Community


Community Information

Community is an American television comedy series created by Dan Harmon 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 and has gained a cult following. The series was renewed by NBC for a fourth season of 13 episodes. The fourth season, however, is without series creator Dan Harmon as showrunner. The fourth season was scheduled to premiere on October 19, 2012, but was delayed until February 7, 2013.

Premise

Community is set at Greendale Community College, and opens with Jeff, a suspended lawyer, inviting a former political activist named Britta to a fictional Spanish study group in order to seduce her. However, Britta invites Abed, another member of the Spanish class, along to thwart Jeff's plans, Abed in turn invites four more members of the Spanish class (Troy, Annie, Shirley and Pierce), and the study group becomes real. Despite their varying ages, backgrounds, and personalities, the group grows together, and everyone eventually develops a close relationship with each other. The group, as an entity, is fairly self-centered, only interacting in passing with other members of the student body, and even then mostly due to competitions, arguments, or feuds. This behavior is encouraged by their flamboyant Dean, who regards them in general (and Jeff in particular) as his favorite students, even going so far as to visit their study room to tell them about a fire that has broken out before he alerts the rest of the school. Each member of the group has several personality flaws that are often highlighted in various ways that play off the show's idiosyncratic meta-humor.

Cast and characters

Main article: List of Community characters
The show focuses on an ensemble group of characters that belong to a study group in community college, as well as other faculty members.

  • Joel McHale as Jeff Winger, a suspended lawyer who enrolls at Greendale after his firm discovers that he falsely claimed to have a bachelor's degree from Columbia University; it was in fact from the country Colombia. Jeff often acts as the leader of the group. A womanizer and narcissist, he is often seen using his charm to get his way. Jeff often tricks or persuades the other members of the group to do all of the work.
  • Gillian Jacobs as Britta Perry, a former anarchist activist who traveled around the world after dropping out of high school, but now trying to get her life back on track. At first, Britta puts up a facade, appearing intelligent and cool at the start of the series. However, as the group gets to know her and her defenses are stripped away, the charming flaws in her personality become more obvious.
  • Danny Pudi as Abed Nadir, a pop-culture-obsessed Palestinian-Polish film student with an encyclopedic knowledge of TV shows and movies. Abed has trouble interacting with others, and his friends hint that he may have Aspergers. On occasion, Abed has displayed coping mechanisms to things he cannot deal with, such as seeing everything as a stop-motion animated adventure, or being convinced he is Batman. Abed is the source of much of the show's meta-humor, and he often interprets the group's everyday adventures by comparing them to TV tropes or clichés.
  • Yvette Nicole Brown as Shirley Bennett, a single mother and vocal Christian going to school to start a brownie business. Shirley is seen as the "mother" of the group and often uses this to manipulate them by being passive-aggressive and appealing to their sense of guilt.
  • Alison Brie as Annie Edison, the youngest of the group, a compulsive over-achiever, relentlessly organized and comparatively innocent. Despite this, Annie ends up at Greendale instead of an Ivy League school because she developed an Adderall addiction while studying for finals, earning her the nickname Annie Adderall. This led to a major breakdown and a stay in a rehabilitation clinic, as well as being disinherited by her parents. Annie was extremely unpopular in high-school, to the extent that even the teachers hated her and crossing guards lured her into traffic.
  • Donald Glover as Troy Barnes, a former high school star quarterback who lost his scholarship to a top-tier university when he hurt his shoulder doing a keg flip. Troy went to the same high school as Annie, but never spoke to her and did not even recognize her at the start of the series. Troy starts the series obsessed with being cool, but due to his friendship with Abed, he lets his guard down and embraces his nerdy, childish side.
  • Chevy Chase as Pierce Hawthorne (seasons 1"4), a millionaire who enrolls at Greendale due to boredom. Pierce is often seen as the least liked member of the group due to his self-importance, incoherence and casual bigotry. Despite his apparent arrogance, Pierce is aware of his place in the group, and he often attempts to appear cooler, fit in, and make others like him more.
  • Ken Jeong as "Señor" Ben Chang, an extremely unhinged man, originally the group's Spanish teacher until the school discovers his incompetence and lack of teaching qualification. He goes on to become a student and later a security officer for the school. Chang's insanity and loose grip on reality often lead him to take extreme action for no apparent reason. In Season 4, he is suffering from "Changnesia".
  • Jim Rash as Dean Craig Pelton (recurring seasons 1"2, starring seasons 3"present), the dean of Greendale, who desperately wants his school to be more like a real university, and goes to excessive lengths to appear politically correct. Although his sexual orientation is left ambiguous, he is an avid cross dresser (often using some kind of thematic excuse to dress up in the costumes - usually by the way of puns) who has occasionally displayed an attraction to Dalmatians. Dean Pelton considers the group to be his favorite students and has an obsessive crush on Jeff.

