The importance of ‘Community’

(Screenshot via Youtube)

During these short, snowy days all anyone really wants to do is crawl under a giant pile of blankets and hibernate until summer. Unfortunately, you’re not a bear and it isn’t physically possible or socially acceptable to spend all of your time sleeping. Luckily there’s a great alternative that will take the same amount of effort, but with the added bonus of not being anywhere near as questionable: binge-watch old sitcoms! This can even be done from the comfort of a blanket cave and accompanied by an entire bucket of popcorn. My suggestion? “Community.” Or at the very least, “Community” up until the end of season four. We don’t talk about the other two seasons.

“Community” is a sitcom revolving around a Spanish study group in Greendale Community College. The members of this group consist of newly divorced mother Shirley Bennett (Yvette Nicole Brown), ex-high school football player Troy Barnes (Donald Glover), pop-culture obsessed Abed Nadir (Danny Pudi), sixty-something year old heir to a moist towelette empire Pierce Hawthorne (Chevy Chase), wannabe-activist Britta Perry (Gillian Jacobs), the slightly psychotic Annie Edison (Alison Brie) and ex-lawyer Jeff Winger (Joel McHale). This odd array of hilarious personalities allows for four seasons of ridiculous misadventures and an unprecedented lack of studying, especially considering that they’re a study group. This paired with the strange population of students and teachers that make up Greendale, make for a very entertaining show.

What sets “Community” apart from other shows is its parody episodes. While every episode is funny in its own right, the episodes that pull from pop-culture are by far the most interesting.

One of the greatest ones is “Pillows and Blankets” (season three, episode 14). It is set up just like a war documentary with a voice over and interviews with the combatants, only it’s about a pillow fight. Well, a pillow fight is an understatement. This school is adept at taking simple games like hot lava and paintball to new extremes, and the pillow fight is no exception. Classes are cancelled, friendships are broken and the entire school ends up divided into two sides. It contains inspiring speeches made by a procrastinating Jeff, emergency feather-removal by Annie and the design of a giant, terrifying pillow man by Pierce. It is pure chaos and will leave you dying of laughter.

Another great was “Contemporary American Poultry,” which essentially had the study group transform into a mob that began dealing chicken fingers across the school. They had all of the higher ups in their pocket, which allowed Abed to act as the inside man cooking up and smuggling out all of the chicken. The group fell into greediness and insanity as they went from friends to family. What makes it so great is that the entire episode is from Abed’s point of view, and he tells it in the format and speech of someone from a Mafia movie.

But the paintball episodes, well they were an entirely different level of amazing. There’s a reason the action movie parody “Modern Warfare” (season one, episode 23) came back during the next season as a two-part episode of a more Western style in “A Fistful of Paintballs” and “For a Few Paintballs More” (season two episodes 23 and 24). These episodes began with the Dean accidentally offering an insane prize: first-choice in classes for the next semester and $100,000 respectively. What was meant to be a fun little game of paintball evolves into a merciless war where allies are always suspects and a drop of paint means death. The society that makes up the school crumbles each time and reforms as something completely unrecognizable, with all of the characters picking up new action or Western movie-esque identities.

The first four seasons of “Community” have all of the comedy and quality to keep you occupied all winter long, and by the time summer comes along, you might just want to watch it all over again.


Rebecca Maher is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at rebecca.maher@uconn.edu.