Philosophising about the 'S'-word: Watch… and learn
Community is an American television comedy series created by Dan Harmon (Rick and Morty) that premiered on September 17, 2009 on NBC. The series follows a group of students at a community college in the fictional locale of Greendale, Colorado. The series heavily uses meta-humor and pop culture references, often parodying film and television clichés and tropes. Community has received acclaim from critics, being ranked in several critics’ lists of the best television series of 2010 and 2011, and has gained a cult following. NBC canceled Community in May 2014 after five seasons. However, on 29 June, Yahoo! Screen ordered a 13-episode sixth season.
The premise: When his law firm discovers Jeff Winger (Joel McHale, Sons of Anarchy) lied about having a bachelor’s degree, he’s suspended and has no choice but to enroll at Greendale Community College to get one. Jeff quickly becomes attracted to Britta (Gillian Jacobs, Girls), a former political activist from his Spanish class, and pretends he runs a study group in order to spend time with her. But his plans go awry when Britta invites five other classmates along: Abed (Danny Pudi, Gilmore Girls), Annie (Alison Brie, Mad Men, GLOW), Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown, The Odd Couple, The New Edition Story), Pierce (Chevy Chase, Saturday Night Live), and Troy (Donald Glover, 30 Rock).
Despite being seven very different people, the group quickly become close friends. They’re often roped into helping the flamboyant Dean Pelton (Jim Rash, Help Me Help You, Reno 911!, Nobodies) in his schemes to make the school seem more reputable, as well as having to deal with the antics of their unhinged teacher/classmate Ben Chang (Ken Jeong, Dr. Ken).
Most episodes feature titles designed to sound like the names of college courses such as “Introduction to Film”, “Anthropology 101” and “Cooperative Calligraphy”. Aside from the pilot, only four episodes have non-course names: “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas”, “A Fistful of Paintballs”, “For a Few Paintballs More”, and “Repilot”. In addition to the regular episodes, NBC produced a series of webisodes. Some focus on the daily life of Dean Pelton and others include a Spanish project, study breaks, and Abed copying his friends’ lives and turning them into student films. These webisodes are featured on the front page of the Greendale Community College website on the AV Department page.