Like any responsible student, instead of getting a sensible amount of sleep in order to focus better on my studies, I spend my evenings watching hours of television, and my latest obsession has been the hit US comedy Community. While the show has never gained huge audiences, it has received great acclaim from critics across the board, and is sure to become a cult classic.
Set in Greendale Community College, the show follows ex-lawyer Jeff, who had to return to school when the bar found out he’d forged his college diploma, as he sets up a fake Spanish study group in order to seduce high school dropout and anarchist Britta. This backfires when other students hear of it, and the group expands to include pop-culture obsessed Abed, single mother Shirley, over-achiever Annie, former high school football player Troy and elderly millionaire Pierce. Despite their various personality flaws, the group bonds, and together they navigate their way through the surreal antics of college.
The genius of Community is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. As well as satirising itself to brilliant effect, Community constantly parodies pop culture. From a full length skit of Doctor Who called ‘Inspector Spacetime‘, to a Shaun of the Dead style send up of horror movies where Troy is encouraged to ‘be the first black man to make it to the end’, their satire is as clever as it is hilarious. Added to this are the amazing characters, who grow and develop as the show goes on, such as Troy, who evolves from a cool, popular jock, into a guy who isn’t afraid to show his geeky passions. He also develops a truly epic nerdy bromance with Abed (we’re talking JD and Turk levels here), and together they provide some of the funniest moments in the programme.
But aside from all of the wonderfully surreal fantasy sequences, Community gives a hilarious look into college that many students can relate to. From scarily intense lecturers, to study sessions where not much actual studying takes place, it brings all of the weird and wonderful elements of university superbly to life.
With the premiere of the fourth season pushed back by the network to an unknown future date, the fate of the show remains uncertain. But even so, the characters of Community are ones you’ll grow to love, and its passionate fan base will ensure it stays on air for many seasons to come.