Author Topic: I love Community - let's talk about it  (Read 4027 times)

BritishHobo

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I love Community - let's talk about it
« on: April 20, 2020, 12:22:12 PM »
Started rewatching Community on Netflix in quarantine times, and I forgot how fucking genuinely brilliant it is (so far). Talk to me about it.

I've just cleared season two. The first two seasons are basically perfect. Just so many ideas and Harmon, especially with the meta stuff at a low level, is just astonishingly good, knocking out great joke after great joke at an insane rate. Probably the only thing I've found different on this watch is that I kinda get why Chevy Chase was annoyed. Pierce is the only character in the study group who is genuinely a shitty person - while the others all fuck up but grow and get forgiven, Pierce is just increasingly a horrible, nasty cunt who the others all hate.

I'm a bit worried going into season 3 because I remember that being when it started to go off with way too much emphasis on Abed's obsessions.

Re: I love Community - let's talk about it
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2020, 03:40:51 PM »
watched up to  the D&D episode last night and it was glorious to behold Pierce becoming the villain he was always capable of being.

I remember nothing of series 5 or 6 so I am looking forward to catching up on those.

Series 4 is when the Gas leak happened and I don't remember anything about that year....(except the shitty felt episode and the shitty origin episode)

I loved this show and it's good to dive back into it.





up_the_hampipe

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Re: I love Community - let's talk about it
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2020, 04:05:39 PM »
Probably the only thing I've found different on this watch is that I kinda get why Chevy Chase was annoyed. Pierce is the only character in the study group who is genuinely a shitty person - while the others all fuck up but grow and get forgiven, Pierce is just increasingly a horrible, nasty cunt who the others all hate.

He was most likely written that way to reflect the frustrations the cast and crew had with him. He was becoming the outcast of the group both on and off screen. Still, Pierce was my favourite character, some of the best lines and Chevy really proved he could still be funny after so many years of bad scripts. Should have received some awards for his performances in season 2 as well.

Community was really good for the first two seasons, season 2 especially was just excellent. Season 3 was a little patchy, didn't agree with some of the decisions, such as Troy and Abed falling out. Seasons 4-6 are best forgotten. It's funny how fans were desperate for NBC to keep the show alive as long as possible, but it would probably have a much better legacy if NBC got their way.


BritishHobo

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Re: I love Community - let's talk about it
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2020, 04:56:11 PM »
I'm kinda looking forward to watching season four again. I have no real memory of it beyond some of the basic episode plots (felt, Inspector Spacetime convention, and that's about it), and mainly remember Dan Harmon mocking it later and saying it was like seeing his family be raped. I definitely hated it at the time but this rewatch has confirmed for me that all the bad stuff about it started in season 3. All the reliance on milking the same few things - Britta being awful (to a mean-spirited Meg-from-Family-Guy level), Troy and Abed and Inspector Spacetime and the dreamatorium and the darkest timeline shit. The show was so good BECAUSE it felt full of new ideas every week, or new spins on old tropes. When it got into leaning on the same jokes it got like Scrubs and felt too knowing. And it all feels so horrible and grim. I know Dan Harmon intended it to be the dark chapter in his four-chapter plot arc thing (which makes me think I'd be interested to see what his season four would have been), but it's less dark and more just mean and hollow. Jeff inexplicably seems to lose any growth he has and nothing he says feels genuine at all. Shirley and Pierce are basically irrelevant, and as you've said hampipe, Troy and Abed falling out is weird, especially with them really ramping up the manchild stuff (self-consciously so, with Annie moving in). The pillow fight episode, which is pretty much like blanket fort episode + mockumentary episode seems like a big moment of not quite knowing where to go.

I remember liking season five and really loving six though. There was a new rhythm to the episodes in season six that felt like a proper fresh start for it.

Re: I love Community - let's talk about it
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2020, 05:04:38 PM »
Seasons 1-3 and a few episodes of 5 are out of this world great. Watched S4 once and just hated it.  S6 is okay and the finale has a really moving moment near the end.

selectivememory

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Re: I love Community - let's talk about it
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2020, 05:17:22 PM »
I watched this a few years ago. Really enjoyed the first three seasons, and then started Season 4, and it was like watching a completely different show with a completely different tone, but with characters who looked and kind of acted a bit like the characters from the first three seasons. Really weird. Like watching a modern day Simpsons. I gave up after about three episodes of that, and never watched any of the fifth or sixth seasons.

