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The Question Isn't Where or When, but WTF?
September 27, 2011 1:16 PM   Subscribe

Last week's season premire of Community featured a bumper crop of pop-culture parodies, including a Glee-style opening number, a 2001 homage (with excellent use of Old Chevy Chase) and most significantly, the Instant Meme of a 22-second take-off of Doctor Who*. In the few days since, the intersection of Community fans and Who fans have been reverse-engineering the 49 year run of "Inspector Spacetime" with a forum board, a TV Tropes page, and, of course, a tumblr.
* overshadowing the addition to the show's cast and college's faculty of John Goodman and Michael K. "Omar Little" Williams.

For those of you not willing to dive into TV Tropes or Tumblr-land, some highlights:

Past castings of the title character include Stephen Fry, Liam Neeson and (in an American TV movie) Steve Carell.

Many parts of the show are parallel to the Doctor's...
DARSIT for TARDIS (a red phone box vs. a blue police box).
Blogons for Daleks (from the original video), Circuit Chaps for Cybermen and The Sergent for The Master.
Associates for Companions, including Mary Sue for Mary Jane and FE-Line for K-Nine.
"topsy-turvy spacey-tacey" for "wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey".

Some notable reversals and 'lampshades'...
The DARSIT is NOT bigger on the inside.
Instead of two hearts, the Inspector has NO heart.
Captain James (as opposed to DW/Torchwood's Captain Jack) is deeply closeted.
Inspector #5 was female.

Some are still undecided...
Good Sheep or Naughty Monkey?
Did #4 wear an Ascot or a regular tie?

And ONE intersection between the two universes, Arthur Darville in the role of Rory Williams (but he was first in IS, where he gained immortality, which explains a lot of what happened in DW)

And yes, there is an overpriced t-shirt.
posted by oneswellfoop (151 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite

 
Don't forget Courgarton Abbey.
posted by activitystory at 1:20 PM on September 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


Omar comin' yo!
posted by MikeMc at 1:21 PM on September 27, 2011


Oh man, Inspector Spacetime used to be the best high-energy chaser to the staid and talky Alliance.
posted by The Whelk at 1:22 PM on September 27, 2011


I guess the intro was a Glee joke, but I really saw it more as a way for Dan Harmon to say "fuck you and your 'budgets'" to NBC.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:25 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


You feel me?
posted by The Deej at 1:27 PM on September 27, 2011


activitystory: "Don't forget Courgarton Abbey."

Maybe some of us want to forget because, as we all know, it ends...badly.
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:27 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I always wanted to play the classic Inspector Spacetime game on the ZX Spectrum. I'd say the Inspector was one of the top 50 video game characters of all time, but he was inexplicably left off this list.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:28 PM on September 27, 2011


[Also, please tell me that the presence of the new professor does imply certain bad things will happen to Chalky White, who is one of my favorite characters on Boardwalk Empire.]
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:29 PM on September 27, 2011


Good lord the TV Tropes community is crazy. For every minute of my life I've lost to TvT there's about six hours someone spent on researching (or in this case just making up) the content.
posted by snapped at 1:29 PM on September 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


I guess the intro was a Glee joke, but I really saw it more as a way for Dan Harmon to say "fuck you and your 'budgets'" to NBC.

I don't understand. Are badly-done green-screen effects and streamers expensive?
posted by The World Famous at 1:29 PM on September 27, 2011


Maybe some of us want to forget because, as we all know, it ends...badly.
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:27 PM on September 27 [+] [!]


What are you talking about, that was just closure. Really, far better than all these American shows that end without any when they're canceled.
posted by yasaman at 1:31 PM on September 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


My favorite thing about this is that Rory is included. Actually, that's my favorite thing about Doctor Who right now too.
posted by Navelgazer at 1:33 PM on September 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


"That's the great thing about British TV. They give you closure."
posted by Sys Rq at 1:33 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


a way for Dan Harmon to say "fuck you and your 'budgets'"

In addition to the fact that I agree with TWF that that number was probably not very expensive, Community is hanging on by a thread. Harmon loves that show, for all his highly public oddball-osity. I really don't think his agenda at this point is to stick a thumb in his bosses' eyes. There are certainly showrunners who tend to do that, but what would he gain from it at this point? Community isn't suffering because its budget is so low, I don't think, as much as because it's weird and hard to sell and it's on NBC. They're actually lucky (and those of us who love that show are lucky) that NBC has basically nothing else to put on, which is what's keeping it (and Parks and Rec) on the air. I'm not sure why he'd be in a hostile stance toward the network.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 1:33 PM on September 27, 2011 [13 favorites]


As the Admin for the Cougarton Abbey Facebook page, I'm saddened that Inspector Spacetime is getting exponentially more likes. Heh.
posted by yellowbinder at 1:34 PM on September 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Everyone says they're into Inspector Spacetime, but no one wants to admit to having seen the 1982 Boxing Day Special with the singing and the dancing. I think they destroyed all the original tapes of that one.
posted by blue_beetle at 1:38 PM on September 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Sorry Starface.
posted by Divine_Wino at 1:40 PM on September 27, 2011


Maybe some of us want to forget because, as we all know, it ends...badly.
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:27 PM on September 27 [+] [!]

What are you talking about, that was just closure. Really, far better than all these American shows that end without any when they're canceled.
posted by yasaman at 4:31 PM on September 27 [+] [!]

Precisely! I can't tell you the content I felt when the UK Firefly remake, Glowworm, ended in Series 1 Episode 5, with Leftenant Malcomstone going down in a fight with the rest of the BrownKilts against the Admiralty.
posted by Panjandrum at 1:42 PM on September 27, 2011 [8 favorites]


I was rolling my eyes during the Doctor Who parody. Sometimes Community just tries to hard.

But the fans are totally crazy.
posted by smackfu at 1:43 PM on September 27, 2011


My favorite part overall was the 2001 montage, but generally speaking, it saddens me to hear that Community is barely hanging in there. It's really one of the few television comedies that makes me laugh painfully, and has done ever since "Donde esta la biblioteca". Even the episodes that lean too heavily on "the moral of the story is ..." are pretty fun, which I find myself at a loss to say about any other show on the air right now.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:45 PM on September 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Monkey gas!
posted by Flashman at 1:45 PM on September 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Community is all we've got until the next Arrested Development shows up.
posted by blue_beetle at 1:46 PM on September 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


I was rolling in stitches the last time that Community parodied Glee.

