Friday, January 14, 2011

TV review – “Community – Season 1” (2009-10) ****1/2

Brilliant new sitcom, which shows there is plenty of life in the genre. The pilot was a bit wonky, with Joel McHale seeming to ape Bill Murray and the show an 80s comedy – but after a few eps it really found its feet. The title is totally apt: this show has a real sense of community, with the strong friendship of the study group at it’s core, plus an enjoyable world around it. This really makes you want to go to community college – even if no one seems to spend much time studying or even working at jobs.

The lead cast is strong except for Don Glover, the black guy – he’s okay, just not up to the standard of the others. McHale found his groove pretty quickly; I was delighted to see Alison Brie, Pete’s wife from Mad Men, get a gig (she’s great); Chevy Chase is back in a big way (it’s not so much he’s funny as his character – which you sense is very close to the real Chevy, full of inappropriate comments). The support cast was also outstanding, especially the guy who played the Dean – he makes every post a winner. The writing is clever, often brilliant; the direction is good too (they have so much fun with the paint ball episode).

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