Community: My Favorite Episodes (So Far…)

communityIn all honesty, I am not a big television watcher, mainly because I can never follow a series to its completion (mostly dramas). For years, I’ve bounced around different networks trying to find a show that, not only I can get into, but I can also relate to. Luckily for me (and what turns out to be millions of other people), Dan Harmon created Community: a smart, witty, over-the-top sitcom following a study group who are just trying to get by.

Now, if you don’t know what has happened to the series in the past couple of weeks, NBC is putting Community “on the shelf” for the time being, replacing it with the award-winning 30 Rock. So, as a sentiment to my favorite show, I decided to post my five favorite episodes (two from both seasons one and two, and one from three) and share my feelings of one of the most critically acclaimed shows of the past decade.

Episode 101: Pilot

It’s amazing how far these people have come in the past three years. Joel (played by Joel McHale) is a lawyer that got caught with a degree from Columbia (the country, not the district), and has to go through Greendale Community College to get his bachelor’s degree back. However, with his need to score, he asks Abed (played by Danny Pudi) who a certain blonde in his Spanish class is. With his need to impress her (the girl being Britta, played by Gillian Jacobs), he starts a fake study group, only for the group to be all too real once Abed invites more people to it. Of course, hilarity ensues, as he tries to get the group to collapse just so he can get some Thai food with Britta. This was a beginning to something great – each characters (including the ones not mentioned) is continually growing. Jeff now thinks of everyone as great friends (almost family, even), the robotic demeanor of Abed now makes him the coolest and calmest in the group, and while Jeff is now almost chasing the forbidden fruit known as Annie (played by Allison Brie), is now seemingly moving towards the first jock-now nerd Troy (played by Donald Glover). If you are already a fan of the show, I highly suggest you see how each of these characters are then, and who they are now; it’s truly astonishing. As for everyone else, this is an obvious starting point.

Favorite Line: “I’m sorry I called you Michael Douglas and I see your value now.” – Abed

Episode 117: Physical Education

The two stories here – the insecurities that Jeff has of wearing short-shorts and the rest of the study group trying to change Abed to get a girl to like him intertwine in an amazing way. Because Jeff doesn’t want to wear the regulation shorts for playing billiards (it is, after all, a P.E. class), he gets kicked out and banished to Urban Outfitters (or wherever hipsters go when they get yelled at). After finding a picture of White Abed in Troy’s math book, the rest of the gang try to change who he is to get the girl (or they’re “Can’t Buy Me Love”ing him). This, of course, end hilariously, with Abed pretending to be a vampire first, then Mad Men’s Don Draper, then Jeff himself. This fails, of course, because the girl is already dating White Abed – aka Abed as a white person. The group believes that they hurt his spirit the next day, but Abed comes back with a great bit of dialogue that a lot of people can relate to. That inspires Jeff to go back to his billiards class, and strips down to nothing to beat the teacher of the class. Both touching and hilarious, this was one of the gems of the debut season.

Favorite Line: “I hate to say ‘I told you so…’ so I’ll say it through cuffed hands. I TOLD YOU SO!” – Jeff

Episode 210: Mixology Certification

A lot of people will probably disagree with me here that this is one of the finer episodes that Dan Harmon put out this past season, probably because that the episode wasn’t deemed “funny” by the fans. It doesn’t have all of the moments that normally fill an episode, but in all honesty, it doesn’t need it. Troy’s 21st birthday party started as just a small hang out in the study room, but once they went to the local bar (not The Red Door or L Street), they all start to unravel. Annie takes on a Texan personality to legally be able to enter the bar, and creates a whole new side of her that she almost wishes were her own reality. Abed gets hit on by a gay guy, but instead of stopping him, he sits and talks about their collective enjoyment of a sci-fi series. And Shirley goes around the place taking down any picture of her wasted, trying to hide her shame and remain perfect to the rest of the group. Of course, it’s found, and drama ensues. The only sober one, ironically, was Troy, who took the high road and made sure that everyone got home safe. Was it funny? Not really, but again, these characters are all still human. Even the most cartoonish characters have to sit down and remember that they’re human.