And, seriously. It's an insult to compare that intro to Glee.
Mainly because the intro is watchable, coherent, makes sense, and I can plausibly believe that those voices are actually connected to the bodies on screen.
posted by schmod at 1:51 PM on September 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


Panjandrum: Actually, there was blake's 7. Admittedly it made it to 4 serieses, but... (major spoilers)
posted by titus-g at 1:52 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


22 seconds. There is nothing so insubstantial that nerds can't turn it into a Thing and run it into the fucking ground.
posted by Legomancer at 1:54 PM on September 27, 2011 [14 favorites]


Yeah, I didn't see the intro as a knock at the network at all - I saw the intro more as a ribbing of the people who don't like the show because it's too weird, or the fans of the first season who were highly vocal in complaining about the surrealness of the second. I mean, why else would you open the show with a over-the-top song-and-dance where the song is literally about how you're sorry you were so weird before.
posted by absalom at 1:56 PM on September 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


it saddens me to hear that Community is barely hanging in there.

Well, it's on NBC, so as long as anyone watches it, it will hang on. They didn't even cancel Chuck, and no one watches that and it's not very good.
posted by smackfu at 1:56 PM on September 27, 2011


22 seconds. There is nothing so insubstantial that nerds can't turn it into a Thing and run it into the fucking ground.

Know your audience.
posted by yellowbinder at 1:57 PM on September 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


How can Community be hanging by a thread when Glee is doing so well?
posted by bonecrusher at 2:01 PM on September 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Monkey gas!

Chimpan-zzz's
posted by Gary at 2:02 PM on September 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


Mary Sue for Mary Jane and FE-Line for K-Nine.

IT'S SARAH JANE AND K-9 YOU HEATHEN
posted by maqsarian at 2:04 PM on September 27, 2011 [12 favorites]


Hilariously enough, after watching this Community episode, I started watching Dr. Who. I had seen a few episodes here and there, but I assumed that since I'm so similar to Abed, I needed more. I am now throughly addicted.
posted by melissam at 2:07 PM on September 27, 2011 [11 favorites]


Community is all we've got until the next Arrested Development shows up.

Community is the next Arrested Development.
posted by Oktober at 2:09 PM on September 27, 2011 [18 favorites]


Man, I love me some Community. It is seriously my favorite comedy right now. Donald Glover and Danny Pudi make the show for me though... the Troy and Abed bits... aaaagh! Those two just... get me.
posted by utsutsu at 2:10 PM on September 27, 2011


I apologize on bended knee for getting Sarah Jane's name wrong and will whip myself 13 times with a rolled-up Metafilter t-shirt unless the mods would like to fix that for me and delete maqsarian's comment and this one...
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:10 PM on September 27, 2011


What is this, some kind of Community weblog?
posted by anazgnos at 2:12 PM on September 27, 2011 [56 favorites]


I'm pretty sure pb has a TARDIS.
posted by maqsarian at 2:13 PM on September 27, 2011


Wait, so you're telling me that Community is the live-action version of Family Guy's cut-scenes that make allusions to other forms of media. Is that it?
posted by fijiwriter at 2:18 PM on September 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wait, so you're telling me that Community is the live-action version of Family Guy's cut-scenes that make allusions to other forms of media. Is that it?

Bite your tongue.
posted by jabberjaw at 2:20 PM on September 27, 2011 [13 favorites]


What is this, some kind of Community weblog?

I see what you did there.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 2:21 PM on September 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wait, so you're telling me that Community is the live-action version of Family Guy's cut-scenes that make allusions to other forms of media. Is that it?

There're cut-aways and 20 second jokes, sure, but that's all Family Guy is, whereas community actually has a story that backs it up. The storyline in most Family Guy episodes may as well not be there at all. Also, there's almost always a joke at the heart of the reference, as opposed to the family guy tactic of referencing an obscure 80s personality or occurrence and being like, "hey, remember that? yeah, how about it?"
posted by codacorolla at 2:27 PM on September 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wait, so you're telling me that Community is the live-action version of Family Guy's cut-scenes that make allusions to other forms of media. Is that it?

It is better, so much better, on account of having things like character development, and having most of the pastiches serve a greater purpose than a quick laugh. The pastiches mean something to the characters and to their development, so they're more than just jokes, though they frequently are funny. For example, one episode last season was an elaborate My Dinner with Andre pastiche, and while it was funny on that level, it also delved fairly deeply into Abed and Jeff's characters, and their relationship with each other.
posted by yasaman at 2:31 PM on September 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Community has characters.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:40 PM on September 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


I love Community. It's my favorite comedy on TV right now. At the same time, I get why a lot of people haven't bothered with it or just don't care for it. It's not one of those shows that I can just have on in the background and still appreciate what's going on or really even find it funny at all. If I'm not sitting there focusing all my attention on the program for the entire episode, it kind of annoys me. It even bugs me more watching it on TV with commercial breaks than it does to watch it online without commercials. I don't know why that would be, but that's my experience when watching Community, and not with any other TV show. I prefer watching it on NBC's website than when it actually airs.

Community also has the honor of having made the best clip show in the history of clip shows.

As for the Family Guy comparison... No. Community is not like Family Guy.
posted by wondermouse at 2:42 PM on September 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


I considered making a post about it this morning, but figured I was the wrong man for the job since I'm not a Community fan at all. Saw the D&D ep, loved it; have been underwhelmed by it since. A lot of the jokes strike me as nerd pandering--or worse, in this case, trendy nerd pandering that's not much better than, like, the time The Simpsons did a Mad Men parody that was just, like, men. In suits. But still, I think this is great as an internet meme.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 2:42 PM on September 27, 2011


I was home sick yesterday with my new, digital-friendly TV setup, and I must have watched like 11 episodes straight of Community. I think I'm hooked. I skimmed through the first season, I'm about halfway through the second season and aiming to catch up with the current one.

I feel like they've cracked some kind of code on how seriously (or unseriously) a sitcom should take its premise or overall reality. I like that it's a completely fluid, maniac cartoon reality that still somehow manages to have characters with some kind of identifiable reality about them.
posted by anazgnos at 2:43 PM on September 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Community does do the cut-scenes right, with context and characterization that no Seth MacFarlane show bothers with. in that way, it's more like The Simpsons (you decide if it's more like The Simpsons when it was GREAT or The Simpsons today which is only OK but better than most).

