Yes the popular nerd sitcom is back ever closer to its lifelong dream of #sixseasonsandamovie. However the most important thing to note is where it is continuing, see Community has now gone online and you would expect for that to mean something like Netflix or Hulu but you would be wrong, then you might think of places like YouTube but you would also be wrong for it is now streaming on Yahoo. Now I didn’t know Yahoo did videos I hear you cry and outside of the north Americas you would be right mostly for over here in the U.K it has a handful of ‘viral’ videos and a handful of old Monty python clips. No if you want to watch it over here you have to tune in to ‘Sony TV’ Wednesday nights at ten, a whole twenty four hours after the states get it and on that box in the corner you use to play your Xbox.
So after struggling with the rabbit ears and finding batteries for the remote I was ready to begin.
Now to start with we are down to Jeff, Britta, Annie and Abed from the main cast with the Dean and Chang stepping up a little too. Each of the first two episodes sees a new addition joining the cast with Paget Brewster in episode one and Keith David in episode 2 but to be honest Keith hasn’t had much to do so far so it’s kind of hard to see what he’s going to do. Anyway the series opens with a new semester picking up from where we left off with Annie having cleaned her job board it seems that one of her stars managed to go missing and thus the School comes under crisis in the first few minutes from an avalanche of Frisbees and Leonard quoting Blade Runner for some reason. Truth be told this is only the focus for the first few seconds and only put forward as a reason to get Brewster in as the new member of the save Greendale committee. Frankie as she is known is introduced as the new Shirley but while she manages to avoid being a direct replacement for any previous character she ends up coming across more like a expy, author stand in in some dodgy fan fiction. The problem is that her only character fault is being a self-confessed fairly boring person which would make her ideal as the straight person of the group except they managed to rotate that role nicely and now we have character dropping off screen for no reason.
Then there is her desire to integrate with the group and the speed with which she seems to do it. Now I am not suggesting we have some long drawn out affair where we know they are going to end up as friends so just get on with it already but in the first episode she manages to convince Abed to come out of his weird little shell into the real world a bit and in the next she supplys Jeff with a fellow mature adult to bounce off and a shoulder for Britta to talk with when it seems her friends have turned against her. She’s pretty soon becoming every person favourite other person in the study group and improving them all the time. I like to see growth in our characters I just wish it has been achieved without some mary sue expy and I don’t mean that as a mark against Brewster who plays the role she is given well and does have decent chemistry with the rest of the cast but I wish we had spent a bit more time making her broken enough to be stuck at Greendale with the rest of them instead of being an outside force coming in and taking charge to change things for the better.
Around her the series works quite well with Jim Rash as the Dean getting pretty much all the best jokes as the series seems to struggle with its own identity. His mime on the v.r machine was a good well-earned laugh as he transfers files and has to go through the traumatic experience of deleting one and even the simple act of trying to cover his depature with a phone call had me laughing, perhaps the most in the whole episode.
The show tackles the idea of where the series is even going any more directly mentioning that half the study group has gone, there is now a direct mix between the students and the teachers and why haven’t other graduated by now. I mean I know the American education system is supposed to be bad…….
However seen as we’re only on episode two it’s hard to tell if this is the show being meta or just throwing on the lampshade once more.
It has become more grounded I guess but only because if it kept climbing we would have another gas leak year on our hands.
There are a couple of decent cameos that I won’t spoil and I doubt you will miss both relating to the shows past. It could be argued that all of this is what hurts the show, its insular nature, of only trying to amuse itself instead of reaching out to its audience but by this point I don’t think anyone cares. It has its followers and its haters and while haters are gonna hate I think the fans will enjoy the series so far. The show acknowledges its changed and thankfully doesn’t get too bogged down in meta jokes about internet based shows and certain networks as has been done in the past. It might not be the best episode of the show thus far, with ‘Lawnmower Maintenance & Postnatal Care’ being a bit of a dud but it’s more than good enough to welcome this old friend into our home once more.