Two Guys, a Girl and a TV Set

Three college friends out in the world, filling the void with television…and loving it.

Review: Community (Pilot)

Posted by Christopher Moltisanti on September 17, 2009

I don’t see this one sticking around. It has a bad, borderline preposterous premise (a Lexus-driving disbarred lawyer is going to community college? Really?), an unsympathetic main character, a weak supporting cast of characters (other than Abed), pedestrian dialogue and certainly not enough Chevy Chase.

It’s a nice idea—a diverse collection of misfits learning with, and from, each other with moments of hilarity and romance interspersed. One problem is that it’s not totally clear why some of these people are in community college. Britta, for instance, got accepted to the Peace Corps but can’t get into a real college? Another, bigger problem, is that there was nothing really funny in this episode except Abed’s pop culture references: “You’re like Michael Douglas in all his films.” “No one puts baby in a corner.” And the Full House-esque group hug ending was eye-roll inducing. Overall, it was just bland. Watch-able, but not funny enough to hold an audience for more than an episode.

Even tonight’s weak Office premiere topped this.

Grade: C-

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5 Responses to “Review: Community (Pilot)”

  1. CJ Cregg said

    I was excited about Chevy Chase. If he’s not in it that much, I am less enthusiastic. I’ll watch this weekend and say more.

  2. Mr. Feeny said

    I agree that it needs improvement, but I think it’s better than you let on.

    There were some really bad elements. I expected John Oliver to be funnier than his over-the-top British persona. I cringe at the thought of the Asian actor from “The Hangover” as a regular starting next week. Talk about your over-actors. And the script definitely needed more humor.

    But I loved the pacing. The lines were fast-moving, with some hushed for subtle humor. Not at all pedestrian. Many were bright and snappy. And there was a surprising amount of heart in the dialogue. I think we did start to see the side of Joel McHale’s character that we can sympathize with. And there’s clearly a lot of interesting character backstories we’ll learn.

    The premise doesn’t matter. All sitcoms are outlandish. 7 stranded castaways on an island? Witches and Jeannies? Lucy? Kramer? No one actually has that much funny happen in their lives. That doesn’t concern me. This isn’t a drama like The Wire. But the jokes do matter. And I agree that they need better ones in coming episodes.

    I also heard my life credo at the end: “The funny thing about being smart is that you can get through most of life without ever having to do any work. So I’m not really sure how to do that.” Amen.

    I’m not thrilled about this show. But I think as we watch it every week, it’ll get better.

  3. Malcolm said

    The problem with this show was that it was terrible on the page. The line about one of the guys trying out for the track team being “older than the game of poker” is just one of plenty of examples where there were probably 1000 funnier things that could have been said…

    That says to me that the writing staff on the show just doesn’t get how to be funny. The cast did a nice job of trying to save it, but I think it was just poorly written and poorly directed…problems that I don’t see really improving as it moves on.

  4. CJ Cregg said

    I had high hopes for this show. But it definitely disappointed me when I watched it today. It was not nearly as funny as I had hoped it would be, largely a function of poor writing and direction. Oliver’s character just is not entertaining. I will admit to being mildly intrigued because I was SO disappointed with the pilot that I have no idea where they’re going to go with it. I’m not interested enough in the characters to really care about their backstories. It just basically fell FLAT to me.

    I disagree with Mr. Feeny. I thought the big thing lacking in the pilot was heart. Nor was there anything I would call bright and snappy. Also “as we watch it every week it’ll get better”? I won’t be watching every week. So be sure and let us know if it DOES get better 😉

    I’ll give it a C-

    It gets lower than the other mediocre shows because it disappointed me so. Such potential. So little delivery of the goods.

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