But Community Guy Dan Harmon MUST right now be planning for more Inspector Spacetime clips, since it IS Abed's new FAVORITE. SHOW. EVER. Maybe he was planning all along, but he has to know he'll make a million nerd heads explode if we ever see Stephen Fry AND Arthur Darville emerging from a phone booth on NBC.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:47 PM on September 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


Community has led me to care about tv for the first time since David Caruso walked away from NYPD Blue. There's a vibe of unpredictability and cultural resonance that I really dig. The very idea of a comedy set in a community college is, frankly, hilarious. And the actors, I love them, even Chevy Chase, whom I did formerly hate.
posted by No Robots at 2:58 PM on September 27, 2011


Community has led me to care about tv for the first time since David Caruso walked away from NYPD Blue.

I really, really want that to be a joke. But I bet it's not.
posted by The World Famous at 2:59 PM on September 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


I really, really want that to be a joke.

Ah, the bittersweet tyrrany of cool.
posted by No Robots at 3:02 PM on September 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ah, the bittersweet tyrrany of cool.

Curse you. Now I'm going to have that line stuck in my head to the melody of that terrible Verve song.
posted by The World Famous at 3:04 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm still hoping for Buffy mentions on Community. Abed is mourning Firefly! So cool.
posted by fraac at 3:06 PM on September 27, 2011


What the heck, if Arthur Darville isn't going to be a regular on Who anymore, he could do much worse than join the Community cast as an 'exhange student' who freaks Abed out.

And anybody want to bet Inspector Spacetime WILL make an appearance on an upcoming Family Guy? And be totally NOT FUNNY?

I started caring about NYPD Blue when Caruso left and Jimmy Smits joined. And Smits' character's death was classic, being one of the only TV cops not killed by a bad guy. Probably gave Whedon the idea how to kill off Buffy's mom. Wow, how far am I from the rails?
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:13 PM on September 27, 2011


Abed and Troy as Bert and Ernie. It saddens me that one day the show will be put in syndication, and they will half-size the screen and run commercials during the end bits.
posted by Gary at 3:17 PM on September 27, 2011


And yet The Big Bang Theory is still way funnier. Less disappearing up its own arse with ever-more convoluted pop culture references but y'know, laughter funnier. Always helps...
posted by i_cola at 3:17 PM on September 27, 2011


The Big Bang Theory is still way funnier.

I'm the only supergeeknerd in a houseful of anti-nerds. They find Big Bang Theory hilarious, I do not. Perhaps I need to upgrade my humor circuits?
posted by Doleful Creature at 3:21 PM on September 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


A lot of the jokes strike me as nerd pandering

See, that's weird, because I'm usually really sensitive to that sort of thing, but I never get that sort of pandering vibe from Community like I do with, say, The Big Bang Theory. (My feelings on the Big Bang Theory.) I think a lot of it is because Community's nerd references never seem forced or pandery to me; it comes of more as affectionate parody, both of the media being referenced, and (in Abed) the type of viewer who will appreciate the references.

Also, Community is much funnier than The Big Bang Theory.
posted by maqsarian at 3:22 PM on September 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


The Big Bang Theory is still way funnier.

No it isn't.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:23 PM on September 27, 2011 [17 favorites]


OH HEY GUYS
posted by maqsarian at 3:24 PM on September 27, 2011


Sys Rq: I don't even have to click the link to know it's the fake missing live audience clip ;)

TBBT mocks the way nerds crush culture with their overbearing obsessions whereas Community panders to it. Suckers.
posted by i_cola at 3:27 PM on September 27, 2011


TBBT mocks the way nerds crush culture with their overbearing obsessions whereas Community panders to it. Suckers.

Community has things that are funny.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:29 PM on September 27, 2011 [21 favorites]


Was I the only one thinking that "Inspector Spacetime" would make for an awesome Halloween costume? Or more specifically, how Abed and Troy might do Inspector Spacetime costumes? I figure if you're going to go meta, you might as well go full-tilt meta.

And Omar? Fuck yeah.
posted by quin at 3:32 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


See, that's weird, because I'm usually really sensitive to that sort of thing, but I never get that sort of pandering vibe from Community like I do with, say, The Big Bang Theory. (My feelings on the Big Bang Theory.) I think a lot of it is because Community's nerd references never seem forced or pandery to me; it comes of more as affectionate parody, both of the media being referenced, and (in Abed) the type of viewer who will appreciate the references.

I suspect that's how I felt about the D&D episode, and perhaps the Breakfast with Andre/Pulp fiction one (though the cleverness of that one left me a bit cold). But both the Downton Abbey and Doctor Who jokes here are pretty surfacey and shallow, and that's often been my impression with the show overall (like the Levar Burton guest appearance, which didn't seem that different to me than the inclusion of NPH in Harold & Kumar, except, you know, nerdy).

Also, the first time I saw the Big-Bang-Theory-sans-laugh-track clip, I still laughed at the jokes.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:33 PM on September 27, 2011


Also, the first time I saw the Big-Bang-Theory-sans-laugh-track clip, I still laughed at the jokes.

I've never seen Big Bang Theory. I just watched that clip. I did not notice any jokes. I'm sincerely asking this: Which lines in that clip were jokes?
posted by The World Famous at 3:34 PM on September 27, 2011 [11 favorites]


Er. Dinner with Andre. I was mixing that up with Andy Kaufman's parody. Fail.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:35 PM on September 27, 2011


Ugh, can't BBT people be satisfied with the fact that it gets 5 times the viewers in the same timeslot, while Community hangs on by virtue of being on a last place network? Does it have to be better, too?
posted by yellowbinder at 3:37 PM on September 27, 2011


A lot of the jokes strike me as nerd pandering--or worse, in this case, trendy nerd pandering that's not much better than, like, the time The Simpsons did a Mad Men parody that was just, like, men.