Episodes

Main article: List of Community episodes
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", "Pillows and Blankets." The first season premiered on September 17, 2009 in the 9:30 pm ET timeslot. After three episodes, the show was moved to the 8:00 pm ET timeslot. In October 2009, it was announced that the show had been picked up for a full twenty-two episode season. In January 2010, NBC ordered an additional three episodes for the first season, extending it to a total of 25 episodes. On March 5, 2010, Community was renewed for a second season and premiered on September 23, 2010. On March 17, 2011, NBC renewed Community for a third season. On May 10, 2012, Community was renewed for a fourth season consisting of 13 episodes.

Webisodes

In addition to the regular episodes, NBC produced a series of webisodes. Some are focused 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.

On March 2, 2012, it was announced that three animated webisodes would air exclusively on Hulu in lead up to the return of the series on March 15, 2012. Titled Abed's Master Key, the shorts were written by Dave Seger and Tom Kauffman of Channel 101 and animated by Animax Entertainment. In the webisodes, Abed becomes Dean Pelton's assistant and is given a master key to Greendale.

Production

Casting

Dan Harmon emphasized the importance of the cast to making the premise of the comedy work. "Casting was 95 percent of putting the show together," he said in an interview. He had worked with several of the cast members earlier; Joel McHale, John Oliver, and Chevy Chase all had cameo roles in episode 9 of Water and Power, the short film series produced by Harmon for Channel 101. Actor Chevy Chase had long been a favorite of Harmon. Though initially not very partial to sitcoms, Chase was persuaded to take the job by the quality of the show's writing. Harmon saw similarities between Chase and the character he plays on the show. Though Chase has often been ridiculed for his career choices, Harmon believed this role could be redeeming: "What makes Chevy and Pierce heroic is this refusal to stop." Harmon had to warn Chase against playing a "wise-ass" the way he often does in his roles, since the character of Pierce is a rather pathetic figure who is normally the butt of the joke himself.

McHale, known from the E! comedy talk show The Soup, was also (like Chase) impressed by Harmon's writing. He commented that "Dan's script was so head and shoulders above everything else that I was reading." McHale appealed to Harmon because of his likeable quality, which allowed the character to possess certain unsympathetic traits without turning the viewer against him. For the role of Annie, Harmon wanted someone who would resemble Tracy Flick, Reese Witherspoon's character from the 1999 movie Election. Originally the producers were looking for a Latina or Asian Tracy Flick, but could not find any. Instead they ended up casting Alison Brie, known for her role as Trudy Campbell on Mad Men.

Development

The premise of Community was based on Harmon's real-life experiences. In an attempt to save his relationship with his then-girlfriend, he enrolled in Glendale Community College northeast of Los Angeles, where they would take Spanish together. Harmon got involved in a study group and, somewhat against his own instincts, became closely connected to the group of people with whom he had very little in common. "I was in this group with these knuckleheads and I started really liking them," he explains, "even though they had nothing to do with the film industry and I had nothing to gain from them and nothing to offer them." With this as the background, Harmon wrote the show with a main character largely based on himself. He had, like Jeff, been self-centered and independent to the extreme before he realized the value of connecting with other people.

About the creative process behind the writing, Harmon says that he had to write the show as if it were a movie, not a sitcom. Essentially, the process was no different from the earlier work he had done, except for the length and the target demographic.

Filming

Filming the show involved a lot of improvisation, particularly from Chevy Chase. About Chase, Harmon said that he "tends to come up with lines that you can actually end scenes with sometimes." He also mentioned Joel McHale and Donald Glover, the actors who portray Jeff and Troy respectively, as adept improvisers.

Fourth season

Series creator and executive producer Dan Harmon no longer serves as showrunner for the series beginning with the fourth season, as writers David Guarascio and Moses Port (co-creators of the short-lived Aliens in America) took over as showrunners and executive producers. Sony Pictures Television, which produces the series with Universal Television, says that Harmon would serve as a consulting producer, but Harmon affirms he wasn't informed of any of this and will not return in a position without any executive prerogatives. The end of the third season also marks several other departures including executive producers Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan, writer/producer Chris McKenna, actor/writer Dino Stamatopoulos, and frequent episode directors and executive producers Anthony and Joe Russo. In early October 2012, NBC delayed the premiere of the fourth season, which had been scheduled for October 19, 2012, without announcing a new date. On October 30, 2012, NBC announced that the fourth season would premiere on February 7, 2013, returning to its original time slot of Thursdays at 8:00 pm. On November 21, 2012, it was announced that Chevy Chase left the show by mutual agreement between the actor and network. As the majority of season four has been shot, Chase will only be absent in two of the thirteen episodes.