Angrew Lloyg Wegger

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Re: I love Community - let's talk about it
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2020, 07:55:15 PM »
I think season 5 is a massive step up from 4, but the "gas leak year" references sit a tad uncomfortably with me. Yes there was a lot of cringe unfunny shit in season 4 but essentially it was the result of two people who liked the show being given the gargantuan task of trying to salvage it as a result of Dan Harmon being an unprofessional arse. I reckon the least he could of done is shown a bit of humility, but I guess that's not really his style.

Re: I love Community - let's talk about it
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2020, 07:57:57 PM »
The second two-part paintball episode is so bloody good.

BritishHobo

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Re: I love Community - let's talk about it
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2020, 08:02:13 PM »
I think season 5 is a massive step up from 4, but the "gas leak year" references sit a tad uncomfortably with me. Yes there was a lot of cringe unfunny shit in season 4 but essentially it was the result of two people who liked the show being given the gargantuan task of trying to salvage it as a result of Dan Harmon being an unprofessional arse. I reckon the least he could of done is shown a bit of humility, but I guess that's not really his style.

Aye. I feel bad for the team who made season four, as they were basically left with somebody else's show to carry on without them. I know a lot of them worked on the show already, but you're still in a position where I guess you're trying to imitate the creator's voice and what they would do.

Season three really has lost me this time. There's some all-time great stuff in there (glee club, the Hearts of Darkness episode) but a lot of it feels like retreads of old ideas but with more anger and less fun. I kinda can't blame the season four team for carrying that on and doing loads of Inspector Spacetime/darkest timeline/paintball/self-referential bum-gazey meta stuff - the show was getting really mired in that already.

Cardenio I

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Re: I love Community - let's talk about it
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2020, 08:41:10 PM »
Yeh I think 3 might be the weakest of all the Harmon led series, with the caveat that it does have some of the best episodes of the show's entire run. The somewhat maligned/forgotten 5 & 6 are very good, for my money. The slow drift away of half the cast and the fact that they essentially have to be stuck at Greendale despite having already graduated gives it an intentional melancholy feeling that manages to be far more season1 sweet than season 2 bitter. Also Abed I think finds the right level, after being written as a weird insufferable selfish twat/ Messiah savant (oh, hi Dan Harmon) in season 3.

Season 3 I think had the same problem that I have with Rick and Morty the SE days which is Harmon's tendency to disappear up his own arse. He is undoubtedly a genius, but his shows do have this tendency to eat themselves and become quite inhuman and bitter if he doesn't check himself.


Re: Pierce, I've heard it said that a lot of the direction his character took was because of Chevy Chase acting out in exactly the ways that would then be written into his character, including some Chevy lines appearing almost verbatim as Pierceisms. The cast, who seem like a remarkably close bunch otherwise, don't seem to really have a nice word to say about him except "He could be okay but he was... troubled."

Lisa Jesusandmarychain

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Re: I love Community - let's talk about it
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2020, 08:47:04 PM »
Funny for the first two series, gets far too tricksy and smug after that point, and becomes a load of old cobblers.

BritishHobo

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Re: I love Community - let's talk about it
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2020, 10:04:57 PM »
Is Chevy's behaviour why he's so sidelined in season three then? It really feels like an enormous dialling-back after how terrible a bastard he is in season two. He doesn't even really have very much of the season one interjecting-with-bigoted-comments to do either. He's just... there. Quite a few episodes where he has tiny bit-parts that must have been easily shot away from the other actors.

I've always read about how terrible he was (I think I started watching around the time of the voicemail drama), but I wonder why they didn't just write him out instead of keeping the cunt actor around for season 2. Making the character a prick seems like small comfort if he's still turning up every day making life miserable.

On 5 and 6, I'm excited to see how I find them this time, but I did get on with them really well. Season 5 I think was Harmon trying to crack on with the old formula as best he could, with a good amount of success, but looking at season six he must have ultimately thought things needed mixing up. I would love to know what his original vision for the endgame was, if he'd gotten to do season four with a full cast.

Re: I love Community - let's talk about it
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2020, 10:21:58 PM »
Am also doing the full rewatch since it’s back on Netflix.

Echo the sentiment that season two really does fire on all cylinders throughout. I still think the single best episode is Remedial Chaos Theory from season 3. Despite the subsequent ‘darkest timeline’ bullshit that followed, the episode itself is an absolute masterpiece.

