Posts Tagged ‘Community’

Danny Pudi as Abed as Nicolas Cage. If I see anything more wonderful on TV this year my face will explode.

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Try to destroy Troy & Abed, and you’ll only make them… MORE AWESOME!

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…change is always scary.  But then I thought of you guys, and I wasn’t so scared.  Abed, when you brought this group together, you changed our lives.  But then we changed each other.  And we’re gonna keep changing in unexpected ways.  And we’re still gonna be friends, even if we don’t all become professors at Greendale, or open a restaurant together, or move into the same apartment building after Pierce dies.  And even if we go somewhere, we’re not going anywhere…

Jeff Winger as imagined by Abed Nadir (Joel McHale)

I was trying to hang on to this moment because I was so afraid of the future… but then I realized: all of this was once the future, and it was completely different from what I’d known before. And it was happening so fast. But in the end- or in the now, I guess- it turned out great.

Abed Nadir (Danny Pudi)

The timeline feels a bit dark, and it’s not because the first post-Dan Harmon episode of Community was as disheartening as many TV critics had led me to believe it would be. (It wasn’t.) It’s because so many of those critics who’ve been singing Community‘s praises the past 3 seasons now seem so eager to dump dirt in the show’s open grave and call it a headless zombie.  Even the critics who bestowed lukewarm praise on the first few episodes of Season 4 are moaning that it’s still “not the same show.”

Now I’m no professional TV critic, but I’m no doe-eyed optimist, either.  And I have this theory: If the post-Harmon Community detractors hadn’t read the news that Dan Harmon got fired, they would’ve had no idea Harmon was fired based on the season 4 premiere alone.

Sure, there’s no way I could prove what would’ve happened in such a timeline.  But could any die-hard Community viewer really tell me with a straight face that “History 101” wasn’t Harmon-esque?  (Or, perhaps more importantly, Community-esque?)  For heck’s sake, it had Abed retreating into fantasy worlds within fantasy worlds!

I just have an awful hard time believing that Dan Harmon wouldn’t be proud of “Greendale Babies.”  (Or the wishing fountain, or Jeff & the Dean’s tango, or Blind/Blonde.)  That is, if he’s not still bitter about the whole Community thing.  Of course I wouldn’t blame him if he were still bitter.  A lot of those saddened TV critics, however, seem to be holding onto some odd grudge against Community for continuing without Harmon.  And as a result, they’re looking a lot like Abed, retreating into a fantasy world where Community starts sucking, because maybe that’s the narrative they’d prefer to believe.

Then again, that could very well be the narrative I’d prefer they prefer to believe. But I’ve watched “History 101” twice now, and I’ll probably watch it once or twice more before the next episode of post-Harmon Community. It’s that good.

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I think that dread I’ve been feeling the past couple days can be best explained by this scene from Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, in which I am Shelley Duvall, the typewritten pages are what I imagine season 4 of Community will be like based on all the crestfallen buzz, and I guess Jack Nicholson is NBC?

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gif courtesy of iwdrm.tumblr.com

The Sopranos is Francis Ford Coppola, duh.  Martin Scorsese‘s a little too flashy for The Sopranos so he gets to be Breaking Bad, with all the shovel-POV shots and such.

Steven Spielberg has to be LOST: heaps of gee-whiz! with a dollop of schmaltz.

I’ve never seen Battlestar Galactica, but I want to say that one’s George Lucas.  Of the shows I have seen, the closest George Lucas might be Heroes– though in fairness to Lucas, Heroes started sucking in way less time.

Friday Night Lights is Robert Altman, particularly Nashville, where country music is high school football and the acting is unbelievably natural.

Louie is obviously Woody Allen, only I think I could actually hang out with Louie’s alter ego without wanting to slap the neuroses out of him.

Mad Men is Stanley Kubrick, I think.  Clinically sterile on the surface, but still very human at its core.  Also because they both feel like Americans who love America but wish they were British so they could see America from a British perspective.

If all those Discovery & History Channel reality shows about dangerous, nature-battling jobs (Deadliest Catch, Ice Road Truckers) procreated with all those A&E and TLC reality shows about mentally-disturbed weirdos (Hoarders, My Strange Addiction), the offspring would be Werner Herzog.

If all those tacky, tasteless MTV & VH1 reality shows (Jersey Shore, Flavor Of Love) fucked each other, the offspring would be John Waters.  (This is meant as a compliment to John Waters, and as an insult to the reality shows.  I’m not sure how that works, but that’s how it is.)

If Wes Craven and John Carpenter and Tobe Hooper and Brian DePalma and Dario Argento had an orgy and the offspring got mostly recessive genes, that offspring would be American Horror Story

Carnivale is David Lynch, because of the genuinely eerie Americana and all the unanswered questions.

The Walking Dead is George Romero if he took his sweet, sweet time a la Terrence Malick.  Though of course Terrence Malick is more Planet Earth. 

30 Rock might have to be Mike Nichols, though of course it has plenty of Mel Brooks too.  But with all the genre-spoofing, Mel Brooks should probably be Community.  And I guess that would mean Arrested Development is John LandisThe Office (US Version) is Hal Ashby (unless Parks And Recreation is Hal Ashby).  The Office (UK Version) is more realistic and uncomfortable to watch, so that’s John CassavetesHow I Met Your Mother is meta-Arthur Hiller (the guy who directed Love Story as well as a couple of Neil Simon scripts).  I can’t think of who It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia would be.  Who’s the most mean-spirited and irredeemably obnoxious 1970s filmmaker?

I have yet to see Homeland or Rubicon, but they’re Alan Pakula, right?  Because conspiracies and shit?

The Wire would have to be Sidney Lumet, with the criminals and the scathing social commentary of modern urban…OK, I’m just guessing on this one too, since I’ve only seen like 4 episodes of The Wire, and I’m ashamed to admit this.

Deadwood is either Walter Hill or Sam Peckinpah, since it takes the brutality inherent in early-20th Century Westerns and reconfigures it through modern…

…all right, I’ve seen zero episodes of Deadwood.

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Usually when they say someone “wants to have it both ways,” they say it like it’s a bad thing.  You want it both ways, they usually say, but you can’t have it both ways!  Like you could say that about this clip here This clip wants to be a savage spoof of sexed-up Christmas songs and yet it shamelessly sexualizes Alison Brie!  You could say that…but have you ever considered that perhaps we sexualize Alison Brie slightly less than we could?  She is a gorgeous and hilarious woman.  We should sexualize her, and we do, but only to a modest degree, which is good.  I’m pretty sure there are zero humans out there who are sick to death of seeing Alison Brie’s sex appeal, and we should strive to keep it that way.  If we make just one human being sick to death of something as wonderful as Alison Brie’s sex appeal, we’ve done something terribly wrong.

Fortunately, this video does not push Alison Brie past what Jeff Winger calls “the point of diminishing returns on the sexiness.”  (Ultimately, the man himself couldn’t resist her song.)  So if Community wants to “have it both ways” by savagely spoofing sexy Christmas songs while at the same time shamelessly sexualizing Alison Brie, but in a tasteful way, like you could probably watch it with your grandma and not feel mortified, then Merry Goddamn Christmas, Community- have it both ways! You’ve been awful good this year.

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