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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Community: Anthropology 101

Community is the show whose return I was most anticipating this fall. Its first season just clicked with me on so many levels. I loved the references, and the sly way they were incorporated into the plot. I loved all of the characters, and marveled at how easily any two of them could be thrown together in a credible and hilarious story. I loved Modern Family as well, and appreciate it's sentiment, but Community just felt more in line with my sense of humor.

I'm also scared as hell that it won't make it to Season 3. NBC can afford to take chances since it's in fourth-place, but you can tell they're really pushing the show to find a larger audience. Between this week's pre-premiere "Twittersode" (didn't catch it, so no comment) and the stunt-casting of the octogenarian of the moment Betty White, the network is pulling no punches. But with CBS moving Big Bang Theory to the same time slot, it's hard to forecast any increase in ratings.

Coming into tonight my biggest question was how would they possibly deal with the ramifications of what happened in "Pascal's Triangle"? I liked the Britta-as-Jennifer Aniston take, especially Jeff's backfiring counter-move and Annie's horrified reactions. Less appealing was Abed's absurd (even for him) rush to make things happen. I was pleasantly surprised by the group's breakdown (I'm not sure I've ever gasped at a sitcom before, but I certainly did when Annie hit Jeff. He deserved it too.) The arguments had some great lines, especially Troy defending his thesis that all cats are girls: "Have you ever seen a cat's penis?"

I like the idea of Anthropology as the study group's new course. It's a natural fit, since so much of the show, and all sitcoms for that matter, is a little study in human behavior. That said, I am relieved that Betty White was just in it for the premiere. Her schtick would wear thin over 22 episodes, although her little Toto remix thing with Troy and Abed in the closer did get me to grin.

Another character in danger of wearing out his welcome is Senor (or Estudiante?) Chang. Though I laughed at his playing on his last name for the neologisms "Changuage" and "Pocket Chang", his little Golem split personality act at the end was unfunny and gives ample ammunition to those who think that a little Ken Jeong goes a long way.

Moving forward, I do hope there is more fallout from the Annie-Jeff thing, as I don't buy that any group could just move on from that after a little speech, no matter how heartfelt.

One last note, I was able to buy the first season Community DVD on Amazon for only $17.99, which is a great deal.

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