Jun 17, 2015

Posted by in Ramblings

#SixSeasons – Final Wrap Up

#SixSeasons – Final Wrap Up

Well, that’s it.  It’s done.  For the last two weeks I’ve posted articles in which I ranked and reviewed every single episode of Community.  The full list is at the bottom of this post if you just want to skip down.  I was originally just going to post one article of my Top 30 with a paragraph about each but then decided to go at it full on.  

I’m glad I did.  It was a great way to relive one my all time favourites shows, one that’s right up there as one of greatest sitcoms ever made as well.  It reminded me not just how much fun the show is, but just how well constructed the whole thing is.  I mentioned this in many of the reviews that one the key things I always watch in anything is what tricks the writers are pulling and looking back at the show with a more analytical eye it just refreshed my memory on how well, and tightly, this show is written.  And unlike a lot of other shows or films that I’ve looked back at for analytical purposes, it didn’t sap any enjoyment out of it either.  In fact it added.  It was very much a Richard Feynman’s flower situation.  A clearly subjective one though.

3wrapI said from the outset that this was not a ranking of bad to good, and it’s something I want to reitterate here.  The episode ranked 110 on this list is still a very good episode. I’m not suggested any episodes were terrible because none were.  I just, for the reasons outlined, liked some better than others.  I don’t see this ranking as a way to belittle the ‘lesser’ episodes but rather as a reminder of how great each and every episode was, not just the banner highlight episodes everyone knows and loves.  I’ll say it again, a bad episode of Community is still a damn fine episode of television.

The final reason for doing this was a bit of a motivational, selfish one.  I mentioned a couple of times I was looking at each episode as someone who works in television and comedy myself.  Now, it’s odd for someone in that position to be reviewing other people’s works in a public forum, it really is.  But I didn’t see this as so much as nitpicking, or critiquing even, but rather highlighting, respecting and admiring great, great work.  It’s inspirational in some ways.  Makes me want to get better at what I do.  How can watching something that is basically at the pinnacle of what you do, not?  Derrick Rose used to watch Michael Jordan when he was a kid.  Same thing.  Except I’m in my mid 30s.  My knees are fucked though.

A lot of my comedian friends will often go and watch other comedians and remark afterwards that a particualr show made them want to up their game.  And then we all assume we can’t and we’re failures and frauds two seconds away from being found out because that’s what creatives are like, each and everyone to a man or a woman.  Insecure idiots. And arseholes.  Arrogant, cocky arseholes.  I’m going to go work in a shop.  What of it?

Thanks to everyone who read these.  Google tells me over 50 000 people read these posts which makes me somewhat humbled, but also shows how passionate Community’s fans are, that that many of them will take the time to read some long ramblings about a show they’ve seen umpteen times.  I enjoyed the (mostly civil) debates and discussions I’ve had about episodes on the comments here, on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and various forums.  Thanks to Reddit users pruo95 and Evilsmiler who, off their own bat, got all maths on the rankings and worked out mean ratings, standard deviations and the sort.  That’s the level of nerd that I wholeheartedly endorse.  You’re awesome.  Apparently with a mean rating of 41.58, I rated S2 the best, with all the rest, apart from 4, pretty close after that especially when factoring in some standard error bars.  Go have a look. Thanks one all.  

And thanks to Dan Harmon, Chris McKenna, Tristram Shapeero, The Russos, Rob Schrab, Megan Ganz, Hilary Winston, Andy Bobrow, Adam Davidson, Tim Saccardo, Dino Stamatopoulus, Alex Rubens and all the other incredible writers and directors.  To Ludwig Göransson and co for the brilliant soundtrack.  To the crew of the show who created one of the worst well realised worlds, in Greendale, TV has ever seen. And to Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Alison Brie, Donald Glover, Yvette Nicole Brown, Chevy Chase, Jim Rash, Ken Jeong, John Oliver, Paget Brewster, Keith David, Jonathon Banks and every other cast member for bringing Community to life.  I can’t think of another show that would’ve been so equally frustrating as it was delightful to make.  How the living hell it got to six seasons (and a movie) I will never know.

