Is Community The Next Great TV Comedy?

When was the last time you saw an episode of a sitcom where a community college is torn apart by a massive paintball free-for-all deathmatch and parodied some of the greatest action movies of all time while simultaneously addressing a "will they/won't they" sexual tension between two lead characters within the span of 22 minutes?

If you're a fan of Community, one of the best new comedies on television, you saw "Modern Warfare" three weeks ago and you were treated to a nearly flawless half hour of comedy. And that is exactly why this show is going to become huge.

If you didn't catch exactly what proof I have that the show will soon become a hit, I'll give you the short of it: Community is extremely in touch with pop culture, made up of a diverse and very likable cast, and manages to make some compelling drama while keeping the laughs rolling.

Community's total self-awareness in pop culture is thanks to the character Abed. He truly is a child of this generation and his obsession with TV shows and movies provides a very fun dynamic for the show. Throughout the first season, Abed would constantly point out the genre cliches the show was close to following and thanks to his critiques, the show can also completely avoid said cliches and reach new ground. The result is a familiar but very fresh take to comedy that hasn't been seen since 30 Rock premiered in 2006.

And just like that show and other NBC comedies, Community consists of an A-list cast playing as certified idiots. Jeff Winger, the main character of the show, is also refreshingly aware of his role in pop culture like Abed but to a much less extreme degree. Joel McHale doesn't pull back as Winger and I would be surprised if he was overlooked come Emmy season. Another notable cast member includes the legendary Chevy Chase as Pierce, the dimwitted multimillionaire who is, for some unknown reason, at a community college. Chase always manages to steal the show with his completely absurd behavior and his belief that most of what he does is right even though it is clearly proven as otherwise. Then there's Donald Glover as Troy, the former high school hotshot who blew a full-ride football scholarship by injuring himself before graduation. Troy and Abed are a truly phenomenal comedic bromance and their relationship is yet another highlight of the show (just watch some of the quirky tags at the end of the episodes). Gillian Jacobs portrays Britta, the misguided girl who supports random causes in an attempt to find her own identity. Britta is widely considered to be "the buzzkill" of the show as she tends to be sort of uninteresting and completely down to earth as the rest of her friends are wacky and absurd. Yvette Nicole Brown plays Shirley, the stereotypical black Chrisitan housewife with a sassy attitude. Of course the show is not racist because it is completely aware of how generic Shirley's character is and tends to build her comedy based on the assumptions of the audience. Finally there is Alison Brie who plays Annie, the naive high-strung teen who flunked high school due to accidental abuse of drugs.

As you can see, Community has a very rich cast of misfits. Over the past year, this great amount of variation has led to some stunning and unique comedic situations. And what better way to bring these people together than a community college? But despite the quality of its actors and actresses, the cast of Community could also prove to be quite the secret weapon for mainstream success. All of the major types of gender and ethnicity are represented here and this allows the audience to empathize more with certain characters. Every character can appeal to all kinds of people and if Community gets a strong buzz going over this Summer, the show could become NBC's biggest comedy hit.

The final major attribute Community has is its strength as a mix of comedy and drama. Most of the show has been well known for its wacky antics, but many fans like myself know that Community can also be quite the sweet little drama about relationships. That is the moral of Community's story: relationships are essential in life and no one can do it alone.

Do I think Community will light the world on fire by the second season's premiere? Nope. But there is a little comedy on NBC called The Office and, if I remember correctly, that show had become a cultural phenomenon by third season.

So do I think Community will light the world on fire by the second season's finale? Yes.


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