I’ve been watching the NBC show Community, and first off the time slot is just wrong for the show. To be fair this isn’t one of those “Blame it on Jay Leno” moments, this is more of an “NBC really doesn’t need this show” moment. Meaing just like The New Adventures Of Old Christine on CBS or King Of Queens final season, they will move the show in a bad slot in hopes that the time slots dooms the show. Now I’ve seen two episodes so I’m giving you my thoughts from those two shows, it’s still early in the season folks.
The premise of the show, seven community college students hangout together, four are older and the other 3 are young 20 something’s interact with one another. Simple as hell, right? Kinda sort of, NBC seems to be trying hard to milk the ensemble cast in a small space thing to death. Now, I missed the season premier of 30 Rock so I have no idea if they too added a Middle Eastern person to their cast, if not just to poke fun at the now very noticeable running theme of NBC’s Thursday Night lineup. Community is a very, I mean VERY dry comedy. I have laughed out loud a few times each episode. You can tell the people behind this show, who are no strangers to this kind of comedy, are tip toeing a bit with this show. I know NBC isn’t one for the too quirky or flat out cerebral comedies so it puts this show at an even greater risk to be axed at some point. The problem is NBC has struck gold with The Office and though ratings aren’t super and a bit of criticism has come 30 Rock’s way because of last season and the guest star phase they went through, it too is still a major hit for NBC. So now you have Community along with Parks and Recreations on the roster for Thursday nights that are just like The Office and 30 Rock You might expect this from rival networks but not NBC rivaling itself, its just too far of a stretch. Again I feel Community will go first if a show has to be cancelled. Why? Well because NBC has done for Amy Poehler the same thing they did for Jay Leno, gave them a show to keep them from sliding somewhere else and becoming a threat to NBC.
The show has an odd line up. Don’t get me wrong it seems to work here and there but it’s still odd to me. There is Chevy Chase, playing an older entrepreneur but is at a community college. Huh? Like so many aging comics who find themselves playing old crazies, he has become a victim of age. I will say this though he does have signs of insightful lines here and there that help make him well rounded as a character. Then there’s Joel McHale who is the host to one of my favorite week in review shows The Soup. I feel they want to use his wit and comedic timing but just have no idea when to do it. There are times he’s good, really good, then there are times its like he’s the biggest asshole EVER. Then you have Yvette Nicole Brown who you have seen tons of times in fiber cereal and other commercials. Yeah she’s back in the big leagues again, the last time I saw her not in an ad was Tropic Thunder. Danny Pudi, who I would have lost money on if I made a bet off of first glance, he looks like the Slum Dog kid. Ken Jeong who has been doing his thing with small roles is also part of the cast. There are other people as well to round out this cast of what looks like “improve class 101”.
I think the show if given a chance to grow can be one of those cult favorites turned classics like Family Guy, Cheers, Married With Children, Taxi and Arrested Development (FYI Directors Joe and Anthony Russo who are directors for Community also worked on Arrested Development, not sure if that’s a blessing or a curse). Again it’s very slow-paced joke wise but when the laugh out loud moments come it’s worth the wait. I hope NBC either asked the writers to step it up for the primetime slot so regular people can catch on or just move it to The USA Network where it can grow in peace.
One thing the directors and editors should have done to really make the first 3 minutes before the theme song kicks in is have those Glendale Community College ads they have online start off every show. I love how the Dr. Patrick Isakson character looks so worn down and pissed in the online ads. It would add so much more to the show. I love dry slow humor so Community is a fine addition to the some times fast pace blink you miss it jokes of The Office and 30 Rock. Hope the rating indicate that to NBC.