Came across some writers room photos from Harmons tumblr. Can’t imagine how much of a fucker that ep was to write.

https://danharmon.tumblr.com/post/11486838757/from-the-room-in-which-remedial-chaos-theory-was

up_the_hampipe

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Re: I love Community - let's talk about it
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2020, 11:43:34 PM »
Is Chevy's behaviour why he's so sidelined in season three then? It really feels like an enormous dialling-back after how terrible a bastard he is in season two. He doesn't even really have very much of the season one interjecting-with-bigoted-comments to do either. He's just... there. Quite a few episodes where he has tiny bit-parts that must have been easily shot away from the other actors.

I've always read about how terrible he was (I think I started watching around the time of the voicemail drama), but I wonder why they didn't just write him out instead of keeping the cunt actor around for season 2. Making the character a prick seems like small comfort if he's still turning up every day making life miserable.

He didn't like working in TV. The most TV work he'd done before that was 1 and a half seasons of SNL in the mid-70s. So he was cranky a lot, and disagreed with the direction of the show. I think he'd had frequent issues with Harmon, but was causing frustration for the cast and crew with his shitty comments and general difficulty. They wouldn't have written him out because NBC made them hire him in the first place, they wanted star power for the ratings.

BritishHobo

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Re: I love Community - let's talk about it
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2020, 01:55:27 PM »
That makes a lot of sense. It's tough, because while episodes like Dungeons and Dragons are classics, I really like Pierce when he's a genuine member of the group. I find him least funny when they lean on the senility button.

I'm rethinking things a little on finishing season 3. As much as I ragged on it here and in the past, there is a kind of weird catharsis at the end of it that implies they were consciously leaving a lot of stuff behind, like the Dreamatorium, and paintball, and maybe Abed's meta-bsessions to a degree. Maybe his season four would have been quite different.

Re: I love Community - let's talk about it
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2020, 04:32:10 PM »
Ken Jeong and Joel McHale have started a Community/isolation podcast called the Darkest Timeline. I haven't had a listen yet though

Dannyhood91

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Re: I love Community - let's talk about it
« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2020, 06:04:35 PM »
I’ve rewatched the paintball episodes on the back of this thread being started. Such absolute joys to rewatch.

Re: I love Community - let's talk about it
« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2020, 07:00:23 PM »
I enjoyed all of it. Season 3 does have a few missteps (can't tell you why but adding an obvious Dr Who surrogate show into the world of the show always felt "off" to me), and yes 4 is obviously the weakest Season for so many reasons but still held my attention. Thought Season 5 and 6 were mostly great.

samadriel

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Re: I love Community - let's talk about it
« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2020, 11:25:48 PM »
I find Jeff's relationship with Annie a little creepy. She's just out of highschool! The booking up with Britta was much better.

Angrew Lloyg Wegger

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Re: I love Community - let's talk about it
« Reply #19 on: April 23, 2020, 07:42:52 AM »
I find Jeff's relationship with Annie a little creepy. She's just out of highschool! The booking up with Britta was much better.

Yeah, that's always seemed a little uncomfortable, even in the otherwise extremely good season 1. I think Dan Harmon, as with a bunch of other male comedy writers, just suffers from a touch of a Woody Allen poisoning.

Re: I love Community - let's talk about it
« Reply #20 on: April 23, 2020, 08:23:49 AM »
At least they discuss that in the episodes and acknowledge how off it is. Lots of sitcoms wouldn't even see the problem

Re: I love Community - let's talk about it
« Reply #21 on: April 23, 2020, 11:05:06 AM »
I watched the first three series, enjoyed them, but never went past it. Not sure why - I guess I heard about the stuff with Harmon being sacked, Chevy Chase leaving and thought it wasn't worth bothering. Maybe I'll check it out sometime if they're on Netflix.

Sin Agog

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Re: I love Community - let's talk about it
« Reply #22 on: April 23, 2020, 11:12:29 AM »
At least they discuss that in the episodes and acknowledge how off it is. Lots of sitcoms wouldn't even see the problem

There's that line: "Um, we try not sexualise Annie because she's 18" (paraphase).  Think it came after that debate club kiss, though, so might have been a post hoc cake and eat it thing.

I really like Chevy Chase.  On here and as a personality on things like that evening in London he hosted and on Gilbert Gottfried's podcast (the movies not so much). He's like a spacier, more addled Norm Macdonald.  It would almost take an egoless actor not to get a little sensitive about playing a character written the way Pierce is.  They get the whole campus joyfully singing Pierce is a B within a few episodes.  Can see why it would make him cranky.