My reference point for what I think you're talking about is the episode of Spaced where they did a Matrix parody. It may have seemed really funny at the time, but it's complete comedic non-event removed from the novelty of the moment. It's not even a parody so much as an extended reference, they don't do anything interesting or funny with it. That's like the benchmark pointless pop culture reference episode for me. Anyway, Community has impressed me with the extent to which it has avoided that pitfall.
posted by anazgnos at 3:39 PM on September 27, 2011


I've never seen Big Bang Theory. I just watched that clip. I did not notice any jokes. I'm sincerely asking this: Which lines in that clip were jokes?

The Napoleon line. The absurdity of asking someone to specify if they have bearclaws and then saying they don't have bearclaws. What's-his-name's teeming resentment that everyone--including Mario--is paired off. I'm not a huge BBT fan (though I'll watch it in a second over, say, repeats of Everybody Loves Raymond), but it's not like the scene is completely without humor.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:39 PM on September 27, 2011


Sheldon in TBBT is an excellent character to laugh AT, but the pauses after laugh lines in the laughtrackless clip destroyed the timing. A little editing to remove the pauses would make the banter 500% snappier and might actually be funnier than with the 'laugh here' cues.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:41 PM on September 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


Where are the jokes in this depressive creepfest?
posted by fraac at 3:42 PM on September 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Anyway, Community has impressed me with the extent to which it has avoided that pitfall.

Well, Community tends to reference and parody stuff that's already established (if sometimes obscure), so it's not like it's even a risk it will be too timely.
posted by smackfu at 3:43 PM on September 27, 2011


The Napoleon line. The absurdity of asking someone to specify if they have bearclaws and then saying they don't have bearclaws. What's-his-name's teeming resentment that everyone--including Mario--is paired off.

Huh. Those all came across to me as poorly-written depressed guy.
posted by The World Famous at 3:45 PM on September 27, 2011


Has anyone tried removing the laughs from a standup comic's act?
posted by smackfu at 3:45 PM on September 27, 2011


(Because it seems like a fundamentally breaking kind of change, that would render anything stilted and unfunny. But much beloved by haters of BBT, you know it.)
posted by smackfu at 3:46 PM on September 27, 2011


When we notice that life isn't a series of setups and punchlines we realise how shit that format is.
posted by fraac at 3:49 PM on September 27, 2011


I know I'm a broken record, but I hate BBT, love Community, and still think Parks and Rec is the best show on TV.

"I have the toes I have. Let's just leave it at that."
posted by kmz at 3:50 PM on September 27, 2011 [6 favorites]


Where are the jokes in this depressive creepfest?

Sheldon's overly literalness about how she'd have money if she acquired some and how it's impossible to pay him back sooner than she can both got a chuckle out of me.

But not as much as the Napoleon joke in the first clip.

I think onefellswoop is right that these strike anyone as creepy only because the timing is broken. The dialogue itself is fine--but the whole trotting out of laugh-track-less clips strikes me as proof that the show's not funny strikes me as kind of lame, anyway. Like how we all pretend we didn't all have huge Garfield compendiums as kids because of Garfield Without Garfield.

(All that being said, I'll continue to give Community a second and third chance because metafilter tells me I should. Who knows? Parks and Rec grew on me, and now it's one of my favorite shows.)
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:51 PM on September 27, 2011


Congratulations, i_cola, thread effectively trolled.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:53 PM on September 27, 2011


When we notice that life isn't a series of setups and punchlines we realise how shit that format is.

It worked for Taxi, All in the Family, I Love Lucy . . .

These aren't the days when Sorkin was struggling to be allowed to release Sports Night sans laugh track. It doesn't have to be an either/or proposition.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:53 PM on September 27, 2011


Even with crappy timing, Sheldon saying "I'm never silly" is funny in the way Tony Randall as Felix Unger was always funny in declaring his seriousness.

For both the BBT lovers and haters, remember that it is OTHER show Executive Produced by Chuck Lorre of Two And A Half Men infamy. But then, his results do vary - did you see Dharma & Greg's cameo appearance at Charlie Harper's funeral? Now Dharma was another genuinely funny and surprisingly likable character, surprising because Lorre had previously worked on Roseanne's and Cybil Sheppard's shows and had many bad things to say about both. Instead, he held back on his woman-hating until "Men". But a lot of the baggage Big Bang Theory carries is his.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:56 PM on September 27, 2011


Seinfeld is still funny without the laugh track.

did you see Dharma & Greg's cameo appearance at Charlie Harper's funeral?

I did. I had never watched either show before and it was one of the least funny things I've ever seen.
posted by The World Famous at 3:58 PM on September 27, 2011


the Levar Burton guest appearance

You can't disappoint a picture.
posted by maqsarian at 3:59 PM on September 27, 2011 [12 favorites]


As with most sitcom-based issues, I like to defer to Ken Levine of MASH/Cheers/Frasier/Simpsons/many-other-sitcoms fame. He points out that "Shows like BIG BANG THEORY don't assign scripts to individual writers. The entire staff sits around a table and cobbles the draft together." Which explains a lot about the setup-punchline-setup-punchline structure. He also loves Jim Parsons as Sheldon, comparing him to David Hyde-White.

And yet he has never written anything in his blog about Community. I think I owe him an email...
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:13 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Not bad, but my favourite Doctor Who parody is still Plumber What. He travels around space and time in a trans-dimensional Portable Sanitation Unit, fixing problems with the flow of time, wielding a sonic pipe-wrench.
posted by sfenders at 4:19 PM on September 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Community uses a writer's room approach (most of the time) as well. And I don't think a laugh-track necessarily kills the humor in a show. How I Met Your Mother is hilarious (and has come out swinging this season, too.)

I've said this before, but my problem with Big Bang Theory isn't just that the "jokes" feel so tired and shopworn and lazy in what admittedly little of it that I've seen, but with the attitude it takes towards its characters. I'm sure that the writers' room actually likes the characters they've created, and wants good things for them, but starting with such obnoxious stereotypes strikes me as alienating and creepy in a way I can't seem to get past. Like, I just have to turn it off because it feels so offensive to me.
posted by Navelgazer at 4:25 PM on September 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


I have a feeling every single moment from this show is going to be memed into the ground before I finally see Season 3.

But then TV Tropes is a forum full of Abeds, and Dan Harmon is a Troper...


My fave Doctor Who parody is Bill & Ted
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:27 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


It is better, so much better, on account of having things like character development, and having most of the pastiches serve a greater purpose than a quick laugh. The pastiches mean something to the characters and to their development, so they're more than just jokes, though they frequently are funny. For example, one episode last season was an elaborate My Dinner with Andre pastiche, and while it was funny on that level, it also delved fairly deeply into Abed and Jeff's characters, and their relationship with each other.

