NBC’s ‘Community’ loses out to ABC’s ‘Modern Family’

By , November 15, 2009

The LA Times commented that ‘Community’ loses out to ‘Modern Family’, here are some of their reasonings:

“Community,” though, feels like a fourth wheel. Buried amid NBC’s Comedy of the Awkward, this show, about thrown-together students at a community college, is forced to lean on tricks native to those other shows but that are worse suited to this one’s premise. There’s no Michael Scott or Leslie Knope here. And it’s not that Jeff Winger would make for a great traditional hero, or even antihero: He’s generically slick, moderately intelligent and smarmy without cause. He’s not oblivious; he knows too much. Even though other characters — ascendant social outcast Annie (Alison Brie) and self-assured oddball Abed (Danny Pudi) — aspire to the “Office” mold, they’re actually remarkably normal and evenly drawn. (And in the case of Ken Jeong, as the Spanish professor Señor Chang, hilarious.)

Just because a character is unusual for prime time doesn’t mean he or she has to engage in odd behavior — that’s a tenet understood perfectly well by another new ensemble comedy with quirky characters, “Modern Family” (ABC, 9 p.m. Wednesdays). The characters here are just as unfamiliar to prime time — a gay couple with an adopted baby, a May-December romance. All together, “Modern Family” ends up riskier and stranger than “Community” but never feels forced.

Consider the shows’ use of music in its plot lines. Earlier this month, a “Community” secondary story revolved around a character writing a bitter breakup song about his ex, Britta (Gillian Jacobs), called, imaginatively, “Britta Is a B.” That resulted in an intervention by Pierce (Chevy Chase), who joined the band, then quit it, resulting in a second song: “Pierce Is a B.” Neither was memorable beyond the punch line.

By comparison, last month on “Modern Family,” Dylan (Reid Ewing) wrote a song for his girlfriend, Haley (Sarah Hyland). The result, “In the Moonlight (Do Me),” was sharply written, funny and memorable (boosted by a closing sequence when several other characters find themselves humming the song and an online companion video).

What do you think?

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3 Responses to “NBC’s ‘Community’ loses out to ABC’s ‘Modern Family’”

  1. Jessica B says:

    Well, I don`t watch Modern Family… so I can`t say wich show is better. But what I can say is: when I heard about the new shows I thought Community was more interesting than Modern Family. That`s why I chose to watch only Community.
    And I love Community. I think it is the funniest show on TV now.

  2. mike Rice says:

    Modern Family is Crap. Putting two cliche gays in it was about the last straw. So here’s ABC promoting it as if its the second coming. I’m only writing about network sitcoms because I stumbled on one so good I couldn’t believe its real. Its called Middle and its right before Modern Family at 8:30 pm Eastern, 7:30 central. Middle is a simply written story about a dysfunctional family, whose narrator mother always finds a way to look at the bright side of failure on every side. The kids are stumblebums, just like their parents. Dad doesn’t appear to have a job, but gets involved in things like neighborhood self-propelled lawnmower races in his very amply spare time. He’s an idiot but his wife likes to put a nice face on it. The kids have doubts about their parents and Mom and Dad don’t think their 3 kids were the best ever issued either. Its just one little comic situation after another. I know this kind of nuts and bolts comedy so well I could help write it. When I first blundered onto it I thought its lines were so good, I assumed it was a commercial. But then it went on and on. And on. I now program my VCR to record it every week. I looked at Modern Family, the one ABC is hyping all the time. Its a crushing bore filled with cliches. Just not funny. I don’t have cable but the Wall Street Journal says TBN has a Ray Romano sitcom that’s actually funny. I’d like to see it but don’t have cable, though I used to own the local cable company. I haven’t found anything worth watching on off air TV since the Rockford Files went off in the seventies. I mostly haven’t bothered to look at anything but the news off-air for over 30 years. Middle is a breath of fresh air. I’ll get a look at Community next week.

  3. Jake Hazel says:

    I make a point to watch Community every week, no matter what. Modern Family is what i watch only if i’m done with with my homework. Simply because community is the better (yet more underrated) show. the songs that were written about the breakups WEREN”T supposed to be imaginative. cmon, they were written by an idiot hippy, and the show was obviously poking more fun at him in this regard. and the episodes have stuff twice as funny as this on a regular basis. Additionally, no one aspires to the “office mold” in this show, because of the shows fast pace and dialogue. and i give props to this show for making a different and original hero, the one who “knows too much.”

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