Ryan H.

Community

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Great starter episode. Loved the 2001 reference.

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Yeah...it kicked off real well, I thought.

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Besides the 2001 reference, which I loved because it used a part of the movie that doesn't often get referenced, there was the Doctor Who/Inspector TimeSpace parody and the Cougartown/Cougarton Abbey parody (the fun part with those were the jokes about the lengths of British series), which both worked pretty well.

John Goodman seemed to be doing a parody of every Coen brothers part he's played, too. And Michael K. Williams as the new biology teacher. It also seems like Dean Pelton is going to have a larger role (he's in the opening credits now). I just wonder if they can sustain that many characters without the show feeling bloated.

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Immediately one of my top 5 Community episodes of all time-- for the hysterical Glee-inspired intro alone, I think. Also loved how it was able to work so much pop culture/"meta" stuff in without being an outright parody episode, and still being extremely plot-driven.

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Wired recently posted a pretty in-depth profile of Community creator Dan Harmon that touches on his method for plotting the series' episodes, the series' creation, its pop culture savviness, and Asperger's.

Harmon, 38, is the creator of Community, a sitcom about a group of community-college study buddies and the most giddily experimental show on network TV. He began doodling the circles in the late ’90s, while stuck on a screenplay. He wanted to codify the storytelling process—to find the hidden structure powering the movies and TV shows, even songs, he’d been absorbing since he was a kid. “I was thinking, there must be some symmetry to this,” he says of how stories are told. “Some simplicity.” So he watched a lot of Die Hard, boiled down a lot of Joseph Campbell, and came up with the circle, an algorithm that distills a narrative into eight steps.

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What a wonderful episode. Nothing jaw-droppingly big happening here, but many lovely character moments (gotta love the use of Richie's "Hello").

I'm glad that after the Abed overload of season 2, they've eased off him a bit in these first two episodes.

Edited by Ryan H.

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What a wonderful episode. Nothing jaw-droppingly big happening here, but many lovely character moments (gotta love the use of Richie's "Hello").

I'm glad that after the Abed overload of season 2, they've eased off him a bit in these first two episodes.

Two Model UN's have a "world peace"-off and are disrupted when someone lets loose a particularly stinky fart. An instant classic!

Loved the Britta/Chang story, too-- great that they recognized the sometimes-annoying character tendencies of Britta and made fun of them in a way that was still true to the character. And when's the last time Chang had some of the funniest moments on the show?

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Alan Sepinwall wasn't crazy about last night's episode, and it prompted him to do some musing on whether the show can regain its balance between the wild spoof episodes and the "normal" ones.

The thing is, though, last night's Community is just the kind of episode I love best... one where the pop culture references are tucked into a more character-driven piece.

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The thing is, though, last night's Community is just the kind of episode I love best... one where the pop culture references are tucked into a more character-driven piece.

Yeah. I'm honestly a bit tired of the big, over-the-top spoof episodes, and felt that there were too many of them in Season 2. As far as I'm concerned, it was wise to dial COMMUNITY down a bit for its third season.

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We finished the first disc of the second season and really liked it. Loved, even. Even the worst episode of the bunch ("Basic Rocket Science") was great in so many ways. Looking back at the first few posts of this thread, I have to disagree with the assessment that the show (at this point) is weaker than the end of the first. In fact, I think it keeps building on the relationships between the characters, keeps showing them grow as, well, a community. Todd VanDerWerff's reviews on the AV Club are pretty illuminating, and I think he hits on good stuff in his write-ups.

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Jason, I have come to prefer Season 2 to Season 1, myself-- both for its formal audacity and for the way it builds its character relationships, as you say. My only complaint with the season was its treatment of Pierce, actually, who at the end of the second season I was hoping would just get kicked out of the show, though his presence in season 3 has, thus far, been fine.

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Starting the season off with a big song and dance number about how they will be a more traditional sitcom is dialing it down? :)

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Jason, I have come to prefer Season 2 to Season 1, myself-- both for its formal audacity and for the way it builds its character relationships, as you say. My only complaint with the season was its treatment of Pierce, actually, who at the end of the second season I was hoping would just get kicked out of the show, though his presence in season 3 has, thus far, been fine.

I've seen tons of people remark on how he's the weak link. And, well, he is...but I still like him. I've heard that Chase doesn't gel with the rest of the cast off camera, and you can see that. But I still feel like his character is vital to the group, if not as vital as the rest of the cast. His B plot in "Messianic Myths and Ancient Peoples" was fantastic, and the sorta sad, tender ending really made it.

Anywho, favorite lines this season: Chang saying he managed to reroute the power, and Abed answering "to what?" as Chang backs away; and Troy saying "Yeah, I don't know why I thought that would work" as the zombie students rip his cardboard power loader armor away.

