Or, I don’t really hate it but I don’t get it.
I guess America doesn’t “get” it either, because Community is always on the verge of cancellation. It’s returning to TV tonight and I’m kind of meh about the whole thing.
Please don’t stop reading and then post some asinine comment about how if I only watched the show I would love it. Or I am too dumb to truly appreciate the gang at Greendale. It’s not that–I have seen every episode. I have seen Stripes and I know that Jeff is based on Bill Murray’s character. I KNOW THINGS. But the show doesn’t hit me the same way other recent comedies have.
Why don’t I get about Community? Let me show you.
This is like, the #1 ruiner of all things, right? I can’t read the comments on Community recaps on AV Club because they’re all about Annie’s boobs* and how Britta is such a bitch and the show is so genius and Dan Harmon is GOD and on and on [I love the show but I’m not sure I could read the comments for Community, it isn’t perfect and people are way too passionate about its supposed brilliance which borders on zealotry. -K]. It’s exhausting. I love Parks and Rec but I would never help make a review get over 100,000 comments in six months. Dan Harmon loves these fanboys. He caters the show TO them. I just feel alienated. We will see tonight if his firing results in this changing.
2. Too masculine
To go with number 1, there is a masculine energy I don’t like about the show. I know girls can like Community and not notice the male perspective but it really bothers me. The way women are examined through the male gaze, the underdevelopment of all the female characters (especially Shirley), the obsession with video games and nerd TV are all things that turn me off. Now I like nerd TV, but Abed’s Inspector Spacetime obsession just takes it too far [I love Inspector Spacetime but I also watch and am obsessed with Doctor Who. -K].
3. Not enough Britta
She is the only character on the show I tolerate. I would be friends with Britta though we would probably end up fighting over Troy (Donald Glover is so fucking dreamy).
4. Too much Abed
Abed, who Dan Harmon has said is a version of him, became the breakout character, and like The Big Bang Theory and Shelden, the writers became obsessed with fanboy-Abed love and wrote too many episodes around him. He’s funnier in doses, I assure you. [AGREED! However I do love a Troy/Abed episode because they defuse each others annoying traits and create a hilarious whole but pair Abed with say Annie in the episode where he kind of has a psychotic break and it’s just boring even if Joel McHale playing Abed playing Jeff Winger is kind of awesome. -K]
This is a problem with the show, period. They do something once (“Modern Warfare”), it is well received, so they do MORE (“A Fistfull of Paintballs”/”For a Few Paintballs More”).
5. Hit and miss episodes
Because I’m not obsessed with Community I cannot tell you what the storyline and best jokes are from “Paradigms of Human Memory.” I leave that to the fanboys. I watch the show every week and I have seen most of the episodes twice. The best ones get funnier the second time around (Professor Professorson, Troy’s birthday, the Taran Killam glee club one). The other ones (UGH the KFC spaceship one; anything with Pierce), just elicit even more WTFs. [Can we get rid of Chang if were getting rid of Pierce?!? -K YES PLEASE. TOO MUCH CHANG. -M ]
6. Too many pop culture references
Like The Simpsons before it, Community loves to reference other things all the time. If you don’t know the original source, you ended up missing the whole point of the episode, which was not true in Gilmore Girls or The Simpsons. Not only can I not keep up with them, but it’s become a badge of honor for this show to put in references to the most obscure shit ever.
I do love that the show tries to do conceptual things (My Dinner with Abed, claymation, videogame). Dean Pelton is one of the funniest characters on network TV. I fucking LOVE Leonard’s frozen pizza reviews. The episodes I loved have been really memorable. But as a whole, it’s not one of my favorites. I definitely think it would benefit from a shorter, cable season–the quality of the episodes that air might go up.
[I love Community but every point M makes is true except for more Britta. I do however want to say why I love it because I feel bad for not defending it more. I love Community’s sincerity in it’s love for pop culture (this is probably why people love it so passionately and why people are turned off by it) a lot of other shows that reference pop culture do it to be current/funny (I sometimes question whether the characters on Bunheads could really know all the references they spout which often pulls me from the storylines) or to make fun of those who become obsessed with it (The Big Bang Theory is often guilty of this and it’s not cool guys). This is one of the reasons I loved Gilmore Girls so much because when Lorelei and Rory watched say Grey Gardens everything screamed that they would love it and reference it, I get that same feeling about the writers of Community but come on guys Shirley needs more storylines! -K]
I just think Britta should have more hilarious storylines that exemplify the kind of person she is. Like that episode where she was friends with the girl she thought was a lesbian who in turn thought Britta was a lesbian. Plus she is a nice feminist foil to my other favorite feminist on TV, Leslie Knope.
Hey, this kind of turned into my favorite thing on AV Club although Steven Hyden probably said it better than me.
*I know technically Annie’s Boobs is the name of a monkey. But that name didn’t come out of thin air.
Am I alone? Or, is there something everyone else loves but you? Let us know in the comments!