Community: Cool Beanz

by Ethan Alter March 7, 2014 10:38 am
<i>Community</i>: Cool Beanz

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.

Community: Growing Pains

by Ethan Alter February 28, 2014 5:55 am
<i>Community</i>: Growing Pains

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.

Community: The Adventures of Shark Troy and Lava Abed

by Ethan Alter January 24, 2014 10:20 am
<i>Community</i>: The Adventures of Shark Troy and Lava Abed

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.

Community: Comings and Goings

by Ethan Alter January 17, 2014 6:00 am
<i>Community:</i> Comings and Goings

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.

Community: Heroes Reborn

by Ethan Alter January 3, 2014 6:00 am
<i>Community</i>: Heroes Reborn

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.

Community: Season 4 Status Report

by Ethan Alter February 7, 2013 11:49 pm
<i>Community</i>: Season 4 Status Report

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.

Community: Praising Mr. Banks

by Ethan Alter March 21, 2014 9:12 am
<i>Community</i>: Praising Mr. Banks "A satisfying sequel is difficult to pull off," Abed warns at the outset of "Advanced Advanced Dungeons & Dragons," an on-the-nose bit of commentary from Dan Harmon cautioning viewers to not expect this follow-up to Season 2's "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons" to scale the same heights as that Top 10 (maybe even Top 5)-level installment of Community. And he's right… "Advanced Advanced," isn't isn't the comic K.O. that Advanced proved to be. But it does turn out to be satisfying in its own right, especially when watched a second and even a third time through and the work of the episode's breakout star -- one Mr. Jonathan Banks -- snaps into focus.

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