(Hy)Lights #11 – COMMUNITY

Original Date: February 6, 2013

Once upon a time in the year of 2009, NBC was still going through tough times with their line-up of shows. In that year, NBC ended their long-running hit ER, among cancelling 15 other TV shows of theirs, including their failed revamp of Knight Rider and ending My Name Is Earl on a cliffhanger (which I hated BTW) and worst of all on that year, it was replaced by a weeknight-run of The Jay Leno Show, which proved to fail as most people predicted, but there was a shining light on the NBC schedule and that name…….that name is Community.

 

To tell you the truth, I never would have thought that Community would pique my interest but after watching the first episode, I watched this religiously (or never, ever, ever missed a new episode), and that’s a word I don’t use often…..or ever. I might as well stop stalling because if you knew me well or not, this is one of my favorite sitcoms to have ever been on TV and manages to stay on it for more than just a year.

 

Community is set at Greendale Community College, and opens with Jeff, a suspended lawyer, inviting a former political activist named Britta to a fictional Spanish study group in order to seduce her. However, Britta invites Abed, another member of the Spanish class, who in turn invites four more members of the Spanish class (Troy, Annie, Shirley and Pierce) along to thwart his plans and the study group becomes real. Despite their varying ages, backgrounds, and personalities, the group grows together, and everyone eventually develops a close relationship with each other. The group, as an entity, is fairly self-centered, only interacting in passing with other members of the student body, and even then mostly due to competitions, arguments, or feuds. This behavior is encouraged by their flamboyant Dean, who regards them in general (and Jeff in particular) as his favorite students, even going so far as to visit their study room to tell them about a fire that has broken out before he alerts the rest of the school. Each member of the group has several personality flaws that are often highlighted in various ways that play off the show’s idiosyncratic meta-humor.

Now for characters, Community is enriched with delightful characters that you can’t help but really be a fan of and some of the time, most of the characters that you thought would be that archetype of character but ends up being someone you really can relate to. Now I might just mention the main and few supporting characters considering we’ll be here all day long going through all of them.

 

There’s Jeff Winger, played by Joel McHale (from The Soup, the only intentionally funny show I would ever watch from the E! Network), and while Jeff is a narcissist womanizing jerk who often persuades the group to do his way of things, there’s something about his charm and delivery of that makes him a likable asshole, which McHale have been doing in some of his movie roles recently.

 

Britta Perry, played by Gillian Jacobs, who is the activist, liberal one in the group who’s a high school dropout trying to get back on track. Now the biggest thing about her either the relationship between her and Jeff, the will they or won’t they, but luckily that part doesn’t control the whole show and it goes deeper in order to know the personality of Britta and the flaws within her.

Now, for the two most-talked about characters and my favorites (and possibly anybody else’s) Troy Barnes & Abed Nadir, played by Donald Glover and Danny Pudi, respectively….now here’s the thing: I NEVER expected to like Troy considering he was mostly a jerk in the first few episodes and I guess that since he was a former high school quarterback who lost his scholarship, that equates him as one but as the show goes on, he’s one of the most likable and charismatic characters in the show and there’s Abed, who really loves him some pop culture as it often shows by comparing the group to most TV tropes, and is the source of meta jokes in the show. Plus, the comedic chemistry between the two is really the best part of the show with their cold closing spots known as Troy and Abed in the Morning.

 

Annie Edison, played by Alison Brie (of Mad Men), is the youngest character in the group who was more of the innocent one in the group during the first season but we learn about her high-school troubles, why the name of Annie Adderall exists (she was addicted to Adderall), her relationship with her parents and some of the guys in the group (at first, Troy, but soon, Jeff). It’s no contest that anybody who watches the show has a major crush on Alison Brie and I know some people who would fit that description.

 

Shirley Bennett, played by Yvette Nicole Brown, is the mother of the group, a vocal Christian woman and also has two kids of her own and a divorcee (well, before season 3, that is). I see her as the kindly figure that is very sweet but you would unintentionally unleash her aggressive side of her.

 

And then there’s Pierce Hawthorne, played by Chevy Chase, the oldest member of the group who just enrolled into Greendale out of boredom and is the least-liked member of the group (and I can see why). He is aware of his place and attempts to fit in more despite his arrogance and incoherent nature.

 

Other characters does include “Señor” Ben Chang, played by Ken Jeong, who’s the Spanish teacher but that ends up being a short stint after the school discovers his incompetence as a teacher and then becomes a student who desperately wants to join the Study Group and would fight for that. There’s Dean Craig Pelton, played by Jim Rash, which wants his quaint school to feel more like a university but it was going to be a long feat before that happens…….and there’s Star-Burns, played by Dino Stamatopoulos (also a consulting producer and writer on the show), the student with stars on his sideburns; Leonard, the other elderly student who’s been told to shut up; Fat Neil, who has ostracized for being fat, hence Fat Neil; Magnitude (Pop Pop!!). Also many guest appearances of the show with characters played by John Oliver, John Goodman, Rob Corddry, Michael Kenneth Williams, Giancarlo Esposito, LeVar Burton……and too many to name.

Now, as much as I like the show for being something that actually more geek-centric but not in a completely obvious “Oh, look, we’re geeks, we like Firefly, too!!! Appreciate us! Like US! LOVE US! FUCK US!!!” way as most TV shows usually do it; however, I can’t say all people will get this. Hell, I know most people that didn’t get it or made it past the first episode. Some characters often annoyed the hell out of me sometimes, mostly Pierce, considering he’s the one character who I don’t really give a damn about…the other main 6, yes, but he doesn’t last a presence with me for long and then there’s Chang, who is really annoying when it comes to him being a student and being in the study group.

 

This show is also what I consider an endangered species, meaning it may have the acclaimed-worthy praise from many television critics and fans alike, the ratings are more or less than what 30 Rock rakes in and is often ignored by The Golden Globes and the Emmys but fortunately for them, NBC’s other programming aren’t exactly ratings’ gold, hell, their other programs bring ratings as worst as Community is getting. But I’m not relying on luck when it comes to their ratings, considering that they are close to syndication and Comedy Central bought it for off-net rights, I’m hopeful but still skeptical on whether if #Sixseasonsandamovie is only a myth. However, as Season 4 has been announced, more dire and awful news as Sony TV fired Dan Harmon as showrunner, Chevy Chase left the show although I thought his character (and him) wasn’t really worth a shit that much, and they have been rescheduled from their intended October 19th date to February 7th…….thankfully, it isn’t that far. But can the show still be funny and entertaining without it’s’ creator?

Well, I don’t know. Watch one of the episodes to find out.

I will say this as a FINAL VERDICT considering the show didn’t end….at least we won’t know until May 2013 but watching this show for the past 4 years has been a blessing in sitcoms, something that I never would have thought to watch but not only I did, I enjoyed it very much. However it’s not rare that a beloved show is in danger of getting canceled and maybe with enough fandom and just watching the show live as it comes on and get good ratings (or if they count the DVR ratings – They should.), you may get those 2 seasons to make that aforementioned myth come true.

 

And until then, this is MAK2.0 aka The Hybrid, bringing all the elements in one format.

 

COMMUNITY – courtesy of NBC / Krasnoff/Foster Entertainment/ Dan Harmon-Russo Brothers Films/ UNIVERSAL TELEVISION & SONY PICTURES TELEVISION

 

THE MIND OF THE HYBRID ONE – my Tumblr Page

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