Monday, January 06, 2014

Two Down, Eleven To Go

I finally got around to watching the first two episodes of this season's Community.  They might not have been classics, but they have definitely turned things around from the soulless fourth season.  I assume we can mostly thank Dan Harmon, the once and future show-runner, for the change.

No matter who was in charge, the show had to deal with the fact that all the leads graduated last year.  There's no need for a study group, or even for anyone to be at Greendale.  So, in "Repilot," Jeff at first returns to sue the school, and has his former study group sign on, before deciding to save the school and become a teacher.  Meanwhile, the study group goes back to college to get what they missed first time around.

It was fun to see the show as it was meant to be (minus Pierce, who was missed, even though he had a cameo), but it's hard to know what a first-time viewer would make of this, there were so many in-jokes. When Jeff discusses how everyone's changed over the the last four years, it's a comment on the show, but one that would mean little to a newbie.  For that matter, Donald Glover cursing out Zach Braff for leaving Scrubs after six episodes in season nine would mean little to anyone who doesn't know Glover will be leaving this season after five.

Speaking of which, that's another seat that'll be tough to fill.  I guess we'll deal with it when we come to it.  Meanwhile, Pierce's seat is now filled by Professor Hickey, played by Jonathan Banks, in episode 2, "Introduction To Teaching."  We get to see that Jeff might actually care--a bit--about teaching his class.  We also have an excuse for him to hang with the study group, since they're now meeting to help save Greendale.

Jeff's story, especially with Annie going crazy over getting an A-, was good, but there was more attention to the seminar Abed and others attended--taught by Kevin Corrigan's Professor Sean Garrity--over whether Nicolas Cage is good or bad.  There's no easy answer, which bring Abed to a psychotic breakdown (his breakdowns were referenced in "Repilot").  Just by chance, I watched the rerun the day before that dealt with both Professor Garrity and Abed answering the question to the course "Who's The Boss?," so it felt like solid continuity.

Anyway, hooray, the best sitcom is back on TV.  We may only have nine episodes left, most Troy-less, but let's enjoy it while we can.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm going to go against the weight of the internets but while there were a couple of great moments (the riot over the minuses, the tie-beating were weirdly great), this was not making me feel "must see"- last season seemed more sitcom-y, this seems more like a live action Family Guy. Not that plots matter all that much but I didn't even bother to try to figure this one out and couldn't tell you why Jeff was teaching or why the group was even meeting still. At this point, I'd prefer a time travel trope back to season one. (Chang could just be a bored instructor again and not batshit crazy)

Of course that is the fate of Community fans- constantly bemoaning the fact that it wasn't as good as it was and then ultimately finding out it was never as good as it was.

6:41 AM, January 06, 2014  
Blogger LAGuy said...

Or is it that Community fans bemoan it's not as good as it was until they discover in reruns that it's as good as ever? (Except season four.)

8:25 AM, January 06, 2014  

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