Wednesday, November 23, 2011

How Jack Became a Fan of Community

It started with the announcement that Community was going on hiatus.  I wasn't heartbroken or anything.  I never watched Community, but it was one of those shows that I knew I would like if I did watch.  Nerds dug the show.  I'm a nerd.  I would dig this show.  More of me fellating Community after the break...

After the announcement, the internet community showed their support to save it.  I read Eight Reasons NBC Should Keep Community on the Air, and yes these are eight good reasons... Well, I'm not a fan of #8 now, and the reasons aren't the order I'd put them in... And the only reason I read that article is because the headline on fark for it was "Eight Reasons NBC Should Keep Community on the Air, and Yes Annie's Boobs is On There."... Annie's Boobs is a monkey.  I didn't know that.  All I know is that Alison Brie is the sex.

From the season 2 finale "A Fistfull of Paintballs"
That little sampler got me interested.  The two clips, though, that got me hooked were the Troy and Abed Clips...

And the Levar Burton cameo.

Then what I should have done in the first place and watch.  I started watching thanks to illegal, online streaming.  (Note, I've since bought both seasons on DVD... so I'm not a completely terrible fan)  It started slowly, but it's quickly grown on me... a lot.

After finishing the brilliant, brilliant, bloody-fucking-BRILLIANT first paintball episode "Modern Warfare," I was actually sad that I'd never get to experience watching it for the first time ever again.  When I found out that they did a two-part season 2 finale also involving paintball ("A Fist Full of Paintballs" and "For a Few Paintballs More"), I never thought that they could top season 1.  They did.  It was epic.  The first part was chock full of Sergio Leone western homages.  The second was partially Star Wars based.  I'm sorry... if you even have a little nerd in you, you will love this show.

Community is an ensemble comedy that boasts some of the best characters on tv.  Troy and Abed are the greatest duo since Ernie and Bert...

If it were to be canceled, I think that it will forever be compared to Arrested Development.  Both boast an amazing cast of characters that are endearing in spite of themselves (though the characters in Community aren't as selfish or self-interested as the Bluth family).  Both are crafted well.  Differently but extremely well.  Both share a winking self-awareness.  Both have a broad range of humor from high brow to slapstick.  Both seem to be appreciative of the audience and the stories they're telling.   Both casts genuinely seem to be having fun, and it translates on screen.  And like Arrested Development, Community will probably not find its massive fan base until its over.

Now, Community is no Arrested Development but no show is.  I consider Arrested Development to be the greatest comedy of all time.  Community has some bizarre, hilarious and surreal moments, but it isn't put together the same... What I loved about Arresed Development was how layered everything was.  How a joke one moment set up the funnier joke the next.  (That whole MR F arc... I mean, wow.)  How everything was connected.  How it bucked convention (what other show made incest a regular plot point?) and turned everything on its ear with each episode.  How each plot was carefully and brilliantly constructed for the future payoff.  You got the sense that Arrested Development was planned from the beginning, and it knew exactly what it wanted to do.  Arrested Development was everything LOST should have been... but funnier.  Totally going on a tangent.  This is how my mind works.

Community is different.  For the most part, each episode is your standard stand-alone episode where what happens one week has no bearing on the next.  Community is a lot like a cartoon really, and I mean that in the best possible way.  Hell, this season, we even had an episode that looked into seven different realities that lead to the introduction of Evil Troy and Evil Abed.

The plots and scripts are cinematic in nature with frequent homages to pop culture.  If you know your British tv, Community is like the American version of Spaced... Actually, it's unfair to describe Community as Arrested Development or Spaced because... it's just different.  There's something new and interesting about it that makes it impossible to compare it to anything else.  One thing though... it's always fun.  And it's always cool.  Community is how I'd want my life to be like and how I'd want my friends to be.

Epilogue... This past Sunday, I bought both seasons of Community on DVD.  I had them on my desk.  On my itunes, I'd been listening to Childish Gambino's (Donald Glover... Troy from Community) amazing debut album... and then I get on facebook and see that Lomo posted a pic of her and Danny Pudi.  LOMO AND ABED.  Apparently, he and Alison Brie (who, as I mentioned earlier, is the sex) sang for a band that opened for the Bright Light Social Hour, and she met both.  Jealousy isn't a strong enough word.

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