Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pilot Review: Community

Community (NBC)
Premiered September 17 at 9:30pm

Whenever there’s a good thing, there’s a tendency to want more of it. If something works, make it bigger. Taking a successful television personality and giving him the lead role in a scripted show seems like a perfect idea. Jon Stewart is an example of why this doesn’t always work (his performances in “Big Daddy” and “Death to Smoochy” aren’t exactly legendary), while Craig Ferguson has managed to do well in both fields, starting with his role on “The Drew Carey Show” and his current late night talk show. Joel McHale, host of The Soup, falls somewhere in between these two. As the lead in NBC’s new comedy “Community,” he’s playing a role that isn’t quite Joel McHale, and which understandably isn’t as effective or smartly scathing. The man knows how to talk, but that doesn’t mean he knows how to act.

“Community” is all about life at a community college. As expected, it’s laden with jokes about how the students couldn’t do much better. They’re well aware that they’re the bottom of the barrel and that they shouldn’t be too proud of themselves for being at community college. Jeff (McHale) is fully cognizant of this, and at first seeks to exploit it so that he can excel in classes without trying and impress the hot girl with his average intelligence. By the end of the pilot, it’s clear that Jeff is able to see the good in everyone and pinpoint their strengths among their many weaknesses. The show isn’t as confident about all of its characters, and as a result every one of them is overstuffed with so much energy and attitude that it’s difficult to bear. McHale is the least outlandish of all the characters, yet he’s still aggressively focused on overplaying his part to the utmost comedic effect. It’s especially jarring to see so many loud personalities in a format so similar to “The Office,” where some characters are over-the-top but the show succeeds because of the balance achieved with low-key background players and “straight men.” “Community” doesn’t have any of that. There are spotty laughs throughout, but it’s all too big, the entire time. Alan Alda’s character Lester in the Woody Allen film “Crimes and Misdemeanors” explains over and over, “If it bends, it’s funny. If it breaks, it’s not funny.” This one, well, it breaks.

How will it work as a series? They’ve already declared themselves a community, so now it’s more of a matter of whether they’ll get along and actually learn something from each other (or in class). That means an infinite number of community college jokes like the ones that dominated the pilot, but it could also mean an exploration into the lives of all the supporting characters whose roles haven’t been fully explored yet. I don’t think it has much to offer, though I imagine those impressed by the pilot will probably want to see more.
How long will it last? It fits pretty well with the other comedies on NBC’s must-see TV Thursday, and the positive mentions it’s received thus far should help guarantee it a decent lifespan. It’s not guaranteed a second season at this point, but NBC will likely try to keep it going for at least the rest of the season unless it really tanks, which I doubt it will. I imagine it will make it to a second season, though I really don’t think I’ll be watching.

Pilot grade: D+

Please note: a version of this review was originally published in the Washington Square News.

7 comments:

thedemonhog said...

Yes! D+. This show has far more potential than was realized in its pilot.

Unknown said...

cheap lebron james shoes
coach outlet
ray ban wayfarer
tory burch handbags
cheap oakleys
jordan 11s
michael kors outlet
ray ban sunglass
michael kors outlet online
michael kors outlet
jordan shoes
chanel outlet
mulberry uk
abercrombie
coach outlet online
michael kors handbags
gucci outlet
louis vuitton handbags
oakley sunglasses
kate spade outlet
jordan shoes
gucci handbags
louboutin
soccer jerseys
celine
cheap ray bans
prada bags
ralph lauren uk
ray ban sunglasses
ray ban sungalsses
coach outlet
abercrombie outlet
air max shoes
pandora uk
insanity dvd sale
20150709xiong

Unknown said...

cheap lebron james shoes
coach outlet
ray ban wayfarer
tory burch handbags
cheap oakleys
jordan 11s
michael kors outlet
ray ban sunglass
michael kors outlet online
michael kors outlet
jordan shoes
chanel outlet
mulberry uk
abercrombie
coach outlet online
michael kors handbags
gucci outlet
louis vuitton handbags
oakley sunglasses
kate spade outlet
jordan shoes
gucci handbags
louboutin
soccer jerseys
celine
cheap ray bans
prada bags
ralph lauren uk
ray ban sunglasses
ray ban sungalsses
coach outlet
abercrombie outlet
air max shoes
pandora uk
insanity dvd sale
20150709xiong

Da Shuai Guo said...

