Category: reviews

Community – One Of The 10 Best Sitcoms on TV Right Now

By , April 29, 2010

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.

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Muslims, the Stereotype Du Jour on NBC’s ‘Community’

By , March 19, 2010

I am an Jewish-Israeli living in the U.S. and while I love Community, I still had similar feelings to the Imran who wrote on ELAN the post about Muslims stereotypes in Community. Here are some of his points:
Abed’s dad and sister come from Gaza which is highly probable and not outrageous given the occupation and restricted access to travel they would have. I’m completely convinced that they would go through hell on earth to travel to America for something as silly as a community college’s Family Day. But it’s just a sitcom and crazier things have happened on television.

The daughter, Abra is (surprise, surprise) wearing full niqab and is referred to as “wearing a burka” throughout the show by even the Muslim characters (also, she’s the only one who is speaking non-gibberish Arabic). They establish right away that the reason she’s wearing it is because her father won’t let her take it off because he’s a monster. She just wants to jump around in the astro jump thing they have set up at the picnic, come on Dad!

Later Abra is “freed” by one of Abed’s female friend’s kids who help form a distraction so that she can go enjoy herself in the Astro Jump thing, burka-free. Albeit the episode wasn’t morally heavy, it still made a strange and somewhat awkward point about oppressed Muslim women and backward nonexistent Arab/Indian hybrids.

What do you think?

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Which Thursday-Night NBC Comedy Is the Best? We Think Community

By , March 11, 2010

TV.com is trying to decide which NBC Thursday-night comedy is the best. Will CommunityParks and RecreationThe Office, or 30 Rock reign supreme?

This is what they say about Community:

Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury (by the way, you look handsome and/or pretty today), you will hear my opponents talk about how The Office has launched careers, and how Parks and Recreation has a guy with a funny mustache. But one thing you won’t hear them talk about is heart. This, my friends, is what puts freshman comedy Community ahead of the pack. The way the show’s writers have transformed a group of misfits into a tight-knit clique has been natural and heart-warming. More than just a series of non-sequitor jokes, Community puts its characters into action for a purpose and not just a chuckle. As for its competitors, The Office and Parks and Recreation are basically the same show, and 30 Rock is just an overblown Saturday Night Live sketch. Plus, what other TV show could end its Christmas episode with its cast bloodied up from a street brawl, yet still manage to be touching? Only Community. I rest my case. —Tim Surette

Read their review of the rest of the Thursday night lineup at TV.com .

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OnMedia: My picks for TV’s top shows of 2009

By , December 22, 2009

On Milwaukee choose Community as one of the best TV shows of 2009:

1. NBC’s Thursday night comedies. Just as it was in the days of “Seinfeld” and “Cheers,” and “The Cosby Show” before that, NBC’s Thursday night is again must-see TV.

It starts at 7 p.m. with the newest entry, “Community,” created by ComedySportz alum Dan Harmon and featuring Marquette gradDanny Pudi. That’s followed by the most improved show of 2009, Amy Poehler‘s “Parks and Recreation,” which has moved beyond its roots as a clone of the documentary style of “The Office.”

This year’s “The Office” is dealing with the uncertainties of the economic mess we’re all in and “30 Rock” remains the daffiest show on television.

The best way to digest the night is to DVR the lineup and watch each episode twice, just so you don’t miss all the hidden gems.

community nbc

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Familiar Faces in Fresh Formulas

By , December 17, 2009

What seemed in early fall a rare outbreak of inspired television writing has in recent months become something rarer—not an epidemic, exactly, but a season impressively stocked with creations drenched in wit and enterprise, all unmistakably reflective of a drive toward formula busting. These things are, of course, always relative. In television these days, one quality hit a season—especially in the impossibly snare-infested comedy genre—seems a lot; two is like breaking the bank.