Community had a D&D episode that made me cry.

And why is Cougertown, the show with the silliest name, the only real show on the list?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:28 PM on September 27, 2011


22 seconds. There is nothing so insubstantial that nerds can't turn it into a Thing and run it into the fucking ground.

I found out about Inspector Spacetime from the Something Awful TV Tropes thread, with the comment 'Tropers don't get jokes'
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:29 PM on September 27, 2011


And why is Cougertown, the show with the silliest name, the only real show on the list?

Because Abed rightly recognizes that Cougar Town is awesome. Though it might not be Cougar Town much longer, apparently.
posted by kmz at 4:34 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cougar Town is an unfortunately-named comedy by Bill Lawrence, the creator of the unique and stylistic comedy Scrubs. For some reason, the Community team and Cougar Town team have mutual admiration for each other.
posted by jabberjaw at 4:35 PM on September 27, 2011


The genius of Cougar Town lies in its consistent ability to be just barely funny enough to keep me from changing the channel when I'm really tired.
posted by The World Famous at 4:37 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I attack you with my...additional notes.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 4:45 PM on September 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


I can't believe they chose FE-Line over Kit-10.
posted by seanyboy at 4:53 PM on September 27, 2011 [8 favorites]


The best part of FE-Line is how it's pronounced. Iron-Line.

My new nickname for the doctor's robot dog will be Potassium-9.
posted by maqsarian at 5:00 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Nerdist writers panels have been superb if you want insight into writers' rooms and such. Emily Cutler and Dan Harmon himself have featured.
posted by fraac at 5:01 PM on September 27, 2011


The episode of my Dinner With Andre--which had a heartbreaking set of discussions about how emotions could only be explained via referents, and was also a pretty pitch perfect parody of my Dinner wiht Andre, and which made the characters deeper, and helped move the plot past some pretty treacherous waters, explains why Community is so brilliant--it really is how people my generation understand media; and also as an aspie--Abed's autistic voice is profoundly authentic.It is not like Arrested Development (which is genius) or Family Guy (which is not) because of it's earnestness, and it's use of pastiche/bricolouge to be something other than gag for the sake of gag--it widens the post-modern potential of self-referent texts into something wild and human and heartbreaking. Big Bang Theory does not allow characters their voice, and Community allows for a wide variety of voices, and often those voices are not kind.

Also, I'd fuck Jeff Winger.
posted by PinkMoose at 5:29 PM on September 27, 2011 [12 favorites]


Where are the jokes in this this depressive creepfest?

Well, I'm at least amused by the overly literal responses of commenters making bad jokes even less funny by trying to explain them.

Oh, you meant the show, not this thread! HEYO
posted by speicus at 5:56 PM on September 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


smackfu: "Has anyone tried removing the laughs from a standup comic's act?"

Yes. It resulted in ChimpanZzzzs.
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:01 PM on September 27, 2011


What is this, some kind of Community weblog?

HOW did you type that in Pierce's voice??
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 6:04 PM on September 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


That'll do, internet. That'll do.
posted by redbeard at 6:20 PM on September 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Big Bang Theory is still way funnier.

I'm the only supergeeknerd in a houseful of anti-nerds. They find Big Bang Theory hilarious, I do not. Perhaps I need to upgrade my humor circuits?
posted by Doleful Creature at 3:21 PM on September 27 [+] [!]


Downgrade. Another commenter got it right: shows like that pander to the lowest common denominator. Every "joke" is a little too "on the nose" to be considered actual humor. Humor is imagining what the lowest common is thinking, and then saying something different and funnier. Humor is about the unexpected. I mean come on, in the Two and a Half Men premier, they were setting up a fart joke, and then the kid just farted. There wasn't even a joke. That is why Chuck Lorre (and his ilk) sucks.
posted by gjc at 6:26 PM on September 27, 2011 [7 favorites]


I attack you with my...additional notes.

It has no effect.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:36 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Big Bang Theory is rank minstrelsy.

Also, what PinkMoose said.
posted by trunk muffins at 6:40 PM on September 27, 2011


I don't mind Big Bang Theory. I like that it portrays a sexually active, pretty confident geek as well as someone like Sheldon, who's that 'that guy' every geek group has. Big Bang Theory is more about geeks for a mainstream audience. Community is by geeks, for geeks.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:41 PM on September 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm glad Community is back even though it's quite smug a lot of the time, but this is eclipsed by the epic tragedy of Breaking Bad winding up the season in only a couple more episodes. But then Boardwalk Empire comes back, so it's swings and roundabouts.
posted by tumid dahlia at 6:44 PM on September 27, 2011


I'm glad Community is back even though it's quite smug a lot of the time

Smug? How so?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:57 PM on September 27, 2011


I'm not sure how it happened, but my reaction to BBT has progressed from mild displeasure to full-on loathing. Clips now make me actively angry.

Pretty much the opposite progression for Community (which I shut off after 5 minutes, only to later try again and become rightly hooked).
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:28 PM on September 27, 2011


I haven't seen a single episode. Could someone give me the premise in a nutshell?
posted by secondhand pho at 7:35 PM on September 27, 2011


A single episode of which show?
posted by maqsarian at 7:39 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Community.
posted by secondhand pho at 7:54 PM on September 27, 2011


A less than charitable synopsis? -

A community college study group is formed by one charismatic guy, who has to go back to college because his law degree was stripped when the board found out his undergrad degree was bogus, accidentally when he tries to hit on a pretty girl during his first day at school.

Study group consists of a stereotypical overweight african-american woman, a former highschool sports star who becomes fast friends with a parody of someone who's high-functioning autism spectrum disorder, pretty girl, and charismatic guy. An older lonely man with wealth tries to join the club. Later, a disgraced teacher at the shcool tries to joint he club.

Later episodes revolve around why the group remains a group and drama regarding who's allowed to be in the group and some power struggles within the heirarchy of the group.

Me - the show is almost like my experience in grad school; disparate people thrown in together, friendships (and nemeses) form. Also, a lot of the humour reflects the humour we throw at each other day-to-day.

fraac - When we notice that life isn't a series of setups and punchlines we realise how shit that format is.

