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If you're anything like me, having a light and funny TV show to watch when life starts to feel like a drag is absolutely necessary. Because of this, I've gone through almost every sitcom on Netflix: The Office, Parks and Recreation, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, How I Met Your Mother, etc. While each of these shows brings something different to the table and are all very good in their own ways, one comedy TV show shines above the others. A model of humor, character development, and clever writing that all other sitcoms should seek to replicate. That show is Community

Community follows a group of seven students at a community college in a small, made-up town in Colorado. Each character is unique and interesting, with the likes of Donald Glover, Joel McHale, Ken Jeong, and Alison Brie among the cast. The show kicks off when Jeff Winger (Joel McHale) invents a study group as an excuse to talk to Britta Perry (Gillian Jacobs), who is in his Spanish 101 class. When five other students from the class show up and thwart his plans, Jeff has no choice but to actually create a study group that finds itself in all sorts of hilarious situations over the course of the show's run. 

Community aired from 2009 to 2014 on NBC before being canceled due to low ratings. Nevertheless, the show's cult following demanded more episodes, so Community was given a sixth season in 2015 on Yahoo! Screen. Never heard of Yahoo's streaming service? That's because no one has. Community's low ratings and Yahoo streaming platform meant that it sank into relative obscurity. But make no mistake, just because Community is not as popular as The Office, this by no means is an indication of its quality. 

Community takes everything you think you know about sitcoms and flips that on its head. It takes the genre into a whole new place with inventive and compelling episode storylines that you don't see in your average sitcom. Two of the show's most well-known and best episodes are "Modern Warfare" (Season 1, Episode 23) and "Remedial Chaos Theory" (Season 3, Episode 4). Without spoiling anything, both episodes twist the typical sitcom formula, using paintball wars and different timelines respectively to tell their stories. Community delivers its humor in a risky and bold way, which makes every episode feel like nothing you've ever seen out of a sitcom before. 

Characters in Community also really shine. Like with their plotlines, Community strays from typical sitcom character tropes to create an ensemble cast of characters each with unique and bold personalities that mesh with each other in dynamic and engaging ways. The characters are also pretty diverse as well, representing different ages and races, which is something that many sitcoms don't tend to do. 

Finally, Community's community college setting really works for the show. The show poses community college as a place where chaos reigns, and where literally anything can happen. The dean is incompetent and strange, the Spanish class is taught by someone who doesn't speak Spanish, and there are all sorts of weird and wacky people wandering through the halls. Setting the show at a community college creates a combination of a workplace sitcom and a friend group sitcom, which just gives the show a chance to subvert both genres further. 

So why should you watch Community? Well for one, if you're bored of watching the same old episodes of The Office and Parks and Rec, it's a great way to mix it up. If you want something that feels fresh and new, Community also has you covered. And if you're tired of the typical sitcom tropes and characters, Community is there to revamp the genre with inventive concepts and engaging characters. 

Francesca DeGiorgio

Columbia Barnard '24

Francesca (she/her) is a sophomore at Barnard College majoring in English and minoring in History. She's originally from Los Angeles, California. She loves reading, writing, astrology, and watching way too much tv.
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