Yet we’re now finishing a television year that has seen both the emergence of ABC’s uproarious“Modern Family” and its less dazzling but wonderfully mordant lead-in, “The Middle,” about another kind of modern family—a brew of consistent charm and character with a bracing hint of nightmarish reality underlying its sitcom fun. Add to these the most unexpected gem of all—NBC’s “Community,” a satire set in the unlikely precincts of a community college. Its creator, Dan Harmon, was, by his own account, inspired by the semester he once spent at one in pursuit of an effort to strengthen ties with his girlfriend. That relationship didn’t work out in the end, but, happily, the same can’t be said of this whip-smart series about an improbably compelling band of adults taking classes at a sunny academic hell called Greendale Community College.

The same can be said for “Community,” which stars Joel McHale (“The Soup”) in top form as Jeff—a glib but undeniably attractive former lawyer who has gone back to school because his license to practice was revoked (he’d apparently skipped going to law school). The difference here is that the laughs derive entirely from the show’s flinty heart. There are lapses, to be sure, when its creators can’t resist the old siren call—the sitcom impulse to dump a little treacle into the brine. That way lies ruin, as most writers of satire ultimately learn. And “Community” is, despite its doses of warmth and fellowship, nothing but satire in its look at the adults in the study group Jeff runs. They’re all strivers, most of them bent on getting close to Jeff because this disbarred lawyer seems a person of stature. These characters are the product of cold-eyed observation, exquisite at its meanest, particularly when it focuses on an older student—the insufferably pompous Pierce, a character to which Chevy Chase brings considerable authority, and not surprisingly. None of this is to say the series doesn’t offer more varied targets of amusement. Its picture of the sorry lot of obsessives and other deranged types in charge of delivering learning at the college, and of the assorted weasels and buffoons serving as deans and other high officials, is priceless.

Read the full story on the WSJ

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Positive trend – season’s top comedies

By , December 14, 2009

Tim Goodman from the SF Gate choose the best comedies fo the year and #13 is Community:

13. “Community,” NBC. Sometimes superb, sometimes creatively erratic, this freshman series about a group of diverse students and a strange faculty at a community college is now hitting more than missing. It, too, has a lot of potential and has rewarded those sticking with it as the writers hone the characters.

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NBC Gets its Mid-Season Report Card

By , December 7, 2009

DVR Play Ground gave NBC a “D” in their Mid-Season report card. One of the bright points– Community:
The Good: The Biggest Loser. Three words that not only sum up NBC’s only bright-spot ratings wise this fall, but also the fact that the downward losing spiral that the Peacock Network currently finds itself in has not just one, but two benefits for us TV Addicts. (1) It has set the network’s bar for renewal far lower, allowing little-watched laughers such as PARKS AND RECREATION, 30 ROCK (and hopefully COMMUNITY) to flourish, and (2) Forced NBC to try harder, as evidence by recent deals that has the network paying top dollar for big name talent such as J.J. Abrams and David Tennant.

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COMMUNITY “The Politics of Human Sexuality” Review Episode 11

By , December 4, 2009

We hope you enjoyed Community Episode 11 as much as we did.
COMMUNITY-The-Politics-of-Human-episode 11

Some reviews of the episode’s include:
Daemons TV , with their favorite quotes:
Troy to Abed on Abed’s basketball abilities – “It’s impossible to guard you, your eyes are too gentle and mysterious”.
Troy – “Don’t eat the crab dip Yeeah, yay!”
Shirley on the male anatomy – You’ve never seen one on the internet, or in pictures, or Harvey Keitel’s”?
The ‘Wheel of Remorse’ at the STD fair
Jeff on horses – “Can you ever real ‘own’ a horse?”
Abed when preparing to arm wrestle Troy – “I need to wait for a more inspiring song, this score isn’t right”
Pierce’s date: “she thinks that Monty Python is the evil snake from Harry Potter”.

And TV Squad:

Another solid episode; this show is really in its groove right now. The new relationship Jeff has established with Britta; the one without him trying to get into her pants every week, or her accusing him of it every week; is really working for me. I like this group more as a bunch of friends than a group of potential hook-ups. At least for awhile.

