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I recently binged the entire series, Community, via Hulu. I started on Netflix and then was informed that the Netflix version was based on a syndication license, meaning it had a little bit cut out of each episode. If you’ve never seen the show, go with Hulu over Netflix.
Going into it, all I knew was that it took place at a community college, it starred Joel McHale and Chevy Chase, and there was a Dungeons & Dragons episode (the first one with “Fat Neil”). I didn’t realize that the Russo brothers were involved in it, and having finished the series, I now appreciate the relevant cameos in the MCU. The best part about the show was how it often parodied other shows. For example, there was an episode based on Law and Order, another animated as a GI Joe cartoon, and another mimicking a civil war documentary (brilliantly casting Keith David as the narrator).
The series followed along the same life-cycle as most good TV comedies. It started a little slow in order to establish the characters, was largely funny throughout, but by season five, the scripts got stale, some key actors moved on to other projects, and the replacement/rearranged characters felt forced and/or substandard to me.
The series finale showed that the writers were self-aware in this regard, but another paintball episode in season 6? That could work if you weren’t binging, but binging is the new normal. I wonder if the shift to binge-watching series will discourage creators from allowing their shows to recycle tropes and, in general, overstay their welcome. Time will tell.
Verdict: If you’re not a completionist like me, then I wouldn’t bother with season six unless someone with your tastes strongly suggests a specific episode. (Episode 12: Wedding Videography had me laughing out loud, and the series finale was also very good.) Enough of the core group was there to keep it funny, but the magic was clearly gone by then. It was then just a decent show. However, while never as good as the Office or Parks and Recreation, Community seasons one through five were certainly worth my time.
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