Not as in, care in the...
If you're a bit of a film geek (that means you, probably), congratulations youve likely just discovered your new favourite show. At first glance, though, that may not be immediately apparent. Dan Harmons ensemble comedy brings together a seemingly uninspired group of stock characters (the jock, the nerd, the creepy old guy etc.). Headed by Joel McHales disgraced lawyer (below), theyve all taken a wrong turn in life and found themselves studying at Greendale Community College. Theres the temptation early on to write off Community as either smug or derivative, but its still finding its feet as the characters evolve. Stick with it beyond the first few episodes and youll reap the rewards.
Once it knows what it wants to be, Community takes flight. Lacking the crutches of a mockumentary format, flashbacks or laugh track that many of its contemporaries lean on, it simply peppers you with gags. What initially came off as smug is clearly just confidence, and as that confidence grows, the show has more and more fun playing with the sitcom format. Never is that more apparent than in Modern Warfare, the infamous paintball episode directed by Justin Lin (Fast Five). Staying within the shows established reality, Lin perfectly balances action and comedy in redefining what a 30-minute sitcom can realistically achieve referencing everything from 28 Days Later to Die Hard along the way.
Like The Simpsons golden age, Communitys meta-humour, homages and high concepts work because theyre underpinned by great characters bolstered by inspired casting. Its near-impossible to pick a favourite: Donald Glovers hilarious, Alison Bries adorable, Gillian Jacobs is gloriously unfunny... Chevy Chase is Chevy Chase. After just one season Community established itself as one of the best shows around, and it only gets better from here.