It’s a new year, full of promise and excitement, and all sorts of new shows and movies coming up, and- LET’S JUST CUT TO IT, COMMUNITY IS BACK!
For those of you who may have been living under a rock, Community comes to us from writer/performer Dan Harmon, and is about a group of loveable characters at the fictional Greendale Community College. Known for its unusual humour – particularly pop-culture obsessed Abed Nadir, a walking, talking TV Tropes – the show is unique, toying with recognisable staples of the sitcom genre in exciting, unexpected ways.
In season one they parodied Mafia movies, played paint-ball, and yelled at everyone who’s ever re-enacted that scene with the pottery wheel in Ghost. Season two had Betty White singing Africa by Toto, elaborate conspiracies, an uncontrollable Christmas special, Dungeons and Dragons, and even more paint-ball I don’t need to tell you how hilarious I found seasons three’s parody of Glee – so many great musical numbers! – the Gettysburg style battle that broke out over a pillow/blanket fort, or that they did an episode almost entirely inside an 8-bit video-game But then-
Last year on “October 19th” Sharona wrote about the return of the show to our screens under ominous circumstance. Dan was gone due to difficulties between himself and Sony, many fans were demanding blood; was this going to be the show we knew and loved? It felt different, sometimes an imitation of itself. Sure, we all laughed along, but it felt a little hollow at times. The Inspector Spacetime Con was fun, guest starring Matt Lucas and Tricia Helfer, Malcolm McDowell was good for a giggle as Professor Cornwallis, their history professor, and Heroic Origins was a long expected Abed story, but it just wasn’t the same. Even the paint-ball episode felt a little off. And what was all that forced stuff about the Darkest Timeline?
But now, the king has returned from exile! And much like the titular episode of this new season would suggest, this is the new beginning. Community is back, baby. Let’s talk about what we’ve seen so far:
Repilot picks up where the fourth season left off (and it’s a tribute to Harmon’s character that he has avoided what many fans would have applauded – pretending the last season didn’t happen). Jeff has graduated, and returned to his former scummy lawyer ways, although with a hint of a conscience and a very cheesy commercial. Sadly, though, doing the right thing hasn’t worked very well financially, and when Alan Connor (Rob Corddry) alerts him of a new lawsuit against Greendale, they begrudgingly form an alliance (mostly because Jeff desperately needs the money).
It’s a well written return to the start; Jeff is the same as when we first met him, a man with an ulterior motive and the fast talking conniving to make it happen. Once again, the study group are the doe-eyed innocents, whom he takes for a ride to his own ends, but – again – by the end he comes good, and accepts the help he needs from his friends, in this case a job as a teacher at Greendale.
Also, Zach Braff had a voice over which, according to the internet, caused many a fan to squeal.
Introduction to Teaching is Jeff adjusting to life as a teacher, Jonathan Banks in the first appearance of his recurring role as Criminology Professor Buzz Hickley, and Nicholas Cage. Oh my yes, the Nicholas Cage.
We’re off to a terrific start with this season, and if the first two episodes are anything to go by, it’s going to continue to be great. Fans can look forward to the return of Professor Ian Duncan (John Oliver), Star-Burns, Fat Neil, Magnitude (Pop POP!) Garret, and guest appearances from Brie Larson, Nathan Fillion, David Cross (he’s going to be in a D&D episode! Much excite!) and more.
I also wanted to mention somewhere a couple of things that’ll only really make sense to us fanatics; the return of Chris McKenna who will serve as executive producer, and the departure of writer Megan Ganz, who’s joined the Modern Family staff. Chevy’s also gone – although he did guest in the first episode – and Donald Glover will only be in five of the thirteen episodes that make this season.