Favorite Line: “Duh Doi” – Britta

Episode 216: Intermediate Documentary Filmaking

Dan Harmon has said on multiple occasions that he thinks The Office is the best show on televsion. So why not have an episode basically devoted to that sort of Mockumentary format. Pierce (played by Chevy Chase) overdosed on pain pills the episode before, and now is being treated in the hospital. Of course, the study group rush by his side, hoping that they can help on some way. However, Pierce breaks the news that he is dying – of course he is lying, and is just playing psychological games with everyone’s heads. He the starts his bequeathings – handing out everything from a CD of insults, a tiara, Jeff’s father, and LeVar Burton. These all starts incredibly humorous moments between each of the characters – including and incredible conversation between the hypothetical versions of Jeff’s Dad and Britta’s Dad. Also, this is one of the funniest Troy episodes to date, even though he barely speaks. The episode ends with Jeff beating up Pierce, due to the fact that he was posing as aforementioned father of his. From top to bottom, one of the funniest episodes to date, and one of the best homages as well.

Favorite Line: “Set phasers to LOVE ME!” – Troy

Episode 306: Advanced Gay

This is one of the most bittersweet episodes of the current season, as it opens up so many doors, only to have them shut for now. The episode is about Pierce, who’s moist towlette line is becoming a gay icon (due in large part to Urbana Champaign’s catchy techno song). This, of course, sky rockets the sales, but due to his overbearing father’s own personal prejudices towards EVERYBODY, Pierce is pressured into cutting all ties to the community. Meanwhile, due to Troy’s amazing plumbing skills, he is kidnapped in the middle of the night to be initiated in John Goodman’s (yes, THE JOHN GOODMAN) Air Conditioning Annex. This doesn’t settle well with his custodian friends, as he now has to make a decision about his future. Troy picks neither, and would rather just hang out with Abed and watch movies. This doesn’t settle well with the Vice Dean (Goodman), who vows that this isn’t the end. This episode opens up many doors, but due to the benching of the show, we might not know what happens with everything. Here’s hoping.

Favorite Line: “But why kidnap you? Why put a sack over your head and drag you here in the middle of the night? Why is there an astrounaut in the corner making paninis? Simple, we don’t want you tell anyone about this. And if you do, we don’t want them believing you, isn’t that right Black Hitler?” – Vice Dean Layborne

There is still a chance that the show will come back, but right now, it doesn’t look good. But there’s no doubting that the show is worth watching, either through iTunes, DVD’s or watching the last episode December 8th. If you haven’t started watching, then shame on you; you’re missing the best comedy on television. Six seasons and a movie!!!!!

To close, I’ll let Troy express how I feel about the benching of the show. Enjoy!

2 thoughts on “Community: My Favorite Episodes (So Far…)

  1. Oh man, I need to watch this show from the beginning stat! And will have plenty of time during its shelf time [starts sobbing uncontrollably]. I can definitely agree with you on Episode 216: Intermediate Documentary Filmaking being one of my favorites, and will agree that Episode 210: Mixology Certification is also a stand out, I would have to add these to the list of my personal favorites:

    Ep 120: The Science of Illusion (Annie and Shirley play cops around campus)
    Ep 202: Accounting for Lawyers (Deserves mention just for the chloroform moments)
    Ep 206: Epidemiology (ZOMBIES! AND ALIEN COSTUMES!)
    Ep 208: Cooperative Calligraphy (Freaking out over Annie’s lost pen)
    Ep 209: Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design (The plot just keeps on thickening)
    Ep 214: Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (Just love them seriously rallying around something like this and really getting into it)
    Ep 219: Critical Film Studies (Abed acts normal while Jeff tries to get him to his Pulp Fiction themed bday party)
    Ep 221: Paradigms of Human Memory (Flashback episode in which they talk about things we have never actually seen)

    So obviously season 2 is my favorite… I just loved the creative freedom they had within the episodes to go wherever they wanted because they knew that their fans would go along for the ride. And season 3 has a bunch of great moments as well, but I would need to rewatch them before marking them as favorite worthy.

  2. I forgot how amazing Season 1 was until I started watching them all over again, like:

    Episode 106: Football, Feminism, and You
    The exchange between Jeff and Troy on the field, plus Troy’s politically out of date battle raps.

    Episode 109: Debate 109
    The first time Jeff and Annie danced around the over-attractive circle with each other

    Episode 112: Comparative Religion
    Anthony Michael Hall will shove his fist up everyone’s balls.

    oh yeah, and the paintball episode.

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