Nighty night Troy

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Community Review from the View of a Community College Professor

By , December 2, 2009

M. Garrett Bauman, an emeritus professor of English at Monroe Community College in New York, however, doesn’t like the characters from Community.

In an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Bauman argues that the show’s cast of quirky characters (a divorcee, a former football star and a once straight A high school student to name a few) are not representative of students at a real community college. Bauman says the show overlooks people too poor to go to an expensive four-year university, people on welfare, high school slackers etc.

Here are some highlights from his article:

Don’t expect a realistic portrayal of community-college life any more than you expect as much in other comedies about social institutions like M*A*S*H, Scrubs, or The Office. Like them,Community satirizes the institution while making the people empathetic or endearingly eccentric because of the crazy place they inhabit. Community is the usual story about us. The subtext says we are caring survivors despite our institutions’ attempts to debase and destroy us.

While Community conveys community colleges’ diversity in age, gender, and race, it conspicuously avoids students in career programs or those who are truly academically weak or unprepared. Its core seven all have personality, brains, and zest. Despite the jab at air-conditioner repair, our characters take film, astronomy, and traditional liberal arts; most have no stated career goals. I suppose students truly shattered under life’s wheel and those seeking technical jobs don’t make for perky television material…

Community does not capture the real community college—as if there were one. But neither doM*A*S*H, Scrubs, or The Office capture actual institutions. Comedy exaggerates, romanticizes, and deconstructs. Community plays off stereotypes and clichés, reinforcing and puncturing them at the same time. Another college show currently airing, Greek, about sororities and fraternities, is just as absurd, with elegant houses, formal flirting lessons, and “unhappy face” cupcakes sent to decline invitations. It enacts the same myth as Community: People muddle forward despite the institutions that are supposed to nurture them but don’t.

The reality—of strangers working closely together for 15 weeks on commuter campuses, working long hours to pay bills, poring over diagrams of air conditioners or Spanish verb forms, and then going their separate ways—is too cold for comedy. The show may miss the intellectual life of community colleges and ignore the prosaic struggles many students face, but it has created precisely what is often missing in real community colleges—community.

[Source: umdbk.com and Chronicle ]

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New Comedy Throwdown: Community vs. Modern Family

By , November 24, 2009

TV.com has both Community and Modern Family has the best new comedies of the season, but they are trying to decide which one of them is the best. Here are some of their thoughts:

Cast: This critical category is a tight one. Community boasts Chevy Chase, the man who once played Fletch, and Joel McHale, the man who could play him today. Add fall’s freshest faces—Danny Pudi and Donald Glover—and you’re looking at TV’s most surprising new motley crew of a cast. But Modern Family has Ed O’Neill, who is looking like an Emmy candidate right now, and adding Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet, Sofia Vergara, and a bushel of funny child actors only seals the deal. Point: Modern Family.
Guests/Recurring Actors: Like sexually frustrated couples, comedies need to throw others into the mix to spice things up. Shelley Long in ModFam’s “The Incident” was hilarious. It was nice to see Diane Chambers get absolutely lubed on booze and destroy a wedding. Unfortunately, Ed Norton’s appearance as Spandau Ballet’s bass player was a disaster, despite the “Fandau” gag. Elizabeth Banks was so-so, but just reminded us how much we’d rather watch Cam and Mitchell instead. On Community, John Oliver’s portrayal as Jeff’s nemesis/friend (frienemesis?) is hysterical, and I don’t care what anyone says, Ken Jeong as Senor Chang is muy awesomo. Fred Willard’s upcoming role as Phil’s dad in Modern Family could change our minds, but for now, it’s Point: Community.

The Winner: Just a second as I count the votes… it’s Modern Family by the official score of three to two! But let’s face it, we’re all winners here! Except for Community, which is slightly less of a winner. But in this race, there’s no shame in second place. Let’s just be happy we actually have “best new comedy” candidates this season. Modern Family, stop by the TV.com offices anytime to pick up your trophy.

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