Paste magazine selected the 10 best sitcoms on TV right now , and of course one of them is Community. Here is what Paste had to say about the show:
Community is a show suffused with pop culture. Almost every episode’s plot has been done by a sit-com or movie previously, but Community revels in its referentiality. Nearly everyone watching Community has spent countless hours watching other TV sitcoms and trashy Hollywood movies. The characters of Community have done the same, and aside from Abed’s encyclopedic knowledge of pop culture, they respond to clichéd show tropes in the same way you do. They know that Jeff is the cool guy, that Britta has been set up as a romantic interest regardless of the lack of chemistry between the two characters. They know that Pierce is comic relief and that they’re the center of the universe because they’re TV characters. They’ve managed to take the oldest jokes in the book and make them completely new.
Hollywood.com has an interview with Alison Brie from Community; here are the highlights:
We’ve seen you do a lot of comedy (Community, Hot Sluts) and in that work the humor seems to come from of your composure and dead pan. How did you develop that? Was it from a particular influence?
Hmmm, good observation! I don’t know where this started exactly. I’m sure a lot of my comedic sensibilities on-screen just come from my day-to-day sense of humor and the way I joke around with my friends. I’ve always surrounded myself with funny and bizarre people and in turn developed a repartee with most of my friends and colleagues that involves one or both of us slipping back and forth between deadpan and total zaniness. Danny Pudi is a major culprit of this, as we spend most of our time together on set doing very specific odd-ball bits behind the camera that nobody else can really quite grasp.
Also, I think it’s important in comedy to be able to define your role in any particular bit; are you creating the comedy or reacting to it? On ‘Community’ we have so many comedic geniuses on the show and everyone gets a chance to go real broad at times and have big physical comedy moments and at other times it is merely your job to play it straight while someone else flies off the handle. I think some of my favorite moments on the show have been reacting to Ken Jeong, who is friggin’ hilarious and can improv and take a scene to it’s very limits and all I really have to do is keep a straight face, which isn’t always that easy. I suppose I also have to credit my college, CalArts, for giving me lots of practice at maintaining conviction behind your own character’s intention in a scene – so when Ken’s ranting and raving and everyone on the crew is losing it and just cracking up, I’m able to stay in character and focus…most of the time!
As of now, you’re regularly balancing cerebral drama in Mad Men with absurdist humor in Community. Which do you prefer? Which comes more naturally?
I cannot pick a favorite! (terrible answer, I know) The truth is that as different as the shows are from one another, and they couldn’t be more different, they are equally fulfilling. The real gift is the opportunity to do both at the same time, which is also a wonderful challenge and great practice! I suppose the comedy comes a bit more naturally to me, but that is one of the things that makes doing both projects so great. We have so much fun on the set of ‘Community’, joking around and trying to find new ways of making things funny. On ‘Mad Men’ the challenge is often to find and articulate the depth and nuance of a character’s emotions in a given situation. The struggle is what makes that fun and the fearlessness and freedom that I find on the set of ‘Community’ help inform the work I do on ‘Mad Men’, and vice-versa. After 3 years of working with such delicate specifics on ‘Mad Men’, it is easy to find comedic twists and turns on ‘Community’ while still giving the character some depth and perspective.
411mania has an interview with Joel McHale from Community; here are some of the highlights:
effrey Harris: So what is going on with Community is it coming back for a second season?
Joel McHale: It is. It got picked up for 22 episodes.
Jeffrey Harris: So what is it like to be a part of this great, fun show and you got a hilarious ensemble cast?
Joel McHale: God bless you . . . 411mania, God bless you . . . thank you for watching.
Jeffrey Harris: So what’s going to happen with Jeff and Britta?
Joel McHale: You’ll see. You’ll know as things progress. It gets pretty crazy.
Jeffrey Harris: Between you and me, Jeff and Britta is my OTP. My One True Pairing.
Joel McHale: Wow! That is good and bad — no.
Jeffrey Harris: Are they yours though?
Joel McHale: I refer to our head writer and creator Dan Harmon, our genius . . . I think the character of Jeff that I play, he’s learning not to be diabolical.
Jeffrey Harris: At first he’s very sort of self-absorbed –
Joel McHale: Yeah.
Jeffrey Harris: But as he interacts with the group, he becomes a better person.
Joel McHale: Well everything has been stripped away from him and he is forced to kind of deal with these human relationships.
Jeffrey Harris: When I first started watching the show, I’m like, “This guy’s a jerk!” He’s a phony lawyer!
Joel McHale: Yeah.
Jeffrey Harris: It’s like why should I like this guy? But then as you see him interact with the other characters, he starts opening up and more and even helping them out like Pierce and Abed. It’s almost like the group is coming together as a family.
Joel McHale: Yeah. I mean there’s weird little hints that Dan drops in that’s like, the guy has not seen his mom in a long time, hasn’t told her he’s in school. So he’s got these hang-ups that he hasn’t dealt with. But yeah, these people he would never associate with become his family.
As if creator Dan Harmon and Co. reached into our brain only to discover two of the things that make us happiest — chicken fingers (Yes we have our local Popeye’s on speed dial, what’s it to you?) and the movie Goodfellas (A movie that we’ve lost count of how many times we’ve seen as a result of our inability to turn it off anytime we accidentally come across it on AMC, which if you know AMC is pretty much every-other-weekend!) —last night’s hilarious instalment of COMMUNITY felt as if it was written directly for us. Seriously.
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What often getsCommunity fans buzzing is what goes on in the final 30 seconds each week.
That’s when cast member Danny Pudi, who plays Abed, gets extra play time with castmate Donald Glover, who plays Troy. They engage in simple shenanigans over the closing credits.
“It really takes you more into the world of Greendale of Abed and Troy,” said Pudi. “It almost feels like we’re shooting a web video at home with buddies.”
In fact, the very first “tag” became a viral hit on the internet. It was a nonsense rap performed in Spanish by Pudi and Glover.