Reception

The show's first season received mostly positive reviews, scoring 69 out of 100 based on 23 critics on Metacritic. Notably, David Bushman (Curator, Television) of the Paley Center for Media called Community the best new show of the fall season. Jonah Krakow of IGN gave the first season an 8.5 saying that "Community eventually ramped up and delivered some amazing stories in the second half of the season."

The second season received high critical acclaim, scoring 88 out of 100 based on 4 critics on Metacritic. Emily Nussbaum of New York Magazine and Heather Havrilesky of Salon.com rated Community as the best show of 2010. In The A.V. Clubs list of the 25 best television series of 2010, Community ranked second, stating that the best episodes were "Modern Warfare", "Cooperative Calligraphy", and "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas". IGN named Community the best comedy series in both 2010 and 2011.

Acclaim for the show continued in the third season, scoring 81 out of 100 based on 4 critics on Metacritic. It also topped the Metacritic User Poll in the category 'Best Television Show of 2011', receiving 3,478 points. Community placed on several critics top television lists; including ranked second by Paste, fifth by both HitFix and The Huffington Post, first by Hulu and third on TV.com's Top 100 Everything of 2011.

In 2012, Entertainment Weekly listed the show at #15 in the "25 Best Cult TV Shows from the Past 25 Years," with high praise: "The series' affinity for ambitious, high-concept story lines (e.g. few shows are willing to turn over an entire episode to stop-motion animation), meta humor, and constant pop culture allusions has helped it earn the kind of fervent fan following some of its higher-rated comedic competitors must envy."

Although the departure of Dan Harmon as showrunner has affected critical opinion of the fourth season, reviews have still been generally positive. It has scored a 70 out of 100 based on 16 critics on Metacritic. Verne Gay of Newsday stated, "Still defiantly Community, still good and still uninterested in adding new viewers." On the other hand, Hitfixs Alan Sepinwall stated, "It feels like [Moses] Port, [David] Guarascio and the other writers decided to reverse-engineer the [Dan] Harmon version of Community, but couldn't quite manage without the missing ingredient of Harmon himself." Mike Hale of The New York Times has stated that the series "has been dumbed down, its humor broadened past recognition, and the two episodes provided for review...have fewer laughs between them than a single good scene from the old Community."

Awards and nominations

In 2009, the series received a nomination for Favorite New TV Comedy at the 36th People's Choice Awards.

In 2010, at the 41st NAACP Image Awards, Justin Lin received a nomination for Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series for "Introduction to Statistics". At the 2010 Teen Choice Awards, the series received a nomination for Breakout Show and Ken Jeong was nominated for Breakout Star Male. For Entertainment Weeklys 3rd Ewwy Awards, it was nominated for Best Comedy Series, Joel McHale was nominated for Best Lead Actor in a Comedy and Danny Pudi was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy.

In 2011, Betty White received a nomination for Favorite TV Guest Star at the 37th People's Choice Awards. The series received a nomination for Best Directing for a Comedy Series at the The Comedy Awards. The episode "Modern Warfare" won the 2010 Gold Derby TV Award for Comedy Episode of the Year. For the 1st Critics' Choice Television Awards, it was nominated for Best Comedy Series, while Joel McHale and Danny Pudi were nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor in Comedy Series, respectively. The episode "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas" won a 2011 Creative Arts Emmy Award for Individual Achievement in Animation. At the 42nd NAACP Image Awards, Justin Lin was nominated for Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series for the episode "Modern Warfare". At the 27th TCA Awards, Community was nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy and Danny Pudi was nominated for Individual Achievement in Comedy. The series received four nominations for the 2011 Satellite Awards, for Best Comedy or Musical Series, Joel McHale for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy Series, and Donald Glover for Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries, or TV Movie; while it won Best Television Release for the season two DVD set.

In 2012, Community was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for the episode "Remedial Chaos Theory," written by Chris McKenna. Also that year, the show won the awards for Favorite Comedy and Favorite Ensemble in the 2012 TV Guide Magazine Fan Favorites Awards. "Remedial Chaos Theory" was nominated for a Hugo Award in 2012 for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form. Community also won the Hulu "Best in Show" award for 2012, beating 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, New Girl and Modern Family in the first four rounds, and The Walking Dead in the final round by 11,000 votes.

At the 2nd Critics' Choice Television Awards, Community received the most nominations and won Best Comedy Series,. Joel McHale was nominated for Best Actor in a Comedy Series, Jim Rash and Danny Pudi were nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series, and Alison Brie and Gillian Jacobs were nominated Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Community was also nominated for TCA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy at the 2012 TCA Awards.

Community or its cast has yet to receive a nomination at the Primetime Emmys (with the exception of a sole writing nomination) or the Golden Globes, and is considered to be one of the major snubs each year.

