Sunday, May 15, 2011

Communitarian

Community is done for the season.  It was a good second season, and the show seems to know where it's going.  The first season it took a while to shake things out.  At first it seemed to be about a smart-ass lawyer forced to go back to college to get a degree, and who joins a study group because he's after a hot blonde.

By now, the show is about the ensemble, with all seven members of the study group having their own weight, and the Jeff/Britta on-again off-again relationship hardly being at the center. In fact, Jeff, though still nominally the leader, is quite capable of being as foolish and silly and unimportant as any other character, and (this being a self-conscious show) he sometimes even recognizes that fact.  Britta's got it even worse, since she often plays a fairly minor role as the group's radical chic irritant.  In fact, Annie now seems more important, and perhaps the better sexual match for Jeff.

Another thing that's happened is the world of the show has grown.  There are numerous background characters that, though they may be one-note, we've gotten to know pretty well.  Above all there's the ineffectual Dean Pelton, who likes to dress up in women's uniforms and has a crush on Jeff.  There are also some profs we've gotten to know, including Duncan and Garrity.  As for the students, there are more backgrounders--including Starburns, Leonard,  Fat Neil, Garrett, Quendra and Magnitude ("Pop pop!")--than there are regulars.  Perhaps they'll be featured more as the writers search for different storylines, but for now, I think the show has achieved the proper balance, having them come in for a line or two before returns to the leads.

The worst thing that happened this year is Shirley had a baby.  Always a bad sign, but Community made it much worse by allowing her husband Andre to return and be a nice guy.  Another problem is Senor Chang has become a regular.  I'd rather they dumped him after the first season.  At least he hasn't become a member of the study group, though it's possible he will now that Pierce has walked out.  Yes, that's the big cliffhanger.  After a season where Pierce was often the bad guy--not just the crotchety old racist we've gotten to know, but a genuine villian--he walked out on the group after the were willing to have him back.  Pretty much a nothing of a cliffhanger, but then, I've always thought the sitcom cliffhanger was sort of silly.

Overall, I guess Community is my favorite comedy out there now. It's been picked up for a third season, but the ratings aren't great (though it is up against an actual sitcom hit, The Big Bang Theory).  I have to wonder if they don't improve, does this mean the gang won't graduate?

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have no TV in the house, and in their zeal to own 0's and 1's Microsoft has done something to cause Silverlight to stop functioning, so we've even lost Netflix.

We still don't miss TV, since there is so much available online, but it alters the view. The Middle was a favorite until they decided their ad numbers did not support online viewing, and Big Bang does not even exist in this universe. I'm watching shadows on the wall. Somehow, though, if I managed to back up behind the light, I think I'd find nothing but silhouettes.

6:02 AM, May 15, 2011  
Blogger LAGuy said...

Sounds like you don't miss TV because you still have TV.

I've noticed Big Bang is not available On Demand, which I've found quite annoying as Community (and the whole NBC Thursday lineup) is. Still didn't stop me from picking Community in the sitcom shoot-out.

10:54 AM, May 15, 2011  
Anonymous Denver Guy said...

When I miss programs that aren't available on Hulu or Xfinity, I google the show and episode name with "Links" and "EU" and find what I guess are European replay sites. I've been watching the Mentalist all year that way because it runs opposite 30 Rock & Outsourced and I only have one DVR.

8:29 AM, May 16, 2011  

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