Tuesday, November 22, 2011

There's A Face Of Somebody Who Needs You

Alternate Title: Save Community, Save The World.

(From Vulture)

If you love inside jokes and hope to be a part of one someday, you need to be watching Community.

Recently, it was announced that Community would not be part of NBC's spring lineup. It isn't cancelled, it's just on hiatus I guess. I am in freak-out mode over it, even though NBC probably did it to get some buzz going for a show that isn't getting the ratings it deserves. But I'm involved regardless. Involved in the same way a grad student and professor are involved. I am neck-deep, cutting my own hair and doing an interpretive dance to show my love involved. Please, NBC! Don't take my show! My precious, precious show! It's still in the early, lovely, beautiful phase (aka 3rd season) where nothing is overdone, characters aren't played out, and Chandler hasn't started his weight fluctuations. Or was that another show?

Here's the first reason you may not watch the show: It started off MEH. And I'm with you. Community and Parks and Rec started at the same time, and my opinion of both shows was exactly the same: MEH. I could take them or leave them, and I had other shows to worry about. I GET IT. I get why you left. But you need to turn that boat around, people. Come watch this show.

Obviously I am back on the Parks and Rec train, but I was still skeptical of Community until Adrienne sat me directly in front of her television, Carl-on-LOST-style. That's when I saw it had risen to epic proportions. When it started, it was just a bunch of goofy characters who didn't mesh, and The Soup guy hitting on some blonde chick.


If you can't tell from that video, Community is superb at parody. They have done zombie movies, apocalyptic battle movies, documentaries, Christmas claymation, AND MORE!! They have these epic, absurd premises that somehow still work and feel down-to-earth. It's like they throw you into the possibilities of, say, Supernatural, but then bring it back to a group of people at a community college by the end of the half hour.

There are plenty of places you can read about Community for general overviews of characters and plot lines. But what I haven't seen is anyone talk about my theory on why the show isn't gaining more viewers:

It's filled with inside jokes. Which I love. And which might be slowly killing the show.

Sure, the main storylines live by themselves in each episode, so it is possible for you to miss one or go in random order and get the basic gist. But there are nuances that you might not catch unless you pay attention. Which means the best way to watch is from start to finish. Problem is, getting your hands on the whole series is hard (they need to get some Instant Netflix action up in here, up in here) and even if it wasn't, I don't think people know to bother with every episode anyway. That's how you miss the inside jokes, and why you might find the show confusing and too meta. And that is a TRAVESTY.

So until Community gets in on the Instant Netflix wagon, maybe it would help to have a place where people can find basic inside jokes. So I want to try--nothing seriously involved, just the basics so you could start watching. Problem is, I'm not sure I can make it all on my own, so I need some help from others who watch the show. I wanted to enlist Adrienne to help, since she is the biggest Community fan in existence, but I didn't give her enough time--bah! But anyone and everyone, please add more in the comments. Let's get Community to the viewership it deserves!

To start us off, here is my measly contribution:

Troy and Abed in the MOOOORNING:
Troy and Abed have the best friendship that has ever been. They are adorably childish in an non-naive way. They make epic forts, watch bad movies and make fun of them, and dress up as the main characters from Inspector Spacetime (ie the show's Dr. Who parody). Their biggest running gag is this:

You'll see hints of it all over. It is ALWAYS worth it.

SeƱor Chang:

He used to teach the group Spanish, but they've since moved on to other classes and Chang has lost his job yet somehow still worms his way onto the show constantly. He and Sherry once had sex and they all thought her baby might be his, but it turned out to be her re-married husband's.

Annie's Boobs:

The name of a monkey who now lives in the vents of Greendale.

Pierce Has Money

This isn't really an inside joke, but I've noticed it comes up often and I wanted to make sure you're with us. Pierce (aka Chevy Chase) inherited the money, and the moist towelette company that made it, from his father.

Side Characters:
The Human Being- When the Dean created a school mascot, he didn't want it to exclude any sex or race, and the monstrosity that came out of the project was the Human Being.

Starburns- He's a man with starburns. He sometimes wears a top hat and vest. He's lame.

Magnitude- Magnitude is the life of the party, but never says anything but "POP POP!"

And that's all I've got so far! Help me out, other Community Fans! And to those who don't watch? WATCH. Especially if you have one of those magic boxes that tells people that you're watching. That helps.

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