Ratings

Premiering in the 9:30 pm ET spot on September 17, 2009, the pilot episode had a viewership of 7.680 million. In the 18"49 audience, it had a rating of 3.7. As such, it held 93% of this audience from The Office, which had been in the previous time slot. The show was called the "bright spot for the night" for NBC, seeing how The Office was down 18% from the previous year's premiere, while Parks and Recreation, in the preceding time slot, was down 30%.

Seasonal rankings (based on average total viewers per episode) of Community:

Note: Each U.S. network television season starts in late September and ends in late May, which coincides with the completion of May sweeps.
Season Timeslot (ET) Episodes Premiere Finale TV season Rank Viewers
(in millions)
Date Premiere viewers
(in millions)
Date Finale viewers
(in millions)
1
Thursday 9:30 pm (September 17, 2009 " October 1, 2009)
Thursday 8:00 pm (October 8, 2009 " May 20, 2010)
25
September 17, 2009
7.89
May 20, 2010
4.41 2009"2010 #97 5.00
2 Thursday 8:00 pm 24
September 23, 2010
5.01
May 12, 2011
3.32 2010"2011 #138 4.44
3 22
September 22, 2011
3.93
May 17, 2012
2.48 2011"2012 #144 4.03
4 13 February 7, 2013 3.88
TBA
TBA 2013 TBA TBA

Response to mid-season hiatus

Community was absent from NBC's 2011"2012 mid-season schedule, being replaced with the returning series 30 Rock. Fans of the series began a campaign to get the show back on the air using Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook, making hashtags such as #SaveCommunity, #SixSeasonsAndAMovie, and #OccupyNBC trending topics. NBC responded to the backlash by announcing that the network was still planning to film and air the remainder of the 22 planned episodes after the undetermined hiatus, and that the fate of the series would be determined after the planned episodes air.

On December 7, 2011, CollegeHumor released a video titled "Save Greendale (with the cast of Community)" using the cast of Community in-character to promote the series and the school in a PSA-styled video. On December 22, 2011, fans of the series created a flash mob outside of NBC's Rockefeller Center headquarters in New York City to Occupy NBC. The flash mob dressed in Christmas gear, wearing "darkest timeline" goatees, and singing "O' Christmas Troy" from the first season's episode "Comparative Religion" and chanting "Go Greendale, Go Greendale, Go!". On January 6, 2012, NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt announced that Community was not canceled, though he did not mention a return date.

On February 21, 2012, creator Dan Harmon announced via Twitter that the third season would resume on March 15, 2012, in its regular timeslot of Thursdays at 8:00 pm.

International broadcasts

Country Channel Series premiere
Sony Entertainment Television
GO!
SBS Two
March 23, 2010
April 1, 2013
City September 17, 2009
Sony Entertainment Television February 4, 2010
Fox Channel Asia
PRO4 January 9, 2011
Fox Channel Asia
Fox Channel Asia
Comedy Central Unknown
Four February 7, 2011
Fox Channel Asia
AXN White
Fox Channel Asia
M-Net April 7, 2010
Fox Channel Asia
Fox Channel Asia
Viva
Sony Entertainment Television
October 5, 2010
April 10, 2012
FX 2013

Syndication

On March 14, 2012, Comedy Central announced that it has purchased the rights to Community for syndication to begin airing in late 2013. Community premiered in syndication in Canada on The Comedy Network on September 4, 2012.

Media

DVD

The first season was released in region 1 on September 21, 2010 in a four-disc set. The set includes all 25 episodes plus bonus features, including commentary on every episode by cast and crew members; extended versions of the "Pilot" and "Communication Studies" episodes; outtakes; "Season One Cast Evaluations" featurette; "Season One Highlight Reel" featurette; "Creative Compromises" featurette; "Advanced Criminal Law" alternative scenes; and three mini episodes.

The second season was released in region 1 on September 6, 2011. It features commentary on every episode by cast and crew members; outtakes; animatics for "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas" and making-of featurettes covering that episode as well as "A Fistful of Paintballs" and "For a Few Paintballs More".

The third season was released in region 1 on August 14, 2012. It features commentary on every episode by cast and crew members; gag reel; deleted scenes; "This is War: Pillows vs. Blankets mockumentary" featurette; and "A Glee-ful Community Christmas" featurette.

Digital

Seasons one through three are available on Netflix in Canada, while the first three seasons are available on Netflix throughout Latin America with Spanish or Brazilian Portuguese subtitles.

Soundtrack

A soundtrack for the first season, titled Community (Music from the Original Television Series) was released on September 21, 2010 by Madison Gate Records. The tracklist includes the main title theme, "At Least It Was Here" by The 88; original songs and incidental music composed for the show (by series composer Ludwig Göransson); and several songs were performed by the characters (a mix of original compositions and covers).

Track listing

Other tracks

Songs featured on the show that were not released on the soundtrack are available on composer Ludwig Göransson's official website.




This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "Community_%28TV_series%29" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.
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