Posts tagged: Popular culture

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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Actor enjoys sense of ‘Community’

By , March 10, 2010

The Star-Telegram has an interview with Danny Pudi, who plays pop-culture savant Abed on NBC’s Community. Here are some of the highlights:

On what Pudi knows that Abed doesn’t:

I grew up a huge baseball fan and sports fan. I remember just memorizing baseball cards and statistics as a kid. I’d get the newspaper every day with my grandma, and I’d read the newspaper’s sports section every day, and just kind of memorize statistics. I grew up in Chicago during a beautiful time in terms of sports, where Michael Jordan was winning championships left and right, and I’m a White Sox fan, so it was a great time to memorize statistics and stuff.

On how people react to Abed:

It’s kind of fun to be the voice of so many people. I’ll meet people all the time who’ll say, “Dude, I know someone just like [Abed]!” Or “I’m that guy! I quote movies all the time!” People will quote movies to me on the street sometimes, and I’ll just have to be like, “Yep! Totally!” Even though sometimes I don’t even get ‘em. Because I’m not Abed — but I am Abed. I think everyone can say that they know someone [like him], and I think there’s a little bit of Abed in everyone.

On whether appearing on a show with the very tall Joel McHale makes him feel short:

He doesn’t make me feel short, but he does make me feel like less of a man [laughs]. Joel McHale is, I think, 6-foot-4, and so is Chevy Chase. I’m 6-foot, which is great. One of the things people say often to me on the street is “Wow! You’re much taller than I expected!” Because of my frame — I’m kind of wiry and gangly, and I look like an Indian Gumby — my frame is way smaller than Joel or Chevy’s. Those guys are like real men. I’m kind of like a boy, though. I am married, though. And I think my wife’s happy.

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Community Creator Dan Harmon on Reference Humor, TV Love, and Whether Joel McHale’s Going to Grow a Beard

By , February 4, 2010

The New York Magazine has an interview with Community Creator Dan Harmon. Here are the highlights:

When I first started watching the show, I was initially turned off by McHale’s character, Jeff. And then very quickly, it seemed like he turned into a nice guy. Was that always the plan?
When we started out, I wanted to spend the first twelve episodes telling the story of this guy who’s this lone wolf, having his membranes dissolved by a new community. That plan sort of went awry in that I think we were more successful than we predicted we would be with making the audience comfortable with this group as an unlikely family. So really, by the Halloween episode, it already felt like we’d told the story of Jeff growing on these people and vice versa. We also didn’t predict that people would adore every single one of those characters for different reasons. It feels like we jumped light years ahead of schedule, and could do this ensemble-comedy show. … And Joel McHale can do his own thing in the background that can be some sort of geek psychological story about him overcoming his pettiness. That’s an upcoming episode, by the way.

What’s up with Jeff and Britta (Gillian Jacobs)? Are they going to be the next Pam and Jim?
That’s actually another important thing about the pop-culture aspect of the show: The characters have all watched Friends, they know Star Trek, they’ve watched The Office and 30 Rock, even. Much like the audience, they’re not going to tolerate having a “will they/won’t they” shoved in their face. The nice thing about having a character like Abed is that you can be meta, and the audience can trust you because you can send them little signals that you’re on the case.

And what about some of your other pairs, like Abed and Troy. They’re such a funny duo; was that a casting choice?
No, it was way more organic than that. I remember the writers and I being very excited about Chevy Chase’s character and Troy, how they were going to be the Beavis and Butt-head of the show. But we sort of abandoned that story, because it didn’t germinate as quickly. And then when we did that first 30-second tag that goes on the end of an episode, that rap with Troy and Abed, and people loved it so much, and you could feel the chemistry while we were shooting, it was instantly apparent that that’s the thing you go towards.

How long do you think the show can last?
Jeff is going to get a bachelor’s degree, and contrary to popular belief, you can get one of those at a community college. And so we’ve got that four-year story — is his life changed or the same? Or is something going to happen to derail the whole thing, for example, the cancellation of our show? I don’t have any ambition to be the next Laverne & Shirley, and have it run two decades. Jeff’s not going to grow a beard and start teaching there while the rest of them open a pet store across the street.

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