I realized how much my lunches resemble great sitcoms when I was sharing a "typical" lunch at the lab with my 'group' while a newer grad student was also in the room, but not at the table. I started noticing how she listen in on our conversation and, after I acknowledged her presence, she started providing a(n oddly appropriately timed) laugh track. It was surreal, especially since the other people around the table kind of just pretended she wasn't there.
posted by porpoise at 7:56 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Smug? How so?

The show heavily depends upon putting the characters in a sitcom trope, having the characters reference they're stuck in a trope, then referencing the fact that they're referencing the fact they're in a trope and finally smirking at the camera. The "bottle" episode was particularly egregious. The second paintball episode ("Didn't we do this last year?") also felt very strained.

Community can be very funny - the clip show episode, the conspiracy episode and the episode where Pierce is in the hospital are both fantastic - but often there's a real lack of confidence in the humor. They keep winking and reminding the audience that they know they're doing some cliche. It's not really a joke beyond a "ha ha, we get what we're doing, please bear with us." Humor's subjective, but these metajokes are really lazy and predictable.

Also, the constant references to Cougartown need to stop. We get it, both shows are doing poorly and the creators are friends.
posted by bittermensch at 7:59 PM on September 27, 2011


Wait wait wait. COUGARTOWN IS CANCELLED? aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:07 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]




















aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:08 PM on September 27, 2011 [10 favorites]


A more charitable explanation of the premise:

Jeff Winger is a disgraced lawyer. As he puts it in the pilot, "I discovered long ago that if I talk long enough, I can make anything right or wrong." He is charismatic, yes, but also extraordinarily egocentric, narcisistic, and insecure. Also a liar. This is our gateway character, and the arc of the series is about him becoming a better person.

He starts the study group in order to lure Britta Perry into it, because he wants to sleep with her. He sets this plan in motion via Abed, who then brings Shirley, Troy, Annie and Pierce into the group as well.

So then, the group:

Troy Barnes: Young African-American guy, fresh out of High School where he was the king of the jocks, but the series shows him leaving that life behind and coming to grips with himself as a nerd. Spacy and obtuse, but a deeply devoted friend, and at times the wisest member of the group. Good Will Hunting0like in many ways, though his genius is a preternatural and untrained understanding of plumbing. He is a practicing Jehovah's Witness, though it rarely comes up. Played by Donald Glover, who is awesome (and used to write for 30 Rock.)

Shirley Bennett: A middle-aged, African-American divorced mother of two. She came to Greendale Community College ostensibly in order to get a degree in business and sell her baked goods and whatnot on the internet, but as she later admits, "I'm here because I wasted 15 years of my life on a man who left me with nothing but stretchmarks and the foggy memory of two bland orgasms and now I want what's mine." She is a devout Christian, and perhaps overly prosthelytizing about it, but she gets better about this trait as it goes on. Dan Harmon will admit that this is the hardest character for him to write for, but Yvette Nicole Brown is a badass who sells every single line she is given.

Annie Edison: Beautiful young Jewish white woman who went to High School with Troy and harbored a major one-sided crush on him there. Extremely studious and anxiety-ridden, she would have been Ivy-bound if not for a breakdown as a result of Adderal-addiction. She is very young and naive, but sweet and caring, and dealing with her disappointed parents having forsaken her. She is portrayed by Allison Brie, also of Mad Men.

Pierce Hawthorne: A rich elderly white man who goes to Greendale for the sense of belonging. He is racist, sexist, ignorant, cruel, and foolish, but he is shown to be deeply wounded emotionally. As bad as he can be to the group (and he can be very, very bad to the group) he desires their acceptance more than anything. He is also the member of a pseudo-Buddhist new-age cult which also serves his need for belonging. He forces Jeff, who hates him, to see many uncomfortable parallels with himself. He is played by Chevy CHase in what many would fairly assume is a parody of Chevy Chase.

Abed Nadir: A young, half-white-half-Indian Muslim guy, heavily implied to suffer from Aspberger's syndrome. He is obsessed with media, particularly film and teevision, and can seemingly only relate to others through that lens (which allows for a lot of the Meta jokes and moments in the series.) He is at Greendale because his father wanted him to learn business to help run the family felafel restaurant, but Abed wants to be a filmmaker, and can express himself well through that form. He sees and knows everything, though the accuracy of his interpretations of events are all over the map. He is super-best-friends with Troy. As played by Dani Pudi, he is far-and-away the breakout character of the cast.

Britta Perry: A late-twenties white woman, she is a revolutionary and pathological fuck-up, and in my mind the greatest character on the show. She is a liberal revolutionary who embodies the adage that no good deed goes unpunished. In the D&D alignment world, she is the epitome of Chaotic Good, and is willing to over-and-over again drive herself into poverty in order to help her friends, even though she receives little but admonishment from those around her. She is played by Gillian Jacoms and it looks like she'll finally get some good stories this season.

But what makes it work so well is that these characters are not caricatures. They are an Island of Misfit Toys that the writers believe in very deeply. They are all broken, and they are all great, and as time goes on they learn to see that in themselves, one another, and eventually move from varying degrees of shame to being at Greendale to a love for the place which accepts them for who they are.

It is correct that the show only survives because it's on NBC. It is pitched at a very precise audience, specifically the audience that The Big Bang Theory mocks so blandly and lazily. It has been said a thousand time before, but I repeat, Community is by nerds, for nerds. The Big Bang Theory is about nerds, by and for everyone else.

Also, it's adventuresome, ambitions, and funny as hell, and Dan Harmon works his ass off and fights over almost every episode just to keep it fresh and for its fans.

Watch this. If you are at all intrigued by what could make this happen, then start with the pilot and give it time to get its legs. And you will be hooked on these people, I swear.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:14 PM on September 27, 2011 [35 favorites]


Also watch this, because nothing is better than Donald Glover crying
posted by Del Far at 9:27 PM on September 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


What is this, some kind of Community weblog?

I see what you did there.


I didn't.

