On February 7 one of the greatest television shows ever made returns for its fourth series, and fans couldn’t be happier. For those of you who haven’t jumped on this little bandwagon yet, Community is a half-hour comedy set in Greendale community college and follows the exploits of Jeffrey Winger, a disgraced former lawyer, and his study group of misfits.
Though if you’ve seen the show, you’ll know this description barely scratches the surface of this incredibly well written and performed series; Community is really a show about story, and television storytelling especially, basing its humour around pastiches of other shows and the structure of the sitcom, a show so meta it knows it’s meta and gets meta about it. And with a host of characters filling the halls of the world’s most inept community college, there’s something in the show for everyone.
So if you’ve never seen the show and want to check it out, or you need a refresher course on just how awesome Troy and Abed are, we present the Top 5 Community episodes so far…
Digital Estate Planning (Season 3, Episode 20)
The study group have to win a thirty-year-old computer game in order for Pierce to receive his inheritance. One for everyone who grew up during the 8-bit generation, this massive nod to early console roleplaying games is fantastically animated and is the highlight of series three.
Paradigms of Human Memory (Season 2, Episode 21)
A take on the clip show episodes of many sitcoms, except this time we get to relive the adventures we didn’t see. When a treasure trove of memorabilia is found by the study group they begin to reminisce and instead of reusing old footage to fill up time, the writers get to punch out some of the best gags of series two.
Modern Warfare (Season 1, Episode 23)
The campus of Greendale is thrown into chaos when the prize offered in the end of year paintball competition is enough to drive the students to war. A brilliant take on action movies and the tropes of cinema violence – the first of the truly epic Community episodes.
Advanced Dungeons and Dragons(Season 2, Episode 14)
When Fat Neil becomes suicidal the study group convince him to play his favourite game, Dungeons and Dragons, with them in an attempt to cheer him up. A perfectly scripted episode that plays out beautifully through the dialogue as the group describe themselves walking and fighting through a fantasy land. One of Chevy Chase’s greatest episodes, as Pierce fully takes on the role of the bad guy.
And at number 1…
Remedial Chaos Theory (Season 3, Episode 4)
The study group have a housewarming party for Troy and Abed, but when it comes time to collect the pizza they decide with the roll of the dice who goes. 6 different timelines unfold, with the consequences of each member of the study group getting the pizza playing out with ever more hilarious results. Some of the smartest writing in sitcom history, finishing with the whole group singing ‘Roxanne’. Perfect.