12 February 2010 | ChorusL106
Something new that hasn't been seen for a while . . .
I started watching this show late in the season, and accidentally came across it by accident on Hulu (I meant to click on something else). I am glad I did.
What I like about this show in particular is that it is primarily concerned with the platonic dynamic among the members of a mish-mashed group. For me, that is really refreshing. I have never been a real fan of major network sitcoms because of what I perceive as a complete lack of ingenuity and a revolution around unoriginal themes (I actually started tuning into the Disney show, Suite Life of Zach and Cody for the reasons stated herein). There have been a few good ones here and there, but most friendship-oriented sitcoms geared towards adults seemed to develop the over-used story of a group of friends sitting around crabbing about their love lives and how to fix them, i.e. Friends, Will and Grace, O.C. (not exactly a sitcom), Sex and the City, even 30 Rock to a certain degree. I realize the bulk of those shows are from a few years back, but it was those sorts of shows (not to mention the devil-conceived reality shows) that really turned me off from major network programming. I enjoyed them at the time, but they all seemed to grace the same themes: we're such close friends and we're going to help each other find boyfriends. Puke! I got so sick of seeing friendships revolving around getting someone laid.
Then I came upon Community. I've watched every episode thus far in the first season and I really appreciate its commitment to focusing on the core relationships among the friends. Of course they delve into the sexual tensions that naturally exist, but it always remains focused on the friendships, and through funny means. I think this kind of theme is so necessary in today's programming. It's OK to "just be friends" with someone. It's OK to be yourself, to be dorky, funny, fussy, uptight, bitchy, whatev. There are still people out there that can care about you. It doesn't have to be about finding love or sex, being sexy, or being desired by the gender from which you seek attention. That is what I like about Community, it just shows friends being friends without pretense.
As far as the show goes substantively, I think it is quite funny. It sometimes misses the mark, but I think those moments are rare. Some episodes are funnier than others, some characters are funnier than others, but everyone has their moment. I love Joel McHale, I think he's a riot, and Chevy Chase is really great. Someone else mentioned how they were glad he wasn't over-taking the show's humor elements and I also appreciate that. His humor is well- spaced throughout the show. The guy who plays the dean is a riot as well. I love his scenes.
I also really enjoy the community college setting. It's a very appropriate setting for a show about a diverse group of friends that each have their own special and interesting reasons for being there. I know some people dislike the overt, "politically correct" representation in the group. There are some stereotypes, the culturally- insensitive older person, the fabulous African-American woman, the WASP-y, pretentious brat, the hipster, the cool guy, the nerd, etc. It can get a tad clichéd, but I think it works specifically because the community college setting is a place where you might find that mixture of people. It appeals to people from all walks of life: younger, college-aged students, people who have time on their hands and want more education, people trying to make a new start in life, etc. I think it's a great and interesting setting to use in a show about a unconventional group of friends. I really think the creators planned it out well.
So yes, if you are like me and enjoy seeing shows about friends being just friends, and developing those platonic relationships, its definitely worth the try. I certainly plan on continuing.