and Morty, in which animation allows Harmon and co-creator Justin Roiland to go even further afield), but Community has always been his most beloved project, not least because it’s constantly in danger of dying out. … Read More

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Flavorwire’s 15 Favorite Shows of the 2013-2014 TV Season

Television is a year-round affair, but May marks the official end of the 2013-14 season. It was a great TV season, one of the most exciting that I can remember, and it brought us the debuts of instant-classic series, as well as especially strong seasons of returning favorites. There was an overwhelming amount of good television during these past 12 few months. Although it’s tough to narrow it down, here are my 15 favorite shows of the… Read More

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‘Community’ May Well Come Back From the Dead — But It’s a Success Story Even If It Doesn’t

On Friday, NBC announced that Community wouldn’t be returning for a sixth season. One can only assume that the news was timed in hopes that it would be buried on a Friday afternoon, but NBC should have known that obsessive Community — and TV — fans are pretty much glued to Twitter, our handy second screen, at all times, Friday afternoon/night included. On the one hand, Community fans (and I always include myself in this group) have been preparing for cancellation at the end of every season, but on the other hand, this somehow felt like the one year when renewal wasn’t a long shot. … Read More

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How ‘Community’ Season 5 Won Back a Frustrated Fan

Community became my favorite TV comedy almost immediately. The 2009 series premiere, which I distinctly remember watching on my computer via a Facebook preview link, wasn’t perfect, but it was strong for a sitcom pilot. I watched it twice. It managed to be expositional without sacrificing quality, full of hints of what the show would eventually become — a clever subversion of sitcom tropes, deep pop culture references, a heavy dose of self-awareness, and a perfect balance of humor and emotion. And did I mention it was funny? It was! Extremely funny. … Read More

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‘Community’ Season 5 Episode 12 Review: “Basic Story”

It’s not often that you get to see a major network television show arguing with itself. But that’s one of the surprises, and pleasures, of “Basic Story,” the first installment in Community’s two-part fifth season finale, which spends much of its first half suspiciously tiptoeing around the idea that, for once, Greendale Community College is free of chaos, its staff and students utterly content. “Usually a lot more than this happens in 30 minutes,” notes Abed, at the end of a half-hour of study group playing-on-their-phones time, and that denomination of time isn’t accidental. For a show that spends plenty of time playing in the meta sandbox, this week’s episode represents a continuation (after last week’s “G.I. Jeff”) of the idea of pushing beyond inside jokes and self-awareness, and genuinely exploring (and exploding) the very nature of fiction. … Read More

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‘Community’ Season 5 Episode 11 Recap: “G.I. Jeff”

The important fact about Community’s gimmick episodes is that the good ones are never just about the gimmick. The paintball episodes, the Ken Burns spoof, “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas”—when the show trots out its tricks, it’s like a particularly good magic show, where the illusionist uses the tool of diversion to smuggle in some of the heftiest intellectual and emotional content of the series. This week’s episode, “G.I. Jeff,” replicates the look and feel of the old G.I. Joe syndicated cartoon show flawlessly: the little specs on the image, the choppiness of the cheap-o animation, the stilted dialogue. The recreations of those ‘80s live-action toy commercials are likewise perfect. And while we’re marveling over the perfection of the nostalgia, we can easily miss that this not only of the most ambitiously melancholy Communitys to date, but one that questions the very essence of reality. … Read More

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‘Community’ Season 5 Episode 10 Recap: “Advanced Advanced Dungeons & Dragons”

PERSONAL CONFESSION ALERT: I’m a pretty nerdy fellow, but I don’t get Dungeons & Dragons. This puts me rather at odds with Dan Harmon, who fucking loves him some Dungeons & Dragons. He put the role-playing game at the center of the season two Community episode “Advanced Dungeons & Dragons,” and plays a round of it on pretty much every episode of his Harmontown podcast. I usually fast-forward through that part of the show, because for all of the subversion and dick jokes, it’s basically a bunch of people in a self-perpetuating fantasy, awkwardly announcing “I cast the spell of the Sacred Funyon” or whatever, and I got a lotta podcasts to listen to, dude. … Read More

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‘Community’ Season 5 Episode 9 Recap: “VCR Maintenance and Educational Publishing”

Community is about as dialogue-heavy and joke-dense as any comedy on television, but sometimes, they earn their richest laughs by saying nothing at all. Two of the best moments in last night’s very good “VCR Maintenance and Educational Publishing” were pauses, perfectly timed and beautifully executed: the Dean’s deep and rather frightened breath before running out of the study room following a fierce and angry freestyle rap in a Payday candy bar costume, and the looooooong moment of Annie, Abed, Annie’s brother Anthony, and Abed’s girlfriend Rachel just staring blankly at the television, trying to wrap their heads around the “Pile of Bullets” VHS game. If there’s been a longer pause on network television, I’m not aware of it—but the indulgence of that pause wonderfully summarizes the spirit of the show this season. Ah, what the hell, it seems to say. It’s not like we’re scaring any new viewers off! … Read More

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‘Community’ Season 5 Episode 8 Recap: “App Development and Condiments”

When we take the long view of Community, what may be most interesting—and riskiest—about the show is its total inconsistency with regards to “realism.” The word is worth putting in quotes, since it’s such a loaded term when you’re talking about television or film or any of the performing arts; it’s all fake, even the works praised most highly for their naturalism. But there are shows whose proximity to a recognizable reality are closer than others; The Wire is more realistic than, say, The Blacklist. Yet Community won’t let you find your footing; they change up their reality on an almost weekly basis. … Read More

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