We've had the pleasure of speaking to Community creator Dan Harmon and star Joel McHale (and Danny Pudi) before, but in these dark post-hiatus times, there's something specifically more ominous about talking to Harmon and McHale after a three-month break. Don't take our word for it -- check out the highlights of a press call we participated in with them last week, where they talked about life after the hiatus and the remainder of the season.
If I were feeling especially curmudgeonly, I'd take "App Developments and Condiments" to task for going back to the "Greendale becomes a post-apocalyptic wasteland" well so soon after "Geothermal Escapism" a.k.a. "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen, Donald Glover." But as a fan of cheesy '70s sci-fi (think Logan's Run and The Omega Man), I was laughing too hard to care. And, as an added bonus, the parody was rooted in a relationship that hasn't been explored in some time -- the love/hate bond between former foosball rivals-turned-teammates, Jeff and Shirley.
Well… they can't all be winners. For the first episode back from the Olympic break, Community serves up "Introduction to Bondage and Beta Male Sexuality," an odd, disjointed episode in which its two most child-like characters -- Abed and Britta -- are taught some grown-up lessons.
Perhaps because he's working on a shortened season order for the first time, Dan Harmon apparently opted against spacing out his movie parodies. Two weeks removed from his David Fincher homage, he returned to the spoof well last night with "Geothermal Escapism" a.k.a. "Community: Lave World," which sent up a whole bunch of post-apocalyptic disaster movies with a specific emphasis on the legendary Kevin Costner boondoggle Waterworld.
After a single, a triple and a balk, Community hit its first home-run of the show's fifth season thanks to the dearly departed (and entirely off-screen) Pierce Hawthorne, who bid farewell to his old study group the only way he knew how: by screwing with their minds.
Our long national nightmare is over: Dan Harmon has returned to Community to right the various wrongs perpetrated against the students and teachers at Greendale Community College during the fourth season. And yet, the first two episodes of Season 5 -- "Repilot" and "Introduction to Teaching" -- weren't so much a triumphant return, as they were a prolonged sigh of relief. The show has been -- and likely will be -- funnier than either of these installments, but at least Community sounds like Community again, and that's something to be thankful for.
When last we saw the members of Greendale Community College's most insular study group, they had all overcome great (and not so great) odds to achieve some small measure of happiness. Jeff literally had his day in court, giving him back his legal swagger and the impetus to ace his biology final; Troy ended the reign of terror within Greendale's Air Conditioning Repair Annex; Abed gave in to the dark side (a.k.a. Evil Abed) but found his inner goodness and felt brave enough to dismantle his Dreamatorioum; Britta put her fledgling psychoanalytic skills to the test; Annie... continued to look really cute; and Shirley and Pierce managed to open a sandwich shop in the Greendale cafeteria without killing each other first.
Meanwhile, in non-hurricane related news...
"Hey America -- watch my new sitcom or the cat gets it."
This is how we'll always remember the Community crew... as NES characters.
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