...But now I get do.

posted by meese at 10:10 PM on September 27, 2011


Three clips of Joel McHale dressed as William Wallace 2 3, but I can't find the one with him talking about "Aplets and Cotlets" which has stuck in my memory for years.
posted by Gary at 10:53 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


There are so many wonderful scenes in Community. But the bit that still gets me is Chang showing up to the D&D game in full Drow makeup. Which, to the uninitiated, looks a hell of a lot like blackface.
posted by Justinian at 11:48 PM on September 27, 2011


So we're all just going to ignore that hate-crime there?
posted by Navelgazer at 11:53 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


There are so many wonderful scenes in Community. But the bit that still gets me is Chang showing up to the D&D game in full Drow makeup. Which, to the uninitiated, looks a hell of a lot like blackface.

I knew someone who'd do that for our LARPing sessions in high school. Sometimes she'd come to school like that. It was a bit problematic.

Community is so true to life sometimes.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:54 PM on September 27, 2011


Oh and when they defend BNL! I do that all the time on the Internet! Its probably really obnoxious, and I should stop!
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:54 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


"...and maybe BNL has two Billboard awards to your zero!"
posted by flibbertigibbet at 12:34 AM on September 28, 2011


So we're all just going to ignore that hate-crime there?

No, I'm sure one of Community's growing Australian cult is going to bring it up when I complain about the next blackface scandal.

Apparently 'streets ahead' is real Aussie slang.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 1:01 AM on September 28, 2011


Waitaminute, somebody did a "Plumber What" parody of Doctor Who?

WHEN?

Because almost 20 years ago, when Quantum Leap was on, I wrote a parody for a radio show that was about a time-traveling plumber... it was titled "Quantum Leak". (Since then, I have rewritten that bit a hundred times in my head, adding a TARD-A-Potty and a sonic plunger as well as a few Mario jokes and renaming Scott Bakula as Bud Crackula)
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:37 AM on September 28, 2011


I like both Community and Big Bang Theory. I consider Community an excellent very modern comedy and Big Bang Theory a very well-executed and very traditional comedy. The first eight or so Big Bangs -- before the writers' strike -- were terrible. They made my head hurt. But that's actually become a really comfortable, confident, but absolutely not risk-taking sitcom. In the same way Judd Apatow's heart is easier to see when he works with Paul Feig, I think Lorre does better working with Bill Prady on Big Bang than on Two And A Half Men, etc.

Humor is imagining what the lowest common is thinking, and then saying something different and funnier.

Well ... that's a really limiting definition of "humor." Some humor is indeed about being smart enough to say something funny, but some humor is about delivery, timing, and the delightful fact that some things make you laugh even though they are not, in and of themselves, hysterically funny. I'm not saying humor can't be what you're saying it is, but I certainly don't think it's ONLY that. Otherwise, I wouldn't be able to laugh at cats jumping in and out of cardboard boxes.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 3:48 AM on September 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Precisely! I can't tell you the content I felt when the UK Firefly remake, Glowworm, ended in Series 1 Episode 5, with Leftenant Malcomstone going down in a fight with the rest of the BrownKilts against the Admiralty.

Of course, Glowworm was heavily criticised for class-warfare undertones. Marxists claimed that the setting was just "The English Civil War in Space" and pointed out that the portrayal of the morally ambiguous main character, Lord (he was only disguised as a Lieutenant, remember?) Montgomery Featherstonehaugh-Reynolds, came uncomfortably close to glorifying the despicable snobbery of the Cavaliers. The villainous Protectorate, meanwhile, was stigmatized at every turn for being Right but Repulsive. And the Reavers, well, I think nobody disputes that they were basically the Irish.

I can't tell you how pleased I am that people are rediscovering Inspector Spacetime. I can't wait till people see the guest episode written by Nigel Straight (author of the horror-fantasy comic, MR SLEEPYTIME) in which the villain, Outdoors, is a sentient patch of wilderness with a grudge against civilisation. The bit where Rory Williams is killed by every animal in the vicinity attacking him all at once still gives me the creeps - especially the fish throwing themselves out of the stream at him and the weasels shoving that bat down his throat.
posted by lucien_reeve at 6:14 AM on September 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


I watch both BBT and Community, though I like Community more. BBT has started to grate on me a bit as each season goes on. It might be because it's getting stale or because it really does feel like pandering.

With Community, I don't see it as pandering to geeks because it is clearly created by geeks. Way before he created Community, Dan Harmon wrote comic books and between the D&D episode and the Dead Alewives D&D track, he has to have roleplayed.

BBT sometimes feels like they have someone on staff that they ask "what do nerds do?" from time to time.
posted by drezdn at 7:55 AM on September 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


these strike anyone as creepy only because the timing is broken

The timing was broken when actors were instructed to robotically pause for recordings of human feedback, not when that feedback was removed. It's not the only reason BBT seems to lack humanity, but it certainly underscores it.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:18 AM on September 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


In addition, if a good joke is ruined by timing, you'll still be able to tell it was a good joke, even if you won't laugh. When the laugh track is removed from BBT, it's easy to see how hollow it is. Community (and MLP) are the best things to happen to TV in a hell of a long time. In fact, BBT-type shows are the reason why I completely avoided TV for about 6-7 years after the end of Seinfeld. I have no stomack for a constant stream of unfunny jokes.

That's the difference between writers/comics who have no sense of humour and the good ones.. They really can't tell they are not being funny. Contrast this, for example, with Jon Stewart who knows when some of his lines are a bit weak and does a little aside like "you know they can't all be gems!"
posted by rainy at 8:35 AM on September 28, 2011


I watched the season 3 premier last night, and never having seen the show before, was struck by how much it stylistically resembles Scrubs.
I know them's might be fightin' words, but it really struck me that way.

However, speaking as a nerd, I liked it quite a lot, and will be viewing the previous shows in order.
posted by SPUTNIK at 8:45 AM on September 28, 2011


The timing was broken when actors were instructed to robotically pause for recordings of human feedback,

Why do people stubbornly insist shows are not filmed in front of a live audience? Look at all these shows filmed with live audiences, including BBT. Sure they may sweeten up the laughter afterwards, but they aren't faking the laughter pauses.

And if you doubt people are really laughing: these are audiences of fans, and laughter is infectious. Some comedy works much better in person too, like you would never laugh at slapstick on TV, but it's funny in front of you with a group of other people laughing.
posted by smackfu at 9:00 AM on September 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Abed Nadir: A young, half-white-half-Indian Muslim guy

He's Palestinian/Polish-American! Hence the falafel.

posted by elizardbits at 9:01 AM on September 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Waitaminute, somebody did a "Plumber What" parody of Doctor Who?