It was a show that I just enjoyed, on every level, to watch.  Just for fun, to analysis and to inspire.  But it was a show that genuinely meant something to a lot of people.  Not just people who love the show, or obsess over it like, say, Game of Thrones,  but a show that really touched people and connected with them on a personal level.  I think that says a lot about, not just of the writing and performances, but who Dan Harmon is as a creative individual.  It’s all very Greek tragedy but if you’re not prepared to pour yourself out into what you’re making how can you expect anyone to connect with it?  So, yeah, what I’m saying it’s a pretty good sitcom.

I look forward to whatever comes next.  Not even necessarily of Community, but of it’s team.  It’s introduced us to a lot of talent.  Harmon has Harmontown, Rick and Morty and a book in the works.  Donald Glove has Atlanta and whatever will become of Childish Gambino (hopefully more great albums).  Alison Brie’s got the world at her feet.  Here’s hoping she gets to sink her teeth into some A grade films.  Gillian Jacobs and Danny Pudi have new sitcoms.  Joel McHale’s never not busy.  Rob Schrab’s got a Lego Movie to deal with and the Russo’s are, sadly, off to make another one of those tedious Marvel movies…

And before I go, since you’re all here, it would be remiss of me not to throw a plug or two around.  If you’ve enjoyed reading these I irregularly blog about all sorts of things at this site here.  My production company, Trunkman Productions, make all sorts of comedy and science related stuff and you can go have a look at short films we made, or some clips from our sitcom series, and pilots or some of the stuff we’ve done with Eric Idle and so on.  And finally there’s The Incomplete Map of the Cosmic Genome which I co-created and is a huge online archive devoted to looking at the world with curious eyes.  It’s full of films we’ve made with scientists like Brian Cox, Alice Roberts and Chris Hadfield and comedians and performers like Stephen Fry, Chris Addison and Alan Moore.  Go have a look.  Shameless plugging over.  Oh, no, it’s not, I’m on Twitter at @TrunkmanUK if you want to get in touch for any reason.

And so then, finally finally, if you just want to scroll through the final list of my rankings, you can do that below. You can click on any episode title to take you to the approriate article for my mini review (or not so mini in the case of the top eps) for each one.

