Community was the best new comedy on television last season, bar none. Filled with an amazing cast of characters who grew with the show over the course of a year, it took its cues from the best sitcom comedies and films, while calling to mind John Hughes in closing out each 30-minute episode with some warm moments.
Jeff Winger (Joel McHale) was a lawyer with a fraudulent degree who found himself back in Greendale Community College. The premise is ancillary to the fact that he winds up in a Spanish study group with Annie Edison (Alison Brie), Britta Perry (Gillian Jacobs), Troy Barnes (Donald Glover), Abed Nadir (Danny Pudi), Pierce Hawthorne (Chevy Chase), Shirley Bennett (Yvette Nicole Brown), working to pass a class taught by Señor Chang (Ken Keong).
It’s easy to think the cast is king when it comes to Community, as so many of the actors have comedy merits on their own, and shine even more in the show when their diverse characters are placed in scenes together. But also to the credit of Dan Harmon and his writing crew, the episode-to-episode premises of Community are mostly spot on and the dialogue is fantastic. In its greatest instances – “Introduction to Statistics” (the Halloween episode) and “Modern Warfare” – it feels as good as anything by Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead), packed with references, great cinematography and hilarious scenarios. And that’s all before considering its line-up of season one guest stars, including Jack Black, Owen Wilson and Anthony Michael Hall, who are all used well.
The Complete First Season DVD contains four discs, absolutely packed with content. All 25 episodes have commentary tracks with different members of the cast and crew offering information on the show. This is far from the highlight, though. Every disc also contains outtakes, which are very amusing, as instead of just being bad takes many are extra ad libs to scenes from the show.
The featurettes, like “Creative Compromises” and “Season One Cast Evaluations,” are well thought out an designed for additional laughs, rather than just pillaging more extras footage. They’re quality material. Things are rounded out by extended episodes, alternative scenes, a Season One highlight reel, three “mini episodes” and an awesome Kickpuncher comic by Troy and Abed.
Add to all of that the fact that even the Community: The Complete First Season packaging receives a high level of detail to look like a yearbook with notes from the characters, and one of last season’s best shows also turns out to be a television DVD release of the highest quality.
-Cast and Crew Commentary on Every Episode
-Season One Cast Evaluations
-Advanced Criminal Law Alternative Scenes
-Season One Highlight Reel
-3 Mini Episodes