Not really, sorry. I guess it only exists in the collective unconscious.
posted by sfenders at 9:03 AM on September 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


> Hilariously enough, after watching this Community episode, I started watching Dr. Who. I had seen a few episodes here and there, but I assumed that since I'm so similar to Abed, I needed more

I started watching Cougar Town for a similar reason. Six seasons and a movie!
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:51 AM on September 28, 2011


elizardbits: yeah, my mistake. Danny Pudi (whose name I also misspelled!) is Half Polish/Half Indian. Abed is Half Polish/Half Palestinian. Apologies.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:46 AM on September 28, 2011


BBT sometimes feels like they have someone on staff that they ask "what do nerds do?" from time to time.

I wish that BBT was just a parody of the nerd/geek-mystique prevalent in pop culture. But it's not. I feel that BBT mocks us.

Us. People who are not just smart, but intellectual; people who are not dismissive of science fiction, or fantasy, or science fiction fantasy, or superheroes. I am a little offended by this. Is Sheldon supposed to represent us? Clearly, yes, he is a stereotype.

I have a friend who would walk in on my conversations about things like Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and comic books. He would mock us for enjoying geek culture, saying he is surprised we have wives. His impression of us talking about geeky stuff was him pushing his imaginary glasses up to his eyes and speaking geeky nonsense in a nasally voice. When I asked him if he ever read a comic book as a kid, his reply was "No, I like girls." By the way, he likes BBT, and doesn't get Community. My point, though is that these people exist, people that mock us, and they are not laughing with us, they are not laughing with Sheldon, they are laughing at him, they are laughing at us.

Community, if we are going to compare it to BBT, does not do this; the D&D episode is a good example. Jeff is confronted by Fat Neil's D&D, and even though he doesn't understand it, and is somewhat repulsed by it, he ends up setting up an epic D&D game. Community is not about random call-outs and geeky references. It is more about understanding and exploring geek culture, in a humorous and conscious way. Community is not about parody, it is about studying and exposing tropes in earnest.
posted by jabberjaw at 10:46 AM on September 28, 2011 [15 favorites]


There is really no reason to compare the two shows, except that they air in the same timeslot.
posted by smackfu at 11:07 AM on September 28, 2011


Since they do air in the same timeslot, leave it to Neilsen to compare them. Because it decides what shows stay on the air.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:11 AM on September 28, 2011


Apparently 'streets ahead' is real Aussie slang.

Is 'streets ahead' really Aussie slang? As an Aussie, I didn't know the phrase didn't exist outside of Australia. I thought it was weird that everyone was pretending that Pierce made it up, so that makes sense.

I left Australia 6 years ago, and I'm still discovering words and phrases that I thought were universal in the English-speaking world but are not actually used anywhere else. It's amazing I can be understood at all. (What do you mean "what's a doona"? What do you put on your bed?)
posted by ocha-no-mizu at 11:16 AM on September 28, 2011


No, it's UK slang. Guardian: New online Monopoly game is streets ahead
posted by smackfu at 11:18 AM on September 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


smackfu: "Some comedy works much better in person too, like you would never laugh at slapstick on TV"

This 'you' you speak of certainly isn't me. People falling down is my second favorite easy way to make me laugh -- followed only by stuff unexpectedly exploding.


As someone who said to the TV five minutes before Community introduced the thread of Inspector Spacetime, "Abed should watch Doctor Who -- he'd never run out of episodes!" and who is beloved/pandered to by his loved ones because of my childlike devotion to certain TV shows, I'm not really sure how I feel about this whole meme. Good, I guess. But it's also sorta creepy.

Good thing I'm only 1/8 pakistani/polish* or this would be really weird.

* not really
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:37 AM on September 28, 2011


Some comedy works much better in person too, like you would never laugh at slapstick on TV

That would explain why Jackass and America's Funniest Home Videos were such flops.
posted by The World Famous at 11:38 AM on September 28, 2011


Community is a beautifully executed stage play about 7 sinners in Purgatory, set inside of sitcom about a community college, that is simultaneously about the struggle and growth of each character, and the show itself. The way I feel about Community is the way Pitchfork Media feels about Radiohead.

I'd say more but I'm afraid I've become "that guy" around my friends regarding this show.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 2:05 PM on September 28, 2011 [8 favorites]


Nearly 150 comments, and not one mention of Annie's Boobs?
posted by Gordafarin at 4:15 PM on September 28, 2011


Nearly 150 comments, and not one mention of Annie's Boobs?

What's so special about the monkey living in the vents?
posted by sparkletone at 5:00 PM on September 28, 2011


Getting Rid of Britta. I did like Pierce better at the beginning before they started making him outright evil. Either way, it's nice to see Chevy Chase being funny again after two decades (give or take your opinion on Vegas Vacation).
posted by Gary at 5:19 PM on September 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Either way, it's nice to see Chevy Chase being funny again after two decades (give or take your opinion on Vegas Vacation).

"That is exactly the kind of National Lampoonery you will not be seeing this year!"
posted by JustAsItSounds at 7:49 PM on September 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Alan Sepinwall and Todd VanDerWerff discuss Community
posted by smackfu at 7:04 AM on September 30, 2011


It's interesting how they talk about two things the "normal" versus high-concept episodes. The "normal" vs high-concept thing is kind of what throws a lot of people off of the show.

I'm one of those guys that thought the first episode of the show was sub-par and stopped watching until I saw the chicken strip and paintball episodes of season 1. Then I went back and watched the rest of the season, and fell in love with the show based on the strength of the "normal" episodes.

Two of my favorite scenes are from "normal" espisodes: (1) the billiards match between Jeff Winger and gym teacher / great character actor Blake Clark, and (2) the crescendo of the pottery episode where Jeff is coming to terms with being bad at something, while the rest of the study group sails by the window on the yacht.

There are people who expect every episode to be high-concept are disappointed by the "normal" episodes, people who think the high-concept episodes are cheesy, derivative and stupid, and people who think the show is just weird. And then, I guess, there are people who are fans of the show.
posted by jabberjaw at 12:19 PM on September 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


According to Travis Richey's twitter feed they are shooting more Inspector Spacetime.
posted by Gary at 1:13 AM on October 2, 2011


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