110. Intro to Knots (S4 E10)

109. Conventions of Space and Time (S4 E3)

108. Advanced Introduction to Finality (S4 E13)

107. Advanced Documentary Filmmaking (S4 E6)

106. Messianic Myths and Ancient Peoples (S2 E5)

105. Alternative History of the German Invasion (S4 E4)

104. Environmental Science (S1 E10)

103. Economics of Marine Biology (S4 E7)

102. The Art of Discourse (S1 E22)

101. Competitive Ecology (S3 E3)

100. Custody Law and Eastern European Diplomacy (S2 E18)

99. Course Listing Unavailable (S3 18)

98. History 101 (S4 E1)

97. Competitive Wine Tasting (S2 E20)

96. Grifting 101 (S6 E9)

95. The Politics of Human Sexuality (S1 E11)

94. Laws of Robotics and Party Rights (S6 E5)

93. Early 21st Century Romanticism (S2 E15)

92. Advanced Gay (S3 E6)

91. Cooperative Escapism in Familial Relations (S4 E5)

90. Basic Story (S5 E12)

89. Heroic Origins (S4 E12)

88. Advanced Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (S5 E10)

87. Investigative Journalism (S1 E13)

86. Home Economics (S1 E8)

85. Interpretative Dance (S1 E14)

84. Intro to Recycled Cinema (S6 E8)

83. Curriculum Unavailable (S3 E19)

82. Football, Feminism and You (S1 E6)

81. Contemporary Impressionists (S3 E12)

80. Introduction to Teaching (S5 E2)

79. Modern Espionage (S6 E11)

78. Basic Sandwich (S5 E13)

77. Celebrity Pharmacology (S2 E13)

76. App Development and Condiments (S5 E8)

75. Basic Email Security (S6 E6)

74. English as a Second Language (S1 E24)

73. Intro to Felt Surrogacy (S4 E9)

72. Paranormal Parentage (S4 E2)

71. Introduction to Finality (S3 E22)

70. Lawnmower Maintenance & Postnatal Care (S6 E2)

69. Urban Matrimony and the Sandwich Arts (S3 E11)

68. Basic RV Repair and Palmistry (S6 E10)

67. Romantic Expressionism (S1 E15)

66. Beginner Pottery (S1 E19)

65. Basic Rocket Science (S2 E4)

64. Digital Exploration of Interior Design (S3 E13)

63. Origins of Vampire Mythology (S3 E15)

62. Repilot (S5 E1)

61. Advanced Safety Features (S6 E7)

60. Herstory of Dance (S4 E8)

59. Social Psychology (S1 E4)

58. Asian Population Studies (S2 E12)

57. Advanced Criminal Law (S1 E5)

56. Basic Genealogy (S1 E18)

55. The Science of Illusion (S1 E20)

54. Anthropology (S2 E1)

53. Communication Studies (S1 E16)

52. Pascal’s Triangle Revisited (S1 E25)

51. Foosball and Nocturnal Vigilantism (S3 E9)

50. Applied Anthropology and Culinary Arts (S2 E22)

49. Intro to Political Science (S2 E17)

48. Documentary Filmmaking: Redux (S3 E8)

47. Biology 101 (S3 E1)

46. Physical Education (S1 E17)

45. Ladders (S6 E1)

44. Digital Estate Planning (S3 E20)

43. Studies in Modern Movement (S3 E7)

42. Analysis of Cork-Based Networking (S5 E6)

41. G.I. Jeff (S5 E11)

40. Aerodynamics of Gender (S2 E7)

39. Basic Human Anatomy (S4 E11)

38. The First Chang Dynasty (S3 E21)

37. Geothermal Escapism (S5 E5)

36. Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps (S3 E5)

35. Basic Crisis Room Decorum (S6 E3)

34. Geography of Global Conflict (S3 E2)

33. The Psychology of Letting Go (S2 E3)

32. Intermediate Documentary Filmmaking (S2 E16)

31. VCR Maintenance and Educational Publishing (S5 E9)

30. Contemporary American Poultry (S1 E 21)

29. Queer Studies and Advanced Waxing (S6 E4)

28. Basic Lupine Urology (S3 E17)

27. Introduction to Film (S1 E3)

26. Basic Intergluteal Numismatics (S5 E3)

25. Modern Warfare (S1 E23)

24. Bondage and Beta Male Sexuality (S5 E7)

23. Pilot (S1 E1)

22. Spanish 101 (S1 E2)

21. Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas

20. Critical Film Studies (S2 E19)

19. Mixology Certification (S2 E10)

18. Wedding Videography (S6 E12)

17. Debate 109 (S1 E9)

16. Epidemiology (S2 E6)

15. For a Few Paintballs More (S2 E24)

14. A Fistful of Paintballs (S2 E23)

13. Virtual Systems Analysis (S3 E16)

12. Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design (S2 E9)

11. Accounting for Lawyers (S2 E2)

10. Introduction to Statistics (S1 E7)

9. Comparative Religion (S1 E12)

8. Paradigms of Human Memory (S2 E21)

7. Cooperative Polygraphy (S5 E4)

6. Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (S2 E14)

5. Pillows and Blankets (S3 E14)

4. Regional Holiday Music (S3 E10)

3. Remedial Chaos Theory (S3 E4)

2. Cooperative Calligraphy (S2 E8)

1. Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television (S6 E13)

s6wrap

#andamovie

  1. I didn’t just read through these rankings, but re-watched 83 community episodes in the order they were ranked from 110 – 1; I found 19 episodes unremarkable to