If you frequent this site (and well I’m not sure who doesn’t) then you know by now that I am a pretty big fan of Community. Not communities in general mind you (when it comes to people I share similar thoughts to Roy from the IT Crowd) but rather the internets favorite ratings challenge sitcom du jour (which still means friendship if you were wondering ,2001 reference that nobody got in 2001 for the win!!!!) Community.
As any real Communist knows (thats my phrase for Community fans, has it caught on yet?) season 4 (#4seasonsandacancelation) premieres tomorrow night on your favorite NBC affiliate at 7:00 PM. In honor of our merry band of misfits yours truly has decided to take a trip down memory lane, all the way back to 2009!!! ooooooooooohhhhhh
If you don’t remember 2009, well ask your parents about it. It was a simpler time. I mean just look at some of the things that were going on in 2009:
-Gas was only $2.73 per gallon and a movie ticket was only $7.50!
-H1N1 aka Swine Flu forced everyone to live isolated in their homes.
-The Apple iPhone was the top selling cell phone
-Barrack Obama was inaugurated as president of the US
-Pirates ravaged the seven seas…no really
err right…oh and Community debuted on NBC!!!
And in honor of that momentous occasion I am going to kick off my own Community episode guide which for lack of better term I am dubbing “Community Chest”!
Anything to add Mr. Winger?
SEASON 01: EPISODE 01 – “Pilot”
The creatively titled “pilot” does what pilots do and introduces us to the Greendale 7, inept Dean Pelton and Professor Ian Duncan who I can only guess was intended to be a more regular cast member when the pilot was shot but was only in a couple more episodes in season one.
The story sees our heroes halfway through their first week at Greendale. Student Jeff Winger, former “Genius at Law” whose wardrobe in this episode consists of an untucked button up shirt, sweater, sportscoat (long sleeves, sweater AND sportscoat in September?!? Talk about your layering.) and Addidas sweatpants, decides he A – wants to hook up with the “hot blonde from Spanish class” and B – wants to uses his past deeds as a suspended lawyer to cheat his way through community college, get a new degree and a return to his past glory.
He kinda/sorta attempts to blackmail the chronically drunk, smarmy British professor Ian Duncan, who he previously got out of a DUI with a vague reference to 9/11 (not the last time we hear Jeff use 9/11 to win an argument) and convincing the jury Duncan’s only real crime was loving America. More on this later.
Meanwhile, we get to the meat and potatoes of the episode as Jeff pretends to be a Spanish tutor and creates a fake Spanish study group to spend time with Britta, said hot blonde from Spanish class. The plan appears to be going well but Abed, having been invited by Britta to what she thought was a real study group, shows up to join. Abed of course invites Annie, Shirley, Pierce and Troy and hijinks ensue. Everything falls apart when Jeff decides to lead the group to destruction by pulling their puppety strings in order to kill the study group and take Britta to dinner but she sees through his lies and now won’t go out with him. So Jeff gives us his first “Jeff Winger speech” to bring it all back together, dub the group a “community” and Shirley gives us her first “that’s nice”. Unfortunately embedding was disabled on this clip and I hate to encourage that but it is a link to the speech if you care:
It’s all for not though as Britta kicks Jeff out of the group for wasting her time. Faced with no study group and an envelope of fake test answers he bartered for with Duncan Jeff realizes hes going to fail tomorrows Spanish test. The group takes him back and we are off to the races. Oh and no bumper on the end with Troy and Abed, what a difference a few years makes.
Its an entertaining enough episode but saddled with the job of introducing all of our main characters the episode can never really break through on its own as a complete half hour story. Also, after three seasons it’s a little jarring seeing how different each character acts, you know before they all settled into their stereotypes. It almost makes you wonder if the original intent for these characters lay down a different path then what we got. For example Britta doesn’t Britta anything as the object of Jeff’s affection and Troy is purely focused on being a jock with no hinting at his future geek cred or relationship with Abed and we see hints of a closer relationship with Troy and Pierce than with Abed. Overall the episode does everything it should do as a pilot but they would need some time to find their momentum.
I give it a firm 6 cool cool cools out of 10
Brita: “I dropped out of high school because I thought it would somehow impress Radiohead”
Jeff: “You’d be suprised what gets back to those guys”
Duncan: I’m a professor you can’t talk to me that way.
Jeff: A six year old girl could talk to you that way.
Duncan: Yes because that would be adorable
Jeff: No because you are a 5 year old girl and there is a pecking order!
Jeff: “What am I supposed to drive?”
Duncan: “You can take this car, its good for the earth.”
Jeff: “Yeah well so is wiping your butt with a leaf but its not how a man gets around!”
Jeff: “We can sympathize with a pencil, we can forgive a shark and we can give Ben Afflek an Academy Award for screenwritting”.
Pierce: you know I have been divorced seven times. Sometimes I think I’m doing something wrong.
Jeff: you keep getting married.
Pierce: I’ve never thought about it that way.