Community: Season 1

I have a complicated history with Community. A show I started at the beginning and never finished. But now, at the behest of my brother, I am re-watching the entire series, from a distanced perspective. But there’s one thing I’m sure of and was sure of at the beginning: season 1 of Community is one of the best seasons of network comedy ever.

Let’s start with what Community introduced to the world. First up: Donald Glover. Now an A-list actor, fantastic showrunner, and oh yeah, international rap star. But this is where it began. And his comedic chops are tight. Compared to the more subtle acting on Atlanta, Troy Barnes is in your face, unapologetically expressive and hilarious.

Next up: Alison Brie, who seems to be in every independent movie ever nowadays. Extremely funny as the high strung know-it-all Annie Edison, it’s amazing to see how she’s transitioned to a more serious actress.

Did I mention the show was created by Dan Harmon? The guy who created Rick & Morty? And it was co-created and directed by The Russo Brothers. Who are they? Oh just the directors of Infinity WarCommunity is where they all cut their teeth and it shows.

The show is about a small community college called Greendale. I guarantee you’ve seen the fake t-shirts. Eviscerating and elevating hipster college culture before it was cool, Community doesn’t fall into the stereotype of several attractive same-age friends. This is a group of diverse perspectives and I absolutely love watching them go through freshman year. There’s unique classes, oddball teachers, and a dean who is a little too into cross-dressing. Seriously, you need to watch it for the paintball episode alone.

My only knock against the show is some choices they made at the end of the season. Bold, unpredictable, but completely out of touch for the next season. It’s the best, but it dug it’s own grave. Experience the first season, when Greendale felt like a real place.

4 out of 4 stars.

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