Community: The Best Bits
With so many great episodes from the first three seasons of “Community”, it is difficult to select a top six. Nevertheless here are six of my favourite episodes and the reasons why (in no particular order):
- Introduction to Finality (season three, episode 22): The third season differed from the previous two with longer story arcs and a new antagonist. This final episode completed a story arc which had developed in the second half of the season. It has gained a place on this list due to it tying up the story arc but also largely because of Jeff Winger’s inspiring speech about helping people which concludes the episode. Whilst Jeff makes several speeches throughout the series, this is one of his best.
- A Fistful of Paintballs/For a Few Paintballs More (season two, episodes 23 & 24): The final two-part episode of the second season is a paintball themed story. This continues a theme from the first season which also had a paintball episode (Modern Warfare). However, whereas Modern Warfare had an action film theme, episode 23 of the second season was more spaghetti-western influenced, whilst episode 24 was Star Wars-based. The action sequences and the plot make these must see episodes.
- Pillows and Blankets (season three, episode 14): This is the second part of a two-part story, heavily centred on Abed and Troy and their friendship, and also parodies American civil war documentaries. This episode is worth a watch for the use of the “Doomsday” device, suggested and invented by Pierce. Very impressive and very, very funny!
- Biology 101 (season three, episode 1): The first episode of the third season, this is worth a watch because of the song-and-dance number which occurs at the beginning of the episode. Launching the third season in style, this is an upbeat song which contrasts the tone of the darker third season.
- Spanish 101 (season one, episode 2): Whilst the pilot episode has the first of Jeff’s speeches which is aimed at uniting the group, it is in this episode he is seen to be more kind hearted in nature, particularly towards Pierce’s character and the Spanish homework assignment. Chang is also developed (a little) and whilst he is not as crazy as in later seasons, there is a sense he is a little crazy.
- Epidemiology (season two, episode six): In the film Shaun of the Dead, Shaun et al fight a zombie in the pub with snooker cues and ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ playing on the jukebox. In Community’s own zombie-themed episode, there is costumes and zombie fighting to an Abba soundtrack. Influenced by both Alien and zombie films, this is a very funny homage to zombie films.
Whilst these are only six episodes (counting the two-part paintball story as one), other stories cover death, the meaning of Christmas, the meaning of life, Dungeons and Dragons, paintballs, space, computer games, stop-motion animation and reference to many science fiction and fantasy movies and television series. Any episode where the character Dean Pelton appears, are great too, so the choices were not easy ones to make. I guess you are just going to have to watch them all!