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  1. Community

    March 19, 2015 by Hannah Conroy

    Hello Human Beings! Welcome to a blog about a show I think is streets ahead, Community. Community is a comedy which follows the adventures of a study group at Greendale Community College. The show revolves around seven main characters, who are members of a Spanish study group. The study group, Jeff, Britta, Abed, Troy, Pierce, Shirley, and Annie, all become friends over the course of the show as they deal with the issues presented by Greendale and their relationships with each other.

    Jeff, the “leader” of the group, is a former lawyer who was kicked out of his firm once it was revealed he did have a real college degree. Britta is an activist who has come to Greendale to finally earn a degree. Britta can has been described as “the worst”, “the AT&T of people” and “the opposite of Batman”. Abed is obsessed with TV shows and pop culture; he is constantly referencing pop culture and discussing the things the study group does as if they were on a TV show. Troy is Abed’s best friend and a former high school football star. He injured himself doing a “keg flip” and is now at Greendale having adventures and doing ridiculous things with Abed. Pierce is an aging millionaire who hangs around Greendale taking various classes and saying politically incorrect things. Shirley is a Christian mother of two and wants to earn a degree to open her own sandwich shop. Annie, the final member of the study group, is a hardworking young woman who has high hopes and does not react well to things not going her way. Despite all of their differences in age and personality, the study group are all great friends and stand by each other through fights and other hard times. The Dean of Greendale, Craig Pelton, also makes appearances, along with the eccentric former teacher Ben Chang.

    Community has received positive reviews and praise from critics throughout it’s time on air. The show has never had very wide viewership, however, leading to the near cancellation of the show several times. The first real threat of cancellation happened during season three, when Community was suddenly taken off the NBC schedule and fans were given no set date of when it would return. The fans reacted strongly to this, taking to the internet to express their displeasure using hashtags, and in real life by protesting outside NBC. NBC responded to the fan’s distress, saying the show would air eventually, just not at the intended time. The season did air, just much later than had been anticipated, leading to things like a Halloween episode airing in the spring.

    The fourth season also brought drama for Community, as showrunner and creator Dan Harmon was removed from the show. The fans responded negatively to this move as well, as Harmon’s vision always guided the show. I thought the fourth season was not as good as the others with Harmon, and lacked the same spirit the others did. Harmon returned for the fifth season however, and the fourth season is now referred to as the “gas leak season” after the show’s characters mentioned a gas leak leading to weird events the year before.

    Community was sadly cancelled after the fifth season, once again leading to anger among fans. In a somewhat miraculous turn of events, Yahoo! Screen picked up Community and announced the show would now air on their platform. Community came back for a sixth season, which premiered on Tuesday, fulfilling half of the dream of “six seasons and a movie”. It was ridiculously exciting to hear that one of my favorite shows would not be cancelled and watching the episode on Tuesday made me incredibly happy. It will be interesting to see how the show develops on Yahoo!, however if the two episodes released this week are any indication, it will be very good, as the episodes managed to capture the spirit of the show I love so much.

    There has also been a few problems regarding the cast of Community. The sixth season now only has four of the original seven cast members. Chevy Chase, who played Pierce, left the show after a mutual agreement between himself and showrunners decided his departure would be for the best. There are rumors he was not the most pleasant to work with. Donald Glover, who played Troy, left the show due to personal problems and other obligations. Glover also performs as the rapper Childish Gambino when he is not acting on Community, however he has said he left due to personal issues, not to pursue rapping full time. Yvette Nicole Brown, who played Shirley, also sadly left the show to care for her ill father. Despite the losses from the cast, the show continues to be very good and has not lost it’s core dynamic, plus the new additions to the cast seem promising. As you can see, Community has had it’s fair share of drama, but the fans are always fighting for the show and supporting it in any way they can.

    The fans support for the show throughout its many ups and downs stems from, I think, the uniqueness of Community. The show really cares for the fans, often thanking them on social media such as Twitter and Reddit. The actors are involved with the fans on Twitter, as Dan Harmon and other writers are. Community feels like a world you could be a part of, and the fans want to be a part of it. The show incites passion because there really is nothing else like it. The show itself is great, the jokes are always funny and the plotlines entertaining. However, Community is also unique and engaging, and in touch with the fans. The show’s writers know their audience and give them what they want. There is a Dungeons and Dragons episode, an episode about a Doctor Who-like show (“Inspector Spacetime”) and an episode about “MeowMeowBeenz” (I give it 5 MeowMeowBeenz). The plotlines can be ridiculous and unbelievable, but they are always authentically Community.

    I absolutely love Community and I highly recommend that everyone watch this amazing show. It is unique in it’s meta, self-aware humor and referential jokes that refer to not only other shows and but also previous events from Community. For example, the third time Beetlejuice was referred to on the show, Beetlejuice himself can be seen walking through the background. The attention to detail and commitment to making Greendale seem real is part of what makes Community so great.  It is also highly character driven, by characters that are all unique and ridiculous and awesome. The show is highly quotable and could be watched over and over again and never get boring (not that I know from personal experience or anything). It’s ability to come back from the edge of cancellation is borderline miraculous, and is a testament to the dedication people have to the show.

    My favorite episodes include “Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design” and “Remedial Chaos Theory”. “Remedial Chaos Theory” is admittedly a little weird, but it’s the first episode of Community I ever saw, so it holds a special place in my heart. However, you also can never go wrong with watching the paintball episodes. The new episodes are available on Yahoo! Screen and the previous seasons are available for rent and on Netflix Canada. Go forth and watch, for Jesus wept when he saw how good Community is.



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