There are some shows that jump out of the screen and slap you across the face from the first scene. And you know, you’re addicted before the opening credits even begin. Two episodes, 44 minutes and 42 seconds into Season 1 of Community, and I still wasn’t sure what the deal with this show was but man, that Spanish rap was hilarious!
Community, a show about seven misfits who form a study group in a community College, is written by Dan Harmon. Harmon is a depressed genius. For some strange reason, when writers who are social misfits, lonely and/or depressed create something brilliant, it is just so much more fascinating. Harmon’s writing is extremely layered; it’s complicated but everything makes sense in a smart and silly way. His writing method that you can read at Wired is intriguing. Try applying this circle to the next episode of Community you watch.
Before this show, Dan Harmon made gag videos and when Community was temporarily benched, the overwhelming response bought it right back. It makes me feel all warm and hopeful inside that while millions watch Keeping up with the Kardashians, there are at least a few thousands who do watch and love an intelligent comedy.
There is little to be written about Community and its meta-ness that hasn’t already been written, and short of simply gushing and going, ‘Oh My God, Oh My God,” all I I’m going to say is that it just blows your mind. These are a few small things in a brilliant series that I think proves that Harmon’s brain is full of birds, fluff and ping pong balls.
1. Troy and Abed in the morning!
Easily the coolest thing about Community, Troy and Abed’s fake morning show, as well as their-end-of-episode gags. In Season 1, the two of them do voices for a bunch of people studying on the other side of a glass window. That was the simplest of their gags that got just crazier, weirder and fun. (It’s hard to be Jewish, its hard to be Jewish in Russia yo)
Magnitude, the one-man party has appeared in not more than four or five episodes and is a classic gimmick character. He wears glasses and a sweater vest and his catch phrase is pop-pop. It’s also his political ideology.
4. The Christmas episode.
An entire episode in claymation with music and magic thrown in? Why not?
5. Chang puns
Guilty as chang-ed, Is there any room in this pocket for a little spare chang, Chang the subject, subject speak the changuage, I don’t chang a lot of chicks, makes me so changry, changlorious bastards…..
6. Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a dean.
Jim Rash is the coolest dean, ever. Incredibly pathetic and optimistic, he has obsessed with making Greendale a ‘real’ college. He has a Dalmatian dog fetish. Personally, I love his name. Kind like good alcohol meets an allergy.
Oh, also, he likes to dress up.
7. Michael K Williams
8. Pop culture references
As someone who references awful sitcoms, dramas, Hindi soaps, reality shows in regular conversation with voices and background scores, Community really speaks to me. And I’m sure I don’t even get all of their references. Apart from crazy asides, they even have complete episode themes that pay homage to pop culture, like the chicken mafia, dungeons and dragons, the paintball episode, Abed making a film on Jesus, etc. But the fact that Dan Harmon pays back to all television, including some we will downright lie and never admit to watching (cough cougar town cough), is just superb.
On a side note, I have very few friends.