Archive for May 1st, 2018

by Brian E. Wilson


Once upon a time, and for one brief shining moment, controlled chaos ruled on NBC’s Thursday night schedule. In the time slot (Thursday, 8pm EST) where the bouncy and affable Friends once earned big ratings with its cozy view of young New Yorkers living in impossibly amazing NYC apartments, NBC placed the quirky, idiosyncratic, absurdist, and inventive Community. Created by Dan Harmon, with episodes directed, written, and produced by a host of wildly creative people, Community could have been a standard sitcom about a narcissistic, recently disbarred lawyer (the very funny Joel McHale, daring to be obnoxious and off-putting) who joins a study group with a bunch of misfits at the fictional Greendale Community College and becomes a better person as a result. However, the show defied the rules of a typical sitcom. It didn’t try to be cozy or cater to a big crowd. It had loopier things on its mind.

During the first few seasons, the aforementioned misfits include the pop culture obsessed and socially awkward Abed (the brilliant Danny Pudi), his wide-eyed naive buddy Troy (the effortlessly funny Donald Glover), the nerdy nursing student Annie (the delightful Alison Brie), the devout Christian mother/baker Shirley (the wonderful Yvette Nicole Brown, an expert at delivering lines both sweet and menacing), the hapless pot-smoking political activist Britta (the great Gillian Jacobs who commits to the role like there’s no tomorrow), and the wealthy and mentally addled Pierce (an enjoyably cranky Chevy Chase). In later seasons, Glover, Chase, and Brown would leave, and the fantastic Jonathan Banks, Keith David, and Paget Brewster would join the study group. (more…)

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