Community, my current favorite TV show, returns to the airwaves tonight. Sadly it will bump my second favorite show, Parks and Rec, off of the line up for a while -- but there's a point where I can only ask for so much.
I don't think I've written a lot about the show Community in this space, but I think that has more to do with my general decline in writing about TV. In any case, yeah - I love that show, and it comes back tonight at 8pm Eastern.
This is a good thing.
I love that show for a million reasons. For one, it has (in my opinion) some of the best writing on a sitcom you'll find on TV these days. It's funny, it's clever... it's occasionally nerdy. If anyone tries to tell you that Community isn't the show most in touch with modern geek culture on TV (let alone Thursday nights), they really aren't in touch with geek culture themselves.
This shouldn't be a surprise, of course. When I was in highschool in the 90s in the Milwaukee suburbs, my friends and I constantly exchanged quotes from Dead Alewives sketches. In particular, we liked to quote this one sketch about Dungeons and Dragons.
A sketch written by Community creator and show runner Dan Harmon.
Geek cred aside, Dan Harmon and his writing staff have crafted a world where even though bizarre, outlandish things can happen - they have realistic consequences. Characters get their feelings hurt, what happens one week effects what occurs the next, and just because a character has an amusing quirk doesn't mean there isn't some dark side to that same defect.
Of course, these characters wouldn't come alive if not for the brilliant actors who live in them. I can't think of any of the people on that show who I couldn't write an entire text on how brilliant they are.
Finally though, what I really love about the show (and one of the reasons I also love Parks and Rec), is that it's a comedy that isn't based on people being complete dicks to each other. So much stuff comedy on TV is driven by either sarcasm or people just being outright cruel to each other (*cough* aeverything on CBS that isn't How I Met Your Mother *cough*). Sure there's still sarcasm on Community, but in the end the characters show genuine affection - and it's not the shows focus.
Shows which live in snark and cruelty have become heavy to me, and burdensome. I'd much rather live in a world powered by people coming together, not people picking each other apart. And if that's what I'd want to live with, it's definitely what I appreciate in my entertainment.