8guowenhao0907
tommy hilfiger outlet
nike air max uk
cheap jordans, http://www.jordan-shoes.us.com
the north face clearance
iphone 6 plus cases
tiffany jewellery, http://www.tiffanyjewelleryoutlets.co.uk/
coach outlet, http://www.coachhandbagsoutletonline.us.com/
tory burch outlet online
karen millen dresses, http://www.karenmillendressesoutlets.co.uk/
coach outlet, http://www.coachoutletstoreonline.in.net/
mizuno running
coach outlet online
cheap soccer jerseys
oakley canada, http://www.oakleysunglassescanada.com
nike huarache
celine outlet online
cheap mlb jerseys
toms outlet, http://www.tomsoutlet-stores.com/
louis vuitton handbags
minnesota vikings jerseys
ugg uk
cheap nfl jerseys
coach outlet
oakley sunglasses
miami dolphins jerseys
indianapolis colts jerseys
michael kors wallet, http://www.michaelkorswallet.net/
new york giants jerseys
the north face outlet
jordan 4
iphone 6 cases
barcelona jersey
swarovski crystal
ysl outlet
herve leger dresses

Hyabe Ibbe said...

4cheap kd shoes
marc jacobs bags
celine handbags
fendi outlet
canada goose outlet
coach online
cheap jordan shoes
michael kors bags
celine bags
dior outlet store
the north face sale
north face rain jackets
michael kors outlet
ferragamo sale
jordans shoes for women
prada handbags
north face outlet store
abercrombie and fitch coupons
cheap jordans
fitflops sale
nike clearance
north face outlet
oakley sunglasses
ugg boots sale
tods
juicy couture
michael kors handbags
coach factory outlet
michael kors outlet online
coach outlets
nfl jerseys
fendi handbags
nike basketball shoes
burberry handbags
salvatore ferragamo belt
coach outlet store online clearances
cheap nike air max
www.coachoutlet.com
michael kors outlet online
christian louboutin shoes
girls north face jackets
michael kors handbags
fitflops sale
polo shirts
20150925hxt

Gege Dai said...

cheap nba jerseys
rolex watches outlet
nike free running
michael kors outlet online
mulberry handbags sale
ugg outlet
tiffany jewelry
ugg boots clearance
adidas nmd
pandora outlet
nike roshe
louis vuitton bags
ugg boots
abercrombie outlet
coach outlet
michael kors outlet
michael kors wallet
true religion outlet
michael kors outlet
puma outlet
chicago blackhawks
true religion jeans outlet
mcm backpack
michael kors outlet online store
nike free 5
nike soccer shoes
links of london
michael kors outlet
cheap uggs
michael kors outlet
tiffany outlet
ugg uk
michael kors outlet online
beats by dre
tory burch sandals
herve leger outlet
0809jianxiang

Zheng junxai5 said...

zhengjx20160817
louis vuitton purses
fitflop shoes
adidas superstar
roshe run
canada goose pas cher
canada goose jackets
uggs outlet
clarisonic
toms shoes
tods sale
ray ban sunglasses outlet
chicago bulls jerseys
louis vuitton
coach outlet
timberland shoes
coach outlet store online clearances
louboutin femme
oakley outlet
moncler pas cher
fitflop clearance
ghd flat iron
ugg boot uk
adidas superstar trainers
vans sneakers
coach factory outlet online
ralph lauren sale
polo shirts
coach factory outlet
the north face jackets
ugg boot uk
jordan retro 4
cheap beats headphones
mont blanc pen
louis vuitton outlet
louboutin shoes
louis vuitton handbags
kobe shoes 11
louis vuitton outlet
uggs sale
adidas boost