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What it’s about:

A group of misfits attending the same unconventional community college come together to form a study group and, through an escalating series of wacky adventures, become an unlikely found family.

Names you might know:

The excellent ensemble cast includes Joel McHale, Ken Jeong, Alison Brie, Donald Glover, Gillian Jacobs, Chevy Chase, Danny Pudi, and Yvette Nicole Brown.

Why it’s worth your time:

From Taxi (maybe the greatest sitcom of all time) and Cheers (another contender for that title) to The Office and Parks And Rec, there is a tried and true TV formula of taking a lovable group of misfits and putting them together in everyday life situations. Community is in that mold of great TV.

With Community having just returned to Netflix, there has been a renewed interest in the show–and even a live reunion “table read”—planned for YouTube (see details below).

Seven disparate personalities, at the most absurdly over the top community college you’ve ever seen, form a study group when McHale’s Jeff Winger pretends to be a Spanish tutor to try and hook up with Jacobs’ Britta in the pilot. She invites the others into a study group and the Greendale Seven is formed.

Over the show’s six seasons, five on NBC and the final one on Yahoo Screen, the Emmy-winning sitcom developed a rabid cult following for its ingenuity, from episodes spoofing Law & Order, The Godfather and Glee, to the beloved once a year paintball extravaganza.

At the heart of all that creativity was the believability of the relationships from the characters—best exemplified by the quirky best friendship between Pudi’s Abed and Glover’s Troy— and the incredibly likable Brie as Annie, the conscience of the group.

With the show becoming a launching pad for the talented cast—especially Glover, who became a music superstar as Childish Gambino and creator of Atlanta; Brie, who went on to star in Netflix’s GLOW; and Jacobs, who also headlined a Netflix show, Love— there were cast changes over the six seasons. And while none of the cast had the chemistry of that first Greendale Seven, you become more than invested enough in Brie, McHale, Pudi and Jacobs, as the heart of that group, to take it to the very worthwhile end.

The takeaway:

Though the entire six-season run doesn’t live up to the first few seasons, Community, at its best, is high art, mixing creativity, believability, thoughtfulness and heart into some of the finest individual episodes of TV you can find. And once you enroll at Greendale College you’ll be just as sad to leave the best study group you’ll ever find as they were.

Watch it with:

A great show to share with friends as it provides a lot of, uh, no pun intended, watercooler moments, to discuss over your Zoom and FaceTime calls.

Worth noting:

The cast reunited for a table read for charity in 2020 on the Community YouTube page.

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