Community is second only to ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’, and just ahead of ‘Doctor Who’ as the best show on TV. It’s the best US network sitcom in a very, very long time, and it’s not hard to see why. Every single person I have shown it to here in the UK- it must be at least 10 by now- has become hooked from the Pilot and gorged on every episode as soon as they can get it.
It’s constantly hilarious- even the few mediocre episodes there are have at least a few memorable belly laughs, and it has a totally loveable cast. It’s very modern and diverse, but warped and twisted enough to never seem preachy, PC or forced. It can be very sweet and touching, but is snarky and self-aware enough to never become sentimental or saccharine. It parodies and pastiches everything under the pop culture sun, but it never seems lazy or predictable.
Season 4 premieres in a few weeks in the States (That’s what the internet’s for, overseas fans!), so I thought I’d look back on this quite remarkable and unique show and give you what are, in my opinion, the best 30 episodes in Ascending order.
This was very, very hard, and I’ve missed out some wonderful episodes (Season 3’s Halloween and Christmas specials, The Drugs episode, The Election episode, The Pilot to name a few), but I had to be harsh on myself, otherwise I would have made them all equal. Anyway, enough diplomacy, here we go…
30. Beginner Pottery (Season 1, Episode 19)
For a start, this episode introduces us to The “Kettle Corn-Popping Phantom” with a Master’s in being swell and a PhD in ‘everybody loves me!’, Dr. Rich. Every episode Rich pops up in makes an appearance in this list, and he is one of the reasons they have made it. Somebody online has said he is Jeff’s very own Ned Flanders, and that makes him brilliant. The reasons this is so low, despite Jeff’s uncanny Goldblum impression is because it is an episode of two halves, and one half lets the side down- whilst the main focus of Jeff’s rivalry and the Patrick Swayze jokes are brilliant, the frankly lame sub-plot of Pierce, Troy, Britt and Shirley sailing whilst never leaving the parking lot is not really that funny. But it’s a fine enough episode to make it into the top 30.
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