Posts tagged: Los Angeles Times

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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