May 24, 2012

[TV] Community: Season 3

Yes, I'm the sort of geeky who absolutely loves Community. The show is amazingly funny and it has the creative guts to try out a lot of new and crazy ideas when it wants to, no matter what everyone else says. And the has just barely survived it's third season with the fourth one technically confirmed but still possibly changed. But we'll get to that in time.

I appreciate the humor that fuels Community mainly because of how the show embraces a lot of pop culture references mixed in with some obscure geeky moment as well. It's not has nerd-core as shows like The Big Bang Theory are, but it's sort of in the same neighborhood. But quite frankly, I like Community a heck of a lot more than I like The Big Bang Theory these days. But that's life.

The third season officially wrapped up last week with a staggering triple episode airing - and man what a big finish! And while I can understand how Community isn't a show for everyone given all the subtle references and the strange episode formats, but then again I like it and that's all that matter for this review to push forward.

Synopsis: Community is an American sitcom created by Dan Harmon for NBC. The show centers around a study group that evolves into a group of friends who are all trying to get through community college for various reasons.

Like past seasons, this time at the plate involved a number of strange and atypical episode concepts that really set the show apart. And this is already given past seasons have brought us a clay animation Christmas special , a show about tabletop role-playing games and of course the ever popular paintball episodes.

One episode that has gotten a lot of buzz this past week (especially since it was part of the final three episodes) is S03E20 - Digital Estate Planning, that involved presenting the bulk of the episode in the style of an old 8-bit video game. Admittedly the story was quite the trip even though it partly deviated from the larger meta-plot driving the tailend of the season.

Now is it just me, or was seeing Jeff's avatar jump like Mega Man the cutest thing ever?

Then there was the Glee episode - namely S03E10 - Regional Holiday Music, where our favorite Community crew end up parodying the popular TV show Glee. So yes, the gang somehow get drafted to become the school's choir after the actual glee club all suffer nervous break-downs. It's hard to explain why, so just deal with it. Anyway, this is more than just the group being asked to join - it turns into some strange plot where each member is "persuaded" to join individuals until they're all pretty much involved in the Christmas pageant.

But of course my favorite episode (and arguably one of the best of the season) is S03E04 - Remedial Chaos Theory, which starts with the group attending Troy and Abed's little housewarming party. With the group all sitting around the table playing Yahtzee, the arrival of the pizza delivery man becomes a hassle that they all have to deal with. But instead, they roll a die to determine who will go down and get it. And somehow the course of rolling the die creates multiple realities and the episode explores what happens in each of the different timelines based on who leaves the apartment.

This season gave us a lot of different concepts and plot hooks that lingered throughout the run and will probably continue on. Notable ones include:

  • The Doctor Who parody Inspector Spacetime
  • Evil Abed (complete with goatee)
  • The Air Conditioning Repair Annex to the school
  • Chang as head of Campus Security
  • Even more crazy costumes for Dean Pelton
  • The sandwich shop at the school cafeteria
  • Abed's Holodeck-style Dreamtorium
I could keep on listing stuff, but I suppose that would be going a bit overboard.

As much as the show has always felt like it had a sort of niche feel to it along with rather obscure story concepts, I felt this season was particularly notable for really giving the characters a greater sense of continuity. And this certainly shows growth for the show away from it's predominantly "episodic" storytelling where each show stands more or less on its own.

I really enjoyed this season and thus I totally don't get why the networks decided to scare us all with that mid-season break that lasted a bit longer than it should have. Thankfully the show survived that and got renewed, but with Harmon no longer attached to the project in any significant capacity, it's hard to determine where the show will go with the next season ahead.

Still, I had a LOT of fun with this season of Community and thus I happily give it a solid rating of 4 shouts of CRISIS ALERT! during the model UN competition out of a possible 5.

Enhanced by Zemanta


  1. Don't think Community will be the same w/out Harmon. They might as well have ended the series with this season.

  2. It definitely won't be the same - we can only hope it'll still be a decent enough show to watch though.