"Community" - Yeah, it's better than "The Office"
The past year has allowed for a lot of time to be spent at home, as the world knows. While 2020 wasn’t a great year for us, it’s safe to assume it wasn’t a bad year for streaming services. Nielsen reports from last year reference growth of nearly 85% in the first month of lockdown. Though it has only been a year, we have seen the rise and fall of many television shows (old and new) on streaming services. Some of the most recognizable include: The Office, Tiger King, Grey’s Anatomy, Criminal Minds, etc. each of which with over 10 billion streams on their respective platforms. There’s one show, though, that I believe deserves to be among this group: Community.
Community is a sitcom that released in April of 2009 on NBC that was created by Dan Harmon, co-creator of Rick and Morty.. The following four seasons were released on NBC with the sixth, and final season, being released on Yahoo! Screen. The series starred Joel McHale, Donald Glover (Childish Gambino), Chevy Chase, Alison Brie, Yvette Nicole Brown, Ken Jeong, Danny Pudi, and Gillian Jacobs.
The show takes place in a fictional town called Greendale and the array of people that end up in the town’s community college. The main character, Jeff Winger, is a smooth-talking lawyer who loses his job after the state bar discovers he doesn’t have a degree. He’s arrogant, lazy, and selfish, but only until he meets his band of misfits. After creating a fake study group to get closer to a girl in class, Jeff meets the people that would change his life. Britta is the young, pretty activist struggling to find her place in the world. Abed is an aspiring filmmaker who struggles to communicate and has trouble picking up on social cues, but he values nothing more than his friends. Troy is a previous high school football player who finds difficulty in his first year of college, no longer being the star he once was. Annie is a nerdy, overbearing, fresh-out-of-high-school mess who’s trying to navigate how to make friends. Shirley is a previously divorced mom looking to learn how to start her own business. Pierce is a millionaire who has been attending Greendale for over ten years. Throughout the series, the group grows and changes until they’re eventually inseparable.
This is genuinely one of the strangest shows I’ve ever seen, with an interesting run. For the first three seasons, Dan Harmon was an executive producer and showrunner. Before the fourth season, he was fired. The fourth season was done by someone else, and was so insane, the characters in the show refer to that year as “the gas leak year.” By insane, I mean amnesia plotlines, entire episodes played by puppets instead of actors, and evil doppelgangers from another timeline. It’s… a lot. Don’t let that scare you. The show is wild, but so incredibly funny and heartwarming.
This show has everything I love to watch. There are laugh out loud moments, jokes that run through several seasons, pop culture references galore, romantic relationships within the group, and entire episodes dedicated to paintball (seriously, the first few seasons always have an intense paintball episode). While the show gets crazy and some of the plotlines are truly insane, it’s a great show about friendship and figuring out what to do in life. If you’re a fan of comedy shows, like The Office or Parks and Recreation, you should seriously check this out.
Community is available to stream on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.