Hello Greendale Communtiy College! After a long and tumultuous run on NBC, Community fans despaired as NBC declined a 6th season for the series. At the last possible minute, Yahoo! dove in for the rescue, resurrecting the series on their Yahoo! Screen service. The first 2 episodes of Community‘s 6th season are now available to watch. What did we think? In true Community fashion, get ready for our Introduction to Community Impressions.
Kat Taylor – Writer
If there’s any show that demonstrates the importance of your Showrunner, it’s this one. Even in a brand new format (streaming on Yahoo instead of airing on NBC) and even having (sadly) lost yet another cast member, it is still in its very soul the same Community that fans have loved. I find it’s not even a relief or a surprise at this point – because Dan Harmon knows this show and characters, and the cast all clearly loves it unabashedly.
Of the two episodes, I preferred the first one – because it had a more clear-cut theme that it didn’t state so explicitly (I love the show, but I do tend to cringe at those kinds of moments) and because I found it had more laugh-out-loud moments for me. A lot of dialogue from Abed had me laughing so hard I was having to pause and go back to catch what he was saying (like his ruminations about how it’s more fun to ask what’s reality, sanity, and what happened to that hologram of Pierce).
Outside of the high concept episodes, this show often tends to be at its best when it finds interesting ways to challenge our main cast – often to the point of actually making them somewhat the bad guys. Which was what they became here. It represents how fluid the notion of them being the “heroes” of the story really functions. Beyond that, I really enjoyed the flip of having Abed be the one to latch onto this new sense of stability, while the rest of the group were the ones resisting change.
And Paget Brewster is going to be a solid addition – I like that they’re taking her in a new direction, rather than adding someone else that’s crazy, but instead someone that’s more solid and grounded. Same with Keith David – but more just because he’s Keith David. As sad as I am for the cast losses that we’ve had, both are great additions to the show; and still having Jim Rash and Kim Jeong (and Garrett, and Leonard, and Todd…) around is such great continuity for this perpetual little series-that-could.
Tyson Gifford – Editor in Chief
I find the return of Community a rather odd experience. This is chiefly due to its new home on Yahoo! Screen, with its awkwardly clunky interface and unstable streaming. I am forever grateful for Yahoo! bringing us more Community, but I really wish they had better prepared themselves for the bandwidth and user experience necessary for such a move. Personally i would have loved true (as in not screen mirroring) Chromecast support. I have to wonder if Community is, in fact, the perfect choice for Yahoo!’s jump into original content, as I cannot imagine Yahoo! pulling in a sizable audience to their clunky service without something that already had such a massively dedicated fanbase.
But lets talk content. I am happy to say that Community has returned as hilarious as we had hoped it would. That being said, I felt like something was different or off. Still funny, but different. Characters seemed more self aware, and a little less definable, I am not sure if this is good or bad, just different. It will take a while to adjust for me, but in the end, I consistently laughed and enjoyed myself.
One change I did enjoy in the first 2 episodes (which might set a precedent) is the use of fake trailers calling back to jokes within the episode. The first episode called back to a reference about Shirley’s absence, That she was helping a paralyzed detective, by showing a trailer for a new buddy drama about the scenario. The trailer ended with an NBC logo, a little dig at Community‘s former home by chance? The second episode involved Britta, Abed, and Annie watching a Portuguese Gremlins rip-off titled Joelho Alto Prejuizo Moral (apparently translates to Knee High Mischief), which, of course, had its own trailer at the end of the episode.
As Kat said, the real test of the series move to Yahoo! Screen will come to us through its first high concept episode. The first episode of Community that established it as a true cult series was the first season’s paintball episode Modern Warfare. Since then, the series has had a claymation episode, a GI Joe animated episode, an 8-bit video game episode, explorations of alternate realities, and much much more. I cannot wait to see where Dan Harmon will take Community when he decides to go high concept in his new home at Yahoo! Screen.
New cast members Paget Brewster and Keith David fit the series like a glove, though the absence of Donald Glover, Jonathan Banks, John Oliver, and Yvette Nicole Brown is a bit depressing. I still hold out hope for brief unexpected appearances from the 4 actors, considering Yvette’s appearance at the end of the season’s first episode. How awesome would a brief scene of Donald Glover’s Troy and LeVar Burton fighting pirates on the high sea for example.
Overall, my impressions of the new season of Community (so far) have been positive, with only a tinge of concern towards change. I just wish Yahoo! would get their streaming service together, as right now it is the worst streaming service I will actually use.
What did you think of Community‘s move to Yahoo!? Was anything lost in the transition? Was anything gained? Tell us in our comments, tell us in our forums, and stay tuned to TVEnthusiast for more coverage of Community, and all of your favorite shows…
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