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Jason, I have come to prefer Season 2 to Season 1, myself-- both for its formal audacity and for the way it builds its character relationships, as you say. My only complaint with the season was its treatment of Pierce, actually, who at the end of the second season I was hoping would just get kicked out of the show, though his presence in season 3 has, thus far, been fine.

I've seen tons of people remark on how he's the weak link. And, well, he is...but I still like him. I've heard that Chase doesn't gel with the rest of the cast off camera, and you can see that. But I still feel like his character is vital to the group, if not as vital as the rest of the cast. His B plot in "Messianic Myths and Ancient Peoples" was fantastic, and the sorta sad, tender ending really made it.

I don't have any issue with Chase's performance, or with the character not being sufficiently funny... I just felt like they made him into such a villain that it didn't make sense that the group would still want to be his friend. It rang false in terms of the internal logic of this show, at least to me. But they seemed to acknowledge the problem toward the season's end, and have toned down the Evil Pierce thing a lot this season, at least thus far.

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But they seemed to acknowledge the problem toward the season's end, and have toned down the Evil Pierce thing a lot this season, at least thus far.

A smart move.

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Alan Sepinwall wasn't crazy about last night's episode, and it prompted him to do some musing on whether the show can regain its balance between the wild spoof episodes and the "normal" ones.

The thing is, though, last night's Community is just the kind of episode I love best... one where the pop culture references are tucked into a more character-driven piece.

Agree. I thought the episode had a lot going for it, such as

- The Annie/Jeff moment on the couch

- Annie's breakdown

- The "Earth 2" solution

- The jabs at the United Nations

- The entire Britta/Chang subplot (seriously, it was just brilliant)

- Bill from Freaks and Geeks

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I don't have any issue with Chase's performance, or with the character not being sufficiently funny... I just felt like they made him into such a villain that it didn't make sense that the group would still want to be his friend. It rang false in terms of the internal logic of this show, at least to me. But they seemed to acknowledge the problem toward the season's end, and have toned down the Evil Pierce thing a lot this season, at least thus far.

Also, they further addressed the Evil Pierce thing in the premiere of season 3 when Jeff started being evil and Pierce-like as a result of being cut off from the table.

I'm glad Chevy Chase is there. He is a spice that, when used in small amounts, improves the overall flavor of the entire show, in my culinary opinion.

I'm really enjoying season 3 so far. And I'm wondering if the show will end after 4. I kind of hope so. I love the sense of humor of the show but could imagine it getting really old after 5-6 years. Also, I can tell you that any explanation that they might try to come up with in order to extend the "community college experience" for these characters past 4 years is not gonna be good.

Edited by Gavin Breeden

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Oh by the way: Donald Glover (Troy) raps under the name Childish Gambino. According to All Songs Considered, he got the name from the Wu-Tang Name Generator.

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I'm really enjoying season 3 so far. And I'm wondering if the show will end after 4. I kind of hope so. I love the sense of humor of the show but could imagine it getting really old after 5-6 years. Also, I can tell you that any explanation that they might try to come up with in order to extend the "community college experience" for these characters past 4 years is not gonna be good.

I hope the show makes it to four seasons. It's by no means guaranteed.

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"It's called the Todd Problem."

Uproarious episode. The Chang-noir storyline was hilarious-- but the Study Group stuff was even better. And Omar made much more of an impression than he did in the premiere.

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This season is handling Chang much better than Season 2 managed to do.

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Not sure how I feel about tonight's episode. The tragedy and darkness timeline was great (including the end tag), but the other ones didn't do much for me.

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Really? I thought it was brilliant-- a bottle episode, conceptual episode, and character-driven episode all in one. The timeline you mention, Tyler, might actually be the hardest I've ever laughed at this show. More than anything, I'm amazed they did this on network TV!

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The tragedy and darkness timeline was great (including the end tag), but the other ones didn't do much for me.

Yeah, I have to agree.

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Really? I thought it was brilliant-- a bottle episode, conceptual episode, and character-driven episode all in one. The timeline you mention, Tyler, might actually be the hardest I've ever laughed at this show. More than anything, I'm amazed they did this on network TV!

I have to agree. I loved this episode. I guffawed several times. And the "different timelines" idea is something only this show could really pull off. This kind of episode sort of sums up a lot of what I love about Community for some of the reasons Josh mentioned, built on a pop culture concept (nerdy sci-fi timelines, etc.), driven by characters, and lots of jokes.

I agree with you, Josh. I think Troy leaving to get the pizza ("I'm going go really fast so I don't miss anything") and his reaction when he returned made me laugh harder than I have in a while. (I also laughed every time Britta did her "Me So Hungry" walk.)

Showing what happened when Jeff was absent was kind of chilling. Last season we thought Pierce was bad for the group, but perhaps Jeff is worse for them.

And great tag at the end.

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