Community: Season 3
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America's most incorrigible study group of misfits returns for a hilariously ingenious new year at Greendale Community College. From homicidal Halloween pizza parties, holiday Glee Club smackdowns, foosball showdowns, epic pillow fight wars and an underage campus security force to a shocking remarriage, a riotous funeral service, submarine sandwich throwdowns, a new Vice Dean (Emmy® winner John Goodman) with a strange air-conditioning fixation and a crime show homage for the ages — the Third Season of television’s boldest, brashest comedy is the most brilliant yet. Get ready to cram it all in. Starring Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Alison Brie, Donald Glover, Jim Rash, with Ken Jeong and Emmy® winner Chevy Chase. INTERNATIONAL: Everyone’s favorite, most incorrigible study group of misfits returns for a hilariously ingenious new year at Greendale Community College. From homicidal Halloween pizza parties, holiday Glee Club smackdowns, foosball sho
The third season of Community opens with a musical number promising to be "less weird than the first two years combined"--a promise that, thankfully, goes right out the window as the episode culminates in the eternally glib Jeff (Joel McHale) attacking the study group's table with a fire ax. From there, Community is a freewheeling, ridiculous, and surprisingly complex dissection of sitcoms, friendship, and pop culture in general. The parodies of Law & Order, Glee, and Ken Burns documentaries are only the tip of the iceberg. In the Halloween episode, the characters take turns telling horror stories, each reflecting both pop takes on horror and the character's own psyche. Another episode takes place mostly inside of a video game (with the characters converted into delightful digital avatars), others slip into anime graphics or heist-movie plot mechanics or follow out multiple possible timelines, another mimics Hearts of Darkness, the documentary about the making of Apocalypse Now--this is the stuff of which postmodern doctoral theses and obsessive cult fandom are made. Woven through the season are the efforts of Vice Dean Laybourne (guest star John Goodman, Roseanne) to woo Troy (Donald Glover) into the arms of the Air Conditioning Repair School Annex and the gradual rise of Chang (Ken Jeong) from homelessness to brutal dictatorship, thanks to a hit squad of ruthless 12-year-olds.
Community demands that viewers pay attention and think about American culture at large to catch all the comedy, which is not what most people expect from a sitcom. But this scope and ambition is exactly what makes Community so rare and rewarding--and so funny, for anyone willing to engage. The writing is consistently smart and inventive, the cast (McHale, Glover, Jeong, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Alison Brie, Yvette Nicole Brown, Chevy Chase, and Jim Rash as the "pansexual imp" Dean Pelton) is charming and wholly committed to their roles, and the multiple directors maintain a consistency of tone even when adopting radically different visual styles. Community, like the great Arrested Development, pursues its distinctive humor to the fullest. Watch it from the beginning. --Bret Fetzer
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If you haven't seen the episodes leading up to this one, I wouldn't just recommend jumping into the series with this episode. The accumulated character development is important for the context of the episode, and I don't think it's possible to enjoy it quite as much without that context.
I just watched the episode again, for the 4th or 5th time. I still marvel at it, each time being amazed that it can still have the same emotional effect on me that it did when I first saw it.
This is Season Three, I am writing this review for the person who might have stumbled upon this. If you're not sure, buy Season 3 and watch, and I'll hear your scream of joy as you quickly go back to order Season 2 and 1. And the commentaries are fun too, it seems like they are friends, and they tell great stories. They still don't beat Futurama commentaries, but they are close. In closing, if you like comedy, you have found a "Community". #sixseasonsandamovie!
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