Community is a strange beast. With one hand, it provides some great comedy that is not afraid from homage or parody (or excellent pot-shots at Glee) whilst on the other it offers some nice, warm-hearted feelings. Of course, it’s a sitcom so the messages are generally silly, but jokes come back in later episodes and character actions actually have consequences that last longer than the episode they occur in. Indeed, there’s actually a really good show even without the comedy which is just as compelling at times.
Regardless, it is the comedy we are here for and it delivers it in plenty. It does take a good few episodes before it starts to hit its stride though. The early episodes focus too much on a relationship that only really has any point to it by the end of the season (I hate using that. It’s series, dammit!) in what is, to be fair, nicely handled. Regardless, after five or six of the 25 episode-long run, it just gets better and better till the last disc of episodes is really just icing on the delicious, moist cake. Whilst pretty much everything culminates well in the final episode, both comedically and plot-wise, the crème-de-la-crème has to go to Modern Warfare, which may be one of the best episodes of any show I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching. What an awesome episode.
In fact, what an awesome show, generally. Whilst the characters are diverse and made sure to never be boring or predictable (unless that is the joke) the jokes come quick, be they wrapped in absurdity, painfully obvious slap-stick, word plays, sounds, racist Pictionary and so on. In fact, lots of similarities could and indeed are made to Arrested Development, but they are two different shows, even if they share a lot of traits. Nevertheless, fans of AD would no doubt appreciate what Community does, so consider that a decent comparison to. For a British comparison, I’d have to say Spaced; it’s the combination of normality and the ridiculous along with a barrage of references, however Community does take the crown from Spaced for ‘Most Ridiculous Paintball Sequence’ (try an entire episode).
There’s a lot more that could be said, but going into any detail can ruin the fun and surprise of anything, or everything, the show has to offer and I don’t want to deprive anyone of that (despite the first link and that of the trailer below). Of the features, well there’s the standard stuff which I haven’t checked out (some episode commentaries I have a feeling would be pretty interesting to listen to) although I did check out the bloopers on the last disc and they were pretty funny. If you really care about any of that stuff…I know when I have DVDs, I just like watching the actual content, but that could be me.
Anyhow, there’s plenty of choice out there in sitcom land, but if you’re looking for something with a blend of clever and stupid, heart-warming and…heart-colding (I guess) you could do a hell of a lot worse. It’s at a good price to boot, though I’d say it was worth the price for the last disc alone. What I’m saying is, it’s nice to have a show that genuinely makes you laugh out loud and is fun to watch, in-between, or not, the comedy down-time. Unless you have the DVDs for the next season (which we won’t be getting for another year!) I can’t imagine you not being upset by you putting back in the final DVD and closing the box before putting it back up on the shelf. That, dear readers, is the mark of a great show.