Community: Season 2
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Welcome back for a wild new year at Greendale Community College, as the study group faces their toughest tests yet… Why would bachelor-for-life Jeff Winger (Joel McHale) pop the big question to Britta (Gillian Jacobs)? What incites innocent Annie (Alison Brie) to chloroform a janitor? Hey, Pierce (Chevy Chase)! Is your mom really still alive in a lava lamp? Will Abed (Danny Pudi) miss his Pulp Fiction birthday for a chance to give Jeff his own version of My Dinner With Andre? What makes Troy (Donald Glover) boldly go for LeVar Burton? Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown) is expecting – but who’s the daddy? Is it her ex-hubby (guest star Malcolm-Jamal Warner)? Or ex-Spanish teacher, Senior Chang (Ken Jeong)? Finally, is that really Betty White rapping with Troy and Abed? All these answers (and much more) are found in the hilarious, guest star-filled sophomore season of the breakthrough comedy hit.
Welcome to the second season of this ingenious and clever yet warm-hearted sitcom about sitcoms. On the surface, Community follows the misadventures of a study group at a mediocre community college, but it's really a loopy satire of TV comedy, taking every opportunity to deconstruct the absurd rules and accepted structures that shape almost every sitcom ever made--while, without missing a beat, making brilliant use of those rules and structures to create wonderfully likable characters and tell delightfully funny stories. It's hard to imagine how something this sneaky and multilayered got through the soul-sucking committees of network television. In season two, the members of the adorable misfit study group struggle to fight off their former Spanish teacher, Señor Chang (Ken Jeong), who desperately wants to be part of the group even though they're now studying anthropology. But a greater danger lies within: Pierce (Chevy Chase), the socially obtuse moist-towelette magnate whose mix of paranoia and jealousy turns him against his friends, transforming him into the outright villain of the season. Meanwhile, the gang grapple with the sexual politics of charity, outer-space flight simulation, religious-epic filmmaking, mean girls, booze, Dungeons and Dragons, zombies, Balkan genocide, stop-motion Christmas specials, and a sequel to the first season's paintball episode that is almost as brilliant as the original. The entire cast (Chase, Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Alison Brie, Donald Glover, Danny Pudi, and Yvette Nicole Brown) is in top form, the guest appearances (ranging from Betty White to Josh Holloway from Lost) are smartly used, and the abundant DVD extras are all excellent. Community: The Complete Second Season is a pleasure from start to finish. --Bret Fetzer
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This year sees the study group grow and evolve even more, bonding over events as disparate as a Dungeons & Dragons game, going to a bar for Troy's 21st birthday, or finding a missing pen. The cast is still in top form, with Donald Glover (Troy) and Danny Pudi (Abed) being especially memorable. Chevy Chase (Pierce) has his moments to shine this season as well, breaking out beyond "Cliche Old Man" in a few episodes. Britta has changed from the hipster of the majority of season 1 into a dorky loser who seems to think she's a hipster (turn it into a snake!), which I think fits much better into the group. Jeff already provides enough smugness for everyone.
My favorite episodes this season were probably Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design, Critical Film Studies, Paradigms of Human Memory, Cooperative Calligraphy, and Mixology Certification. There are so many others that are great, but for me those were the cream of the crop. One thing about this show is that while people almost never agree on the best episodes, everyone can always agree that the show is awesome, and I think that speaks for itself.
It's my second favorite show on network TV, only barely edged out by Parks and Recreation, for the sole reason that while I admire the craftsmanship of Community, P&R just makes me laugh more. This is by no means a slight against Community, as it's extremely funny, but I find it to be more of a "chuckling to myself" show. However, it should be noted that I almost never laugh at TV shows or movies while watching them by myself, so for Community to even get those chuckles and occasional real laughs is quite a feat, and proves how great and quick-witted the writing is. I often rewind a few seconds to catch something I almost missed.
If you like comedy and TV shows, and don't watch Community, you're missing out. Buy the first season, buy this second season, and buy them both on blu-ray when they're out. I don't care if you don't have a blu-ray player, we need to show support for thoughtfully-made, quality television.
Ramping up its unique brand of humor for 24 more episodes, Community not only equaled its first season but surpassed it with such genre-bending and ultimately great episodes as "Critical Film Studies" (The 'Pulp Fiction' parody that actually turned out to be so much more), "Mixology Certification" (The '21st birthday' episode that expertly highlighted the 'sorrows of drinking', but without sounding so melodramatic and PSAlike), "Cooperative Calligraphy" (A 'bottle episode' that summed up completely how the show's humor wasn't limited to simple 'parodies' and was a showcase in character-derived humor that circled around, of all things, a missing pen) and "Paradigms of Human Memory" (A fake clip show that might have been the outright funniest episode of anything in 2010-11), themselves just a sampling of the wealth of fantastic episodes in season 2. (See: 'Epidemiology', 'Accounting for Lawyers', the 2-part finale 'A Fist Full of Paintballs' and 'For A Few Paintballs More', 'Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas', 'Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design' and half a dozen more sensational episodes.)
The performances from the cast are nothing less than stellar, as lead man Joel McHale, Danny Pudi and Alison Brie all deserve at least Emmy nods (if not wins) for their performances as Jeff, Abed and Annie respectively. The same thing, however, could be said of the entire cast, as the ensemble bounce off each other in tremendous fashion; I could see any one of them as deserving of an Emmy nod (albeit not realistically; Community seems to be the kind of show that will get love from the critics but nothing from the Emmys).
The amazing second season of Community (while still only pulling 1.8s in the demo on up weeks) managed to keep things fresh and original and shine the brightest in a stellar year of TV comedy; indeed, despite such other high-quality shows as 'Parks and Recreation', 'Louie', 'Cougar Town' and 'Archer', Community was streets ahead of its competitors. In summation, I apologize for all the superlatives because, well, Community IS the best comedy since Arrested Development.
The package arrived on the date it was supposed to and the DVD case was wrapped in plastic wrapping to prove its new. The 24 episodes are divided onto 4 DVD discs (each disc having 6 episodes plus respective special features for those episodes). I am 100% satisfied with this product and I encourage you to purchase this DVD set to complete your Community collection. You really get a bargain for the price! #sixseasonsandamovie