‘Community’ – NBC’s Singular Bit of Brilliance
“Community”, the half-hour comedy show on NBC, has demonstrated a fact that has long been questioned within the realm of television: is modern NBC capable of producing enjoyable, unique, and longterm viable programs? The answer, since the show has been renewed and continues to escalate in both quality and hilarity, appears to be yes.
A show starring a cocky celebrity personality from E!, old man Chevy Chase, creepy actor Jim Rash, self-desribed “crazy asian” Ken Jeong, and various no-name individuals with no noticeable acting credentials sounds like the call sheet for a C-list National Lampoon movie – except that it works surprisingly well. Even more surprising is that it exists on a network known for holding on to executive favorites and killing shows that have massive fan support. Jeff Zucker is not known for being competent.
The show’s unexpected brilliance and hilarious writing came through more clearly than usual in the most recent episode, “Modern Warfare”. For a show that is usually filled with pop culture references, self-referential jokes, random asides, and a demonstrated lack of self-seriousness, Dan Harmon and his writers outdid themselves with their homages to action movies, video games, and horror movies – all of which surrounded a very thin plot of a paintball game. As icing on their television cake, an entire scene was devoted to the comedic deconstruction of their network television sibling “Glee”, while giants like “Resident Evil” and “Die Hard” made their own silver-screen appearances.
Even though the show’s already been renewed for a second season, it remains to be seen whether or not the programming genius that is Jeff Zucker will deign to allow such uniquely original, and successful, comedy to remain on his network without hampering it significantly. Given the recent years of disastrous and questionable decisions by Zucker, statistics do not favor the continued freedom and existence of “Community”, but audiences, especially those with Internet-tendencies, can always hope.