These days, finding a television show that is consistently smart, funny and entertaining can be as difficult as keeping Steven Adler off of “Celebrity Rehab.” But the following are just four reasons you should watch “Community” before it gets canceled. After the unexpected success of the first season, the writers of “Community” have decided to go all out and let their imaginations run wild, and fans of the show are constantly rewarded with some of the most brilliant, entertaining episodes in television history, led by an extraordinary cast that exudes an almost Seinfeld-esque combination of talent and chemistry.
The comedy. Smart, hilarious and wickedly clever, “Community” is one of the very few comedies on television that doesn’t go for the cheap joke or the expected gag. It is also the type of show that delivers the kind of writing that makes for excellent quotes. And, face it, in an age in which dropping pop culture references and quotes into everyday conversation are as natural as breathing and sleeping. one-liners such as “I’ll show you the tool that’s most important to our survival. But, fair warning – it’s my penis" will enjoy great success primetime TV.
The casting. Joel McHale of “The Soup” fame expertly plays the disgraced lawyer turned reluctant study group leader, Jeff. Comedy legend Chevy Chase lends his brand of dry and scathing humor to the sometimes clueless millionaire Pierce. Donald Glover and Alison Brie play freshmen Troy and Annie, both of whom attended the same high school, one as a star football player, the other, an overachieving pill popper. Yvette Nicole Brown portrays Shirley, the group’s overly positive Christian single mother and Gillian Jacobs fills the role of Britta, the strong minded, anti-establishment militant. Rounding out the main cast is Abed, the loveable, pop culture-obsessed, member of the group, who may or may not have Asperger’s. Abed is brilliantly played by Danny Pudi.
The writing. Though the show’s writers stuck with an underlying continuity, the episodes quickly became more self-contained adventures that could easily have passed for mini feature films. The episode “Basic Rocket Science” finds the study group involved in an “Apollo 13”-style adventure as they try to avert disaster aboard a 1980s KFC space simulator. In the second season’s Halloween episode, tainted food from an Army surplus store turns half of the school into zombies, leaving Troy as the sole survivor who must save the day. “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas” is filmed entirely in “Rudolph”-style stop motion. Other episodes include a "Dungeons & Dragons" epic adventure. In an excellent homage to the 1981 classic “My Dinner with Andre,” one episode was filmed entirely in documentary format, while the show's two-part season finale featured a paintball war filmed in the style of a spaghetti western.
Cameos and guest appearances. Such practices have long been a staple in television sitcoms, and “Community” is one such show that has no problem reeling in some of Hollywood’s biggest fish. Television veterans such as Kevin Corrigan of “Grounded for Life,” Lee Majors of “The Fall Guy,” Michael K. Williams of “The Wire,” John Goodman of “Roseanne” and Betty White of “The Golden Girls” have all appeared as professors at this community college. Jack Black even shows up as a student who is desperate to join the study group, but later ditches them when Owen Wilson offers him a spot in the “cool” study group. Pop stars Hillary Duff and Katharine McPhee have appeared on couple of episodes, while Josh Holloway, better known as Sawyer on “Lost,” fills the role of villain in the paintball finale. Other memorable cameo appearances include lawyer Drew Carey, Anthony Michael Hall as a bully and Andy Dick as a hallucination.