Watch it Again: Community

11 Jun

In order to celebrate the three wonderful years of Community before Dan Harmon was fired, and the show may or may not be terrible and cancelled, in that order, I’ve begun a re-watch of the first season.  I was curious to see how it held up to the later seasons, but in terms of how funny it was, but also in terms of tone and personality.  As I watch, I’ll be writing up little summaries and notes, and assessing each episode with a rating, all relative to whatever arbitrary rating I give the first episode.  If you’ve already seen Community, consider this an invitation to re-watch yourself, or at least read and remind yourself of the good times.  If you haven’t seen Community yet, no better day to start than today, what may have been the best comedy on TV of the past couple of years.  Here we go:

Pilot

It’s very different than what the show has become, but not quite as different as I imagined it would be going back.  We have to deal with the whole introduction to the show, which comes out of Jeff wanting to hook up with Britta, and Community is hardly the ensemble it’s become; rather it’s a Jeff show, with a bit of Britta.  John Oliver shows up as Professor Ian Duncan, a former client of Jeff’s who Jeff tries to get answers to, and it seems like he would be in more episodes from this pilot.  The dean appears for a second with his mangled opening speech, which is a hilarious way to start off the show.  There’s basically two plots which both star Jeff; Jeff arranging the study group to hook up with Britta, and Jeff trying to get the answers from Professor Duncan.  The two parts I remember as particularly memorable are Abed imitating Emilio Estevez from The Breakfast Club and Jeff’s speech about how humans are the only animals who observe Shark Week.  Abed seems far less socially adept in the pilot than later on, though obviously he gets super crazy in other, evil Abed Dreamatorium ways.

Overall, I remember being instantly hooked on the show, and though I was worried this would pale compared to some of the newer episodes, although it was different, I can see again why I was hooked.

Rating:  7.8  – This number is completely arbitrary yet is the number by which I will judge all subsequent episodes; I would put it higher, but I want to give some solid room so I don’t have most episodes crowding between 9 and 10, say.

Spanish 101

Still the Jeff and Britta show, but Pierce becomes our first additional character to play a major role.  The A plot is Jeff and Pierce being paired together for a Spanish project; Jeff trades cards and shirts with Abed to be paired with Britta, but Britta’s traded cards as well, so he’s paired with Pierce.  Jeff’s been avoiding Pierce, and after getting sick of him while Pierce turns a five minute Spanish project into an hours long extremely racist whiskey session, finally comes back around and decides to join Pierce and present their project together.  The B plot is largely forgettable as Annie and Shirley trying to learn from Britta’s protest-y past, forming a protest and candlelight vigil for a Guatamalan journalist, while realizing that Britta talks a big talk about protesting but doesn’t do it herself.

This episode is the birth of the Troy-Abed connection, even thoughTroy’s still barely a character, as they are Spanish project partners, and then conclude the episode in the cold closing with their Spanish rap, which I didn’t realize in hindsight, started as early as the second episode.

The most memorable scenes are probably the Pierce and Jeff performing their Spanish project montage, where they wear all sorts of hilarious costumes, an theTroyand Abed rap at the end.

Rating:  7.2 – it’s not quite as good as the pilot, and the B plot is largely unmemorable.

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One Response to “Watch it Again: Community”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Watch it Again: Community – Season 1, Episodes 3 and 4 « Television, the Drug of the Nation - July 20, 2012

    […] while I ago, I began a campaign of re-watching the first season of Community.  Episodes 3 and 4 of season 1 capsuled and commended on […]

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