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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Four months later, ‘Community’ seeks to make up for lost time

Published: February 14, 2013
Section: Arts, Etc.

Happy October 19 everyone! “Community” is back. After a nearly four-month delay, one of the best shows on television is back. It remains to be determined for how long, but at least for the present, my favorite study group has returned.

The fourth season’s premiere episode was solid, though not stellar. All the usual elements of a “Community” episode were there: the insane dean antics, the fun pop culture references, Troy and Abed in the Morning. I think, however, that they tried to cram too much into the episode.

Honestly, I can’t fault them for it. “Community” is very much in danger of cancelation. Its creator Dan Harmon was removed at the end of last season and replaced by Moses Port and David Guarascio. Chevy Chase, who played one of the main characters, left the show in November. And the season’s premiere was delayed several months.

Thus, it would be a fair assessment to say this show has been through the ringer. This brings me back to my original point—the premiere simply tried to do too much. There were “Hunger Games” references. There was an imaginary sitcom followed up by an imaginary Rugrats-esque show. There were pranks. There were wishes. There were a bunch of balls. What I’m saying is that there was a lot.

What was lacking was character development. I get that there is only so much that can fit into a 30-minute show, but still, I would have liked to have seen more interaction between the characters than just outrageous antics. Not that I don’t love antics. I would certainly major in it if I could.

Still, I find the show is at its best when all the characters are together. I also found it lacking in the dialogue department. I appreciate when I can walk out of an episode of one of my favorite shows with a handful of very quotable or, at the very least, memorable lines, and that was simply not the case.

The worst offense of this episode though, considering that a season premiere sets the tone for the rest of the season, was that the take away message was that it is okay for things to change (in this case, by them coming to an end). I’m no Hollywood writer, but if I worked on a show whose future was this uncertain, I would avoid any reference to things ending.

Still, I enjoyed myself. I was eternally grateful to return to the world of Greendale. I had missed my little study group and couldn’t wait to get the gang back together again.

I am very much looking forward to the rest of the season. I have complete faith that “Community” will return to being the perfect 30 minutes it has always been and I can’t wait for this season’s paintball episode.

Watch the season premiere (and the show in general if you do not already) and appreciate the fact that such an outstanding show has been given another lease on life. Take in as much Greendale as you can, because who knows how long it will stay on the air.