Community Season 1, Episode 1: 'Pilot' Review - Featured

Having already checked out the Community 'Pilot' with its early Facebook release, I figured we should start talking about this new Thursday comedy a little early this week!

If you haven't already watched the pre-released pilot, I promise this won't contain big spoilers since it's a new 30-minute comedy without much to be spoiled from the happenings of a first episode.

So, in the pilot, we meet Joel McHale's main character, Jeff, a lawyer who has to go back to community college because he was found out for having a fake law degree. (Insert the continuously played promo clip of Jeff noting he got his degree from Columbia, but now he has to get one from America.)

Jeff quickly meets a cute girl and instead of focusing on his classes, he focuses on trying to get in her pants, and trying to convince his professor friend to give him all the answers to his tests for the semester.

While this isn't comedy at its most brilliant, overall the pilot's really funny and the character introductions via Jeff's fake Spanish study group promise some pretty hilarious times for the community college bunch who are all there for typical but funny reasons.

Chevy Chase joins the gang as Pierce, an over-the-hill guy who instantly becomes enthralled with funnywoman Yvette Nicole Brown as Shirley. They fill out the typical middle-aged group coming back to school to jump-start a second career or to feel young again soaking up some knowledge and college air. Then there's the usual aged freshman like Troy and Annie who just didn't quite make it out of town for college. Besides Pierce, the funnyman card goes to Abed who's pretty nutty and able to rattle off facts for Jeff about his pretty new crush in disturbing detail!

While we didn't get much of him in the pilot, I'm most looking forward to getting to know Senor Chang, the Chinese Spanish teacher played by Ken Jeong of Role Models, The Hangover, and a bunch of other super funny movies.

Jeff's crush, Britta, doesn't seem that notable so far besides being a catalyst for Jeff and the others to take themselves and their educations more seriously, which bonds the fake study group nicely in the first episode so we can believe this group of misfits would hang around each other.

My biggest complaint about the premiere episode is that they hyped up this show so much that by watching all the promos put out for it, I'd basically seen the episode. But yet, while I'd heard most of the jokes, I still thought put into context they were really funny and the plot is actually well-built around those jokes so that we could have ourselves another hit NBC comedy here!

It has a very strong cast of great comedians who don't individually try to take over the show despite their reputations (cough, Chevy), and I think there's a lot more potential for interesting and humorous character development and plot here than I'd even imagined from the promos!

So, if you haven't watched yet, definitely tune in tonight for the Community premiere at 9:30/8:30c on NBC, and if you have watched and you really liked it, watch it again to help out the ratings so it can stick around!

While you're at it, enter our giveaway for a chance to win some cool Community stuff:

Enter SideReel's Community Prize Pack Giveaway!


Default avatar cat
Sep 17, 2009 10:09PM EDT

Community was great, very pleasantly surprised. Mchale was a lot better than I thought he was going to be. His subtle comedic timing reminds me a lot of a less sarcastic Michael Cera.

Default avatar cat
Sep 17, 2009 11:24PM EDT

Just watched and it was great! I agree, the promos did show most of the best parts, but the rest of the epi was solid, so I enjoyed it. Jeff's speech and his advice to Troy were inspiring and made me think (which I didn't expect the show to do)...I know it's early, but I have high hopes for this show. If it continues to be as good as it was this week, I think we have a lot of funny to look forward to : )
P.S. I loved The Breakfast Club throwback (it's one of my favorite movies). I guess the writers were basically telling us (if we couldn't see it already) that Community is reminiscent of that beloved movie. Since that's the case, I am definitely onboard.

Hidden profile
Sep 18, 2009 2:25AM EDT

I almost didn't make it through the episode because I found it incredibly condescending. Its one thing for the guy who never worked at anything, and faked his way into a lot of money, to be portrayed as an ass because he's looking down his nose at people who are actually working towards a degree. That's ironic. Yet clearly the goal of the show creators is for us to find him funny and to be looking down our noses at the community college crowd, too. Since only 15% of the population of the U.S. go to any college at all I think making fun of it is a pretty sad commentary.
Jeff is so unlikeable, and the show so unfunny, that the only thing I can say was good about it was last five minutes where he admits he's the loser, and the rest of the group shows some compassion. I may try it again, just to see if it improves, but I'm not getting my hopes up.

Default avatar cat
Sep 18, 2009 5:50AM EDT

Im pretty sure the overall plot of the show is going to be how he changes from being an ass and it has to do with those people in the study group. Community, obviously thats the name of the show for a reason, and not just because its set at a community college

Default avatar cat
Sep 21, 2009 3:20PM EDT

I really liked this. I don't see any promos as I live in the UK and thanks to Kendra recommending this one to me, it was so fresh and funny going into it with knowing very little about the plot or even the cast (didn't know Chevy was in it till him came on screen). The chemistry between the characters was fantastic. With an ensemble cast, it's important not just to focus on two of the characters storyline and leave the rest just to be eccentric one-joke-ponies. See Scrubs for the perfect example of what Willis is talkin' about.
I'm definately making this a new favourite as Mchale was awesome and the comedy was so witty. Really hope this one sticks around.

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