TV Show

Community

Why NBC's Thursday-night sitcom schedule is out of order... and how I predicted that 'Parenthood' move

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The announcement that NBC is going to fill its Thursday night with wall-to-wall sitcoms made me look at that wall closely, and I notice a few misplaced bricks.

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'Community' humbled me last night

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Community is the last place I’d go to get religion, but last night’s episode, entitled “Messianic Myths and Ancient Peoples,” was nourishing in its exploration of faith as belief and perception. It was gratifying that it was propelled by Shirley, who

I’d been thinking has become the show’s most one-dimensional character – since the series began, Yvette Nicolle Brown seems to have been directed to pitch her voice higher and widen her eyes to display non-stop sincerity off which the rest of the study group can bounce its cynicism.

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'Community' out on DVD today: Grab this, a BAG-el, and your paintball gun

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If you’re trying to decide whether to buy the season-one DVD of Community, on sale today, let me help you out here: Yes. It’s worth it. Let me count the ways.

1. The 25 episodes are fascinating to watch in order, as you

see a smart but wobbly colt of a sitcom gain balance and strength to grow into a comedy – er, thoroughbred doesn’t seem like the right word, so I’ll drop the horse metaphor. What I mean is, the show just got better and better.

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My Emmy picks and yours: Here's who'll win comedy lead and supporting actor. What? You disagree?

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The Emmys in the comedy category present particularly tight, vexed races: So many good performers, so few slots. Nevertheless, as we continue to make Emmy predictions, I think I’ve got these figured out. And I know you’ll let me know if you agree or

disagree, below.

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Best TV of 2010: My mid-year Top 10 list

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We’re half-way through the year; time to stop and take stock of the TV year thus far. Here is my mid-year Top 10, selected from shows airing during the period between January and July 2010. I’ve also added a few notes at the end about some other notable TV events. Happy holiday weekend to you.

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What makes 'Community' different from NBC's other Thursday sitcoms? One word: Confidence.

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When it comes to the comedy of awkwardness – the laughs wrung from miscommunication, embarrassing emotional act-outs, baffled stares – NBC’s sitcoms are better at it than any other network’s. (This figures, since its late-night programming also operates on the same principle.)

The Office, 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation: Terrific shows all, and all sitcoms that rely heavily on lead characters (Michael Scott, Liz Lemon, Leslie Knope) that are oblivious, indifferent, or sometimes-both to the crass or impolitic nature of the things they say.

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Community

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BACK TO SCHOOL The gang (minus Pierce) are back together for Season 5 of the community college based sitcom.

Last seen graduating from the loony-tunes diploma mill of Greendale Community College, Jeff Winger heads back to his alma mater in the season 5 premiere of Community with mixed emotions and evolving motives — part idealistic superhero, part vengeful destroyer. Joel McHale’s snarky shyster surely expresses the tsuris of his mad-scientist creator, Dan Harmon, who was fired from the cult fave after season 3 — and now returns following an exile year of podcasting with often drunken abandon.

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Fall TV Preview: Thursday

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Prime SuspectNew Drama10-11 p.m., NBC

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Chevy Chase, Community, ...

Who says cable-TV snark doesn’t translate well to prime-time mass entertainment? Talk Soup grad Greg Kinnear has proven a fine film actor, and now The Soup’s Joel McHale slips comfortably into a likable-wise-guy role as the star of Community. One of the new season’s best sitcoms, Community features McHale as a lawyer with a foreign-country law degree who must return to school to remain legit.

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Must List: Week of September 27, 2009

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TVCOMMUNITY on NBCThe Soup’s Joel McHale plays a jaw-jacking attorney with a degree from Columbia — wait, no, that’s Colombia. That one vowel forces Mr. Cocky back into college, where he hangs with a merry band of losers (including a terrific Chevy Chase as the creepy older dude). Funny and sharp, Community goes to the head of the class (even when it has none).

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