What happens when you take seven strangers, put them in a study group at a shirty community college, and slather on a top of meta and pop culture references? You get Community, one of my favorite TV shows of all-time.
::Cue Theme Song::
On my most recent diet of positivity, I found myself indulging in Community after catching up on A Good Place. Like any great TV show, rewatching it is like joining up with some old friends, and in this case, friends who have a sense of humor very much like my own. I love the gang at Greendale and my only regret is not checking out Community when it was on the air. Instead, I came upon it after all six seasons had aired and an online friend recommended it when I was dealing with some severe depression. Community really helped me out for a few months there, and I was worried revisiting it might take me back to the bad times, but instead, it’s lifted my spirits just like it did the last time I watched it.
I’m almost through season two right now on this rewatch, and I thought I’d highlight some of my favorite episodes of the first two seasons:
Modern Warfare (Season 1, Episode 23)
The dean hosts a paintball game that quickly turns into a post-apocalyptic nightmare.
Epidemiology (Season 2, Episode 6)
Being cheap, the dean buys military rations to serve at Greendale’s Halloween Party and even becomes sick and zombie like.
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (Season 2, Episode 14)
In this episode, the gang hosts a game of Dungeons and Dragons for Fat Neil since he’s become depressed and they are worried he’s going to kill himself. Pierce isn’t invited to the gang, and decides to play against the group in a hilarious fashion.
I don’t want to go into too much depth on each episode, because Community is one of those shows that is better when you go in blind, but these are three of my favorite episodes of the first two seasons. Then again, almost every episode is amazing so these were just three that came to mind the quickest.
I think what I love about Community is that the show has no problem being weird, but is never mean. The characters all almost all likeable and but they aren’t perfect and always good. They make mistakes and sometimes they learn from them, sometimes they don’t. The show is written by people who legit love pop culture, so the pop culture jokes are real, suitable, and not generic, which gives the show a certain nerd cred that is actually hard to come by. Community never takes itself too serious and if there is there is a lesson to be found in the show it is exactly that: don’t take yourself too serious. Something I’ve been guilty of in the past.
I actually remember the first time someone called me on out on that. I was twenty-two and I was discussing how much I had changed over the years in regards to my political, religious, and ethical beliefs. I was tooting my own horn and feeling good about my “improvement” when my manager (whom I was talking to) looked at a me and said, “Sounds like you just stopped taking yourself so darn serious. Life is better when you can laugh at it.” And that has stuck with me fourteen years later. And Community reminds me of that every time I watch it.
Life is hard enough with bills, politics, wealth inequality, global warming, and all the other shirt Britta would bench about in Community and as much I hate to admit it, I’m kind a Britta at times. I get up on my soapbox and I take things personally and while I don’t guilt people into doing what I want, I definitely have my own personal protests and random rantings about the state of the world. And you know what? No one wants to hear that and it definitely doesn’t help my mental health or change the world. Sometimes I just need to remind myself to stop being a Britta.