NBC's Community can often be seen more as a romp through a postmodern funhouse than a standard-issue sitcom. The series has offered inspired parodies of action flicks, zombie movies, GoodFellas and Apollo 13 and featured a bizarre mash-up of Mean Girls and Robocop. More recently, it exploded the notion of the "bottle episode," TV-industry jargon for shows shot with limited budgets on existing sets with a limited number of cast members to compensate for more costly episodes. This week, it's serving up an animated parody of the old, cheesy Rankin-Bass holiday cartoons (airing Thursday at 8/7c).
All of this meta-posturing led us to a theory that wouldn't be out of place alongside the rafts of speculation that came from Lost fans: That the characters in Community are real people who are slowly coming to the realization that they are trapped inside a TV sitcom, not dissimilar to the circumstances confronting the characters of the Jean Paul Sartre play No Exit.
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