20 Observations of a 'Community' Virgin

Having never seen the NBC comedy before, a CB writer gives her first impressions after watching two episodes of Season 4.

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Editor’s note: I’ve been watching and covering Community since its beginning and I know that the show has a small but solid following. But, I often hear that with its meta style, twisted relationship histories and many longrunning jokes that new viewers have a hard time getting into the show. Season 4 is unique -- new showrunners and finally the season displaced creator Dan Harmon planned to be their graduation year. In many ways, this is a do or die season for the show. So, I was interested to see what a newbie would think. Update: The two episodes on the NBC screener were not consecutive.

I have never watched an episode of NBC’s Community. On Thursday, my editor handed me a DVD screener of two episodes of Season 4. My assignment? To watch them both -- I wasn’t even able to Google first -- and tell him what I thought.

Sounds like a fun assignment, right? Well, I laughed a little. I smirked a little. I got confused. Then, I put it all down in writing.

These are my 20 first impressions of Community.
  1. Greendale is a community college.
  2. “Instagram for Besties” and “History of Ice Cream” are classes. (Wait... why didn’t my alma mater Emerson ever offer that?) -- Clearly, Greendale is an easy college.
  3. Seriously... what kind of college is this? It has an “Antics 101” class for women only.
  4. Jeff (Joel McHale) wants to graduate so badly (and get his friends into the class) that he would participate in “The Hunger Deans” for enrollment.
  5. Jeff was a lawyer and ended up back in community college.
  6. There are students even older than Pierce (Chevy Chase), so Greendale’s student body seems to include students from diverse age groups.
  7. Pierce is a funny old guy trying to fit in.
  8. Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown) is like Pierce.
  9. The Dean (Jim Rash) is a nut and likes to dress as a woman. And he actually looks good dressed like that.
  10. Jeff is the cool guy of the group. They are calling him the “New Jeff.” I don’t know the old Jeff, but the “New Jeff” seems like a good guy.
  11. Joel McHale is a good actor.
  12. Abed (Danny Pudi) wants to stay in college forever.
  13. I’m not sure who Kevin (Ken Jeong) is or what "Changnesia" is.
  14. Hipster glasses are in.
  15. Jeff and Britta (Gillian Jacobs) hooked up in the past.
  16. Troy (Donald Glover) and Britta are in a “progressive” relationship.
  17. The Dean has the hots for Jeff.
  18. Abed has a thing for Britta.
  19. Troy and Abed are bromancing. Troy is the girl in the relationship.
  20. Annie (Alison Brie) has a thing for Jeff.
So, Community fandom, how did I do? Should I keep watching?

Meet "New Jeff" on the Season 4 premiere below.



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  • Lucy

    I was nervous going in to read this as people who have never watched community before, generally don't understand it or like it. But her 20 points were very good! The only two that I laughed at were "Abed has a thing for Britta" and "I'm not sure what Changnesia is". You're very right in saying that community has a small but solid following. Anyone who watches it will defend it to the death. I really enjoyed reading someones first impressions.

  • Jethro Nededog
    Jethro Nededog

    Very good point, Danielle. I should have mentioned above that the two eps weren't consecutive. I'll update now. Oh, and I'm so glad you got the spirit of the "experiment."

  • Jethro Nededog
    Jethro Nededog

    Lawrence, Thanks. I really encouraged this person to write her raw conclusions and not to over think them -- some were spot on while others are hilariously off. Thanks for giving CB a look!

  • Danielle Turchiano
    Danielle Turchiano

    Oh wow. This was a dangerous experiment. After being on air for a few years, the show knows what it is and the audience it is speaking to. Someone who just flips it on now is not going to "get it" immediately. As evidenced here. Also, the screener for season four did not contain two consecutive episodes, which can cause further confusion to someone who doesn't understand the character dynamics. Amanda, you are an extremely good sport. I am happy to lend you the season one DVD so you can see how these characters came to be the very specific people they are now. I feel confident you will love it.

  • lawrence

    I have never read a celeb buzz article before. Here's what I experienced while reading it. 1. Hey, good idea! Let's get some outside eyes on this thing. 2. Uh-oh. 3. Oh, no. 4. You gave the DVD to a caveman. 5. "How'd I do?" How'd you do WHAT? How'd I do?