Community (Season 1)

Rating: 3/4 (The second half of Season 1 produces a rainbow of characters and some clever parodies.)

Community is a new sitcom on NBC that, I guess, tries to capture some of the magic of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. The main characters are 4 guys and 3 females who form a Spanish study group at their community college. They are all post-20s losers of some sort, who are in the college for a second chance at life. Greendale College is however a bottom-rung place with low standards and staff with pitiable morals. The series derives it humour from being able to use both mature adult relationships and also the college-year growing-up scenarios, albeit with older people. Most of the episodes also pay subtle homage to classic TV or movie themes and characters.

Here is the warning about Community: the first half of Season 1 is downright un-watchable! These episodes are a serious letdown, with the comedy completely falling flat. The first few episodes are so incredibly non-humorous that it is a surprise that NBC allowed this series to survive for that long. But, magically by mid-season the characters start to get endearing and the laughs start rolling in. So much that by the last episode one starts to feel bad that the first year of college for the characters is already over! Some of the last few episodes are pure comedy gold, a total laugh riot! My favorite was Modern Warfare, where a paintball tournament at the college turns into a parody of action movies. The second half of the Season 1 of Community is a good stress-busting watch, especially for TV and movie fanatics.

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