BritishHobo

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Re: I love Community - let's talk about it
« Reply #23 on: April 23, 2020, 12:13:55 PM »
They seemed to often pair Annie up with slightly older blokes - Sawyer from Lost and Rich, the perfect doctor from the pottery episode, both spring to mind as love interests.

I do feel that way about Pierce as well Sin Agog. He's SUCH a horrible bastard in season two, on top of generally being senile and incoherent much of the time. It's a lot of fun to watch but it does stick out when the other study group members never finish an episode without proving themselves to be nice and well-meaning if they fuck up. The drugs awareness episode is a good example of Pierce just being a low-level, horrible little shit. Giving Annie money and then holding it over her head to ruin her play. There's no growth for him there, he's the villain to Annie's growth and independence.

BritishHobo

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Re: I love Community - let's talk about it
« Reply #24 on: April 23, 2020, 12:19:28 PM »
I enjoyed all of it. Season 3 does have a few missteps (can't tell you why but adding an obvious Dr Who surrogate show into the world of the show always felt "off" to me), and yes 4 is obviously the weakest Season for so many reasons but still held my attention. Thought Season 5 and 6 were mostly great.

Yeah I can't lie, four has been alright so far. I had it in my mind as being a really over-the-top parody of itself, but apart from the obvious 'Abed sees it as a sitcom' opening, it's all been pretty normal. Even the Inspector Spacetime episode wasn't as bad as I remembered. And to be honest the Changnesia/Kevin stuff is far more watchable than all the security guard stuff in season three. Britta's rebellion when she's in the cage, or that film noir episode. Tough going.

BritishHobo

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Re: I love Community - let's talk about it
« Reply #25 on: April 24, 2020, 03:38:33 PM »
Really didn't mind season four overall this time. It leaned too much on the obvious meta stuff and fan-favourite jokes towards the end, and absolutely bungled the Britta/Troy relationship (Glover was a ball of unstoppable infectious joy in this show, and yet, they chose in this season to just have him respond to Britta with... flat disinterest bordering on contempt) leading to the SHIT body swap episode, but it did its best and delivered a sweet if small ending. I think they also delivered a cracker of an episode with Herstory of Dance, which gives some depth and empathy to Britta and Pierce that the show had been lacking for ages. I can't lie, Pierce sticking up for Britta and telling Jeff that the group (and the show really, which is having its cake and eating it) have been riding her too hard, really got to me.

I guess they could have ended it there. Let's be honest, whatever Harmon's plans were for season four were, it would only ultimately have been another season of wacky pop-culture hijinks at the college, so they basically stuck the landing. They didn't really give anyone other than Jeff and Pierce any closure (did they even pay off their own valedictorian plotline?) but whatever. I really enjoyed season five and six, but I've had to pause for a bit because season five does feel a little superfluous. First few episodes good fun, but all the stuff with Jeff forgetting his growth and being a shitty lawyer again, or Shirley's husband leaving her again, it's a bit exhausting.

Sin Agog

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Re: I love Community - let's talk about it
« Reply #26 on: April 24, 2020, 05:05:27 PM »
Are any of those end credits bits between Troy & Abed ad-libbed?  Even if they're scripted, I get the vibe they have to have an improv'd line or two in there ("Poor Dmitri").  Some of them have the same feel as Azaria and Harry Shearer's improv as Skinners and Chalmers.

Re: I love Community - let's talk about it
« Reply #27 on: April 24, 2020, 05:18:56 PM »
Are any of those end credits bits between Troy & Abed ad-libbed?  Even if they're scripted, I get the vibe they have to have an improv'd line or two in there ("Poor Dmitri").  Some of them have the same feel as Azaria and Harry Shearer's improv as Skinners and Chalmers.

Read somewhere that the writers would leave blank spaces in the script for Donald Glover to improvise a placeholder line that would often end up in the show..

Re: I love Community - let's talk about it
« Reply #28 on: April 24, 2020, 05:53:13 PM »

I gave up on Community a few episodes into season two. It wasn't doing it for me but I'd like to give it another try. What are the best episodes post-season one to watch?


Re: I love Community - let's talk about it
« Reply #29 on: April 24, 2020, 06:47:53 PM »
I gave up on Community a few episodes into season two. It wasn't doing it for me but I'd like to give it another try. What are the best episodes post-season one to watch?

Seriously, I mentioned them further up the thread, the two part paintball episode in season 2 is a thing of beauty.

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