Tuesday, September 15, 2009

'Community' review - Sepinwall on TV

In today's column, I review NBC's "Community," which (having now seen two episodes) I feel comfortable in declaring my favorite new show of the season.

I know NBC has put the pilot online in a few places over the summer, but I'm going to ask you, as usual, to follow the spoiler rules about not discussing shows that haven't aired on TV yet. So if you watched it on Facebook, you can say if you liked it or didn't, but don't go into any details about the plot, jokes, etc.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

You know, instead of watching "Community" four times, you couldda watched 4 episodes of the Soup.

I guess we all got jobs.

Alan Sepinwall said...

You know, instead of watching "Community" four times, you couldda watched 4 episodes of the Soup.

Not really. One of those times was at NBC's upfront presentation, when they show all the best jokes from every comedy pilot. The second was before press tour, when I needed to se it in its entirety to see if it held up as a full half-hour. The third was right before the press tour session, when they showed the upfront clip reel again. And the fourth was when I got a final cut of the episode and took notes for the review.

Kensington said...

All right. I wasn't particularly interested in this, but based on your review I'll add it to the DVR. After years of hating Chevy Chase, I'm growing to appreciate him in his relative dotage, especially after his stellar appearances on Chuck.

I hope he doesn't end up sabotaging this backstage, though.

Abby said...

After watching The Soup for awhile, I know that guy cracks me up... but I am weary of Chevy Chase. I can't think of him being in anything funny since, um, Fletch? Maybe?

Definitely DVRing it off your recommendation though.

Lizbeth said...

I think this season's comedies are looking promising and "Community" definitely looks to be the best. Perhaps sitcoms/comedies aren't dead, after all...

Unfortunately, I think we'll be mourning dramas this year -- at least on NBC due to their decision to put Leno on 5x a week (thus killing their entire drama schedule).

Besides "Flash Forward" and "V" I'm not that intrigued by any other new network dramas...and even those I'll be checking out more for curiosity...not sure how long they will sustain my interest.

Chris Littmann said...

I'm actually really excited to see Donald Glover, who plays Troy. He was doing some work with 30 Rock (briefly appearing in one ep) but he was part of this comedy sketch group called Derrick Comedy. (Videos here: http://www.derrickcomedy.com/videos/)

Some of the stuff is super crude, but if some of it was pretty funny, too. I watched most of the pilot on Facebook, but the thing kept cutting out like 18 minutes in. I'll definitely be giving the show a run.

Magnus Anton Lekay said...

The pilot for "Community" was... do I want to say it? Do I want to really say it? Sure, why not? Brilliant!

NBC may have a winner on their hands. Hopefully viewers tune in to this show. It may just be a keeper.

Kristina Wing said...

Yeah! Sitcom comedies aren't dead yet! Hopefully it will stay strong and long like "friends" but I think it is unlikely happened! LOL

Laura R. said...

I agree - "Community" is going to fit into NBC's comedy lineup very, very nicely. Now that hit-or-miss "Earl" is off the schedule and "Parks & Rec" is finding its stride, dare I say that the network has brought back Must-See TV Thursdays?

Anyway, I thought the pilot was very strong (and it's nice to see Alison Burie outside "Mad Men"). I look forward to reading your reviews this season, Alan!

Andrew said...

TiVo commanded me to download the pilot (for free) from Amazon Unbox, which I heeded and enjoyed. I don't know how much of a recurring part he will have, but John Oliver was very funny in the pilot working against McHale.

This may be the first time ever that I actually enjoy all 4 of NBC's Thursday night comedies. Now, if only they continued it with funny comedy at 10 PM, that would be brilliant.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I found Chevy hilarious as Evil!SteveJobs this past season of Chuck.

Community NBC said...

We at Community NBC are very happy to hear that you love the show! We do too!

Alex said...

You don't watch the Soup?! But...but how do you stay in touch with Mexican soap operas?

Sometimes me and my friends will all be sitting around talking about how stupid, say, "More to Love" is, and we'll suddenly realize that none of us have actually watched it; we just saw clips on The Soup.

Okay, that proves we're totally lame more than it proves The Soup is awesome.

I got nothin'. Never mind.

Tracey said...

I haven't seen it yet, but I love Joel McHale in The Soup and in the classic Seattle sketch comedy show Almost Live (see, for example Vegetable Rights). And even after seeing it a dozen times, I still crack up at the commercial "I thought you had a degree from Columbia?" "Yes, and now I have to get one from America."

So I'll definitely be watching this.

Rachel said...

I'm right there with you Alex. I actually tried watching the Wendy Williams show once so that it would stay on the air and Joel could continue to make fun of it. I last 5 minutes. Ha.

Long time fan of The Soup, love McHale, even saw him live and he was great. Glad to hear you are giving it such good reviews! It's already programmed on my DVR :)

Miranda said...

I *loved* "Community." I downloaded the pilot from Amazon to my TiVo (for free). I'm a big fan of Joel McHale, and I thought the British guy was pretty funny too. I work at a community college, so this show really hits a chord with me. I would love to say more but I'll wait until the show has aired.

Pamela Jaye said...

The other night, I just handed the fall schedule (big 4.5 network) grid to Baylink and had him circle stuff.

Makes my life so much easier.

I was wondering if I should watch Cougar Town... the only reason I was considering it was Bill.

He circled Mercy, Community, Glee and Cougar Town. (in addition to House, Big Bang, HIMYM, and Grey's)

Donny Osmond decided for me whether I was going to watch Trauma.

I should remember my brother was the one who said We ARE going to watch Veronica Mars, when I only had tuner cards for Scrubs and House. :-)

My brain will be off somewhere at the movie theater in the next few days, as I make up for only having seen 6 movies since 2002 by going to see the Informant more than twice (despite Scott Bakula's unfortunate hair, the movie itself sounds good). It will be nice not having to beg all my friends to drive me (which only serves to point out how long it's been since Scott had a movie...)

Trilby said...

It was ok, I guess, but I wasn't blown away by the plotline of the Joel McHale character trying to get with the hot chick. Original? No. Something I care about? No. Funny? Not really. And then you get the crazy variety of people thrown together...YAWN. Fairly typical mainstream TV.

Steve Wirzba said...

I watched the premiere of Community last night, and was kind of dissapointed, along with the premieres of Parks and Rec (LESS funny than last season) and the Office (just not a stellar ep).

The thing is, saying lots of medicore material really fast doesn't add up to a good comedy. Its wearying. I was really stoked for this season of comedy, and I think somewhere in the back of my head I'm hoping for a comedy as good as Arrested Development to come along... I know, good luck with that.

Maybe Community will get better, and then theres 30 Rock which is so stellar. There is hope.

Anonymous said...

This show insults all serious students who attended and now attend Community Colleges as well as those who have dedicated their lives to teaching at that level. The characters are stereotypes seen over and over and the level of humor is sophomoric, at best.

Pamela Jaye said...

It wasn't just me? I didn't find it funny, and I wasn't sure I caught the opening (so I recorded a rerun of it to be sure) - alas, I had.

Maybe it will get better. I think I watched or read a bio on Chevy Chase recently that made me feel sympathetic towards him (and McHale is in the movie with Scott and Damon, so...)