Hey, Guys? 'Community' Is Still Really Good
Community is still really good. Like really good. I don’t think this will be news to most of you, but it felt like time to talk about it. See, last night, while the Senate was debating if sick people deserved to be treated like humans, I took a break from news and social media to dip back in with the gang at Greendale. I was not disappointed. In fact, I might need to now rearrange my list of most rewatchable shows to move Community above both 30 Rock and Arrested Development. (Fight me.) But just in case you need a refresher on the most sophisticated show on TV (fight me again), I’ve compiled a not-even-close-to comprehensive list. Enjoy.
1) Endless Rewatchablility
I will die on this hill. I cycle through about four or five shows a year that I rewatch as background noise. The aforementioned 30 Rock and AD along with Parks and Rec, Always Sunny, and Archer. The top of the list is now Community. Partly it’s that Community is the current flavor of the month, sure. But significantly more is the actual content of the show. Namely, it’s a sitcom with incredibly well established characters and relationships that doesn’t depend at all on their characterizations. This isn’t a show where characters don’t matter (like a Law & Order), but it’s also not a show where a character’s journey is the only thing that matters (like, to varying frustrating degrees, House). Dan Harmon managed to create a show where people you knew and loved could, at any moment and for almost no reason, do whatever the fuck Harmon wants. Which means watching one show is basically watching every show. Add to it the almost innumerable callbacks and Easter eggs, and there’s no reason you couldn’t easily watch this thing twenty times. I’ll let you know for sure in five or so rewatches.
2) Genre Episodes
This is a slight continuation of the first point, but one that needs a stand alone entry. Harmon and Co. should be writing shows or movies in all of the things. Police procedurals, post-apocalyptic action movies, crime noirs, Westerns, and did they actually do a Star Wars or just heavily allude to it? I think they actually did, right? Either way, Community has an entry for almost any category show you want to watch. And they’re also the reason I will never be able to take seriously any movie or show that uses Sara Bareilles’ ‘Gravity’ during a key love scene.
3) Fan Videos
I know plenty of shows have dedicated fanbases. But something about the intricacies of the shows themselves lend Community to a different brand of fan. One that dissects both the individual episodes, and the show as a whole. (Which is admittedly a little strange given that most of Community’s charm is an aversion to being restricted by any single theme or category. But I’m wandering way too far into that video’s lane. Just go watch it. Post-narrative theory is really fun). I don’t want to be the asshole who believes smart shows that have smart fans create the best fan content, but given that I am the asshole who believes that, I’m going to go ahead and say it.
4) John Oliver Is There
I don’t have to say anything else, right? Because John Oliver is there, and one time he does this:
But, if for some ungodly reason that isn’t enough for you, let’s run through just the highlights of all of the many guest stars Community had: Brie Larson, Patton Oswalt, Nathan Fillion, Tig Notaro, Walton Goggins, Kumail Nanjiani, David Cross, both Tony Hale and Matt Walsh, Eliza Coupe, Martin Starr, and a guest appearance from
David Keith Keith David (damn it, guys, one of you has to change your name to something very different or you have to have the same name. But this current state is ridiculous) before turning him into a series regular. Also that’s like a quarter of the full list. All your favorite people are at one cool, very weird party. It’s the best.
5) Just All The Memes In General
The last time I made it through the day without using a Community quote was September 17, 2009. For good reason.
And that’s not including that fact that I’m completely unable to utter a singular “cool.” Hell, we’re living in the Darkest Time line. Community knew what we needed years before it happened. Meaning the show might not just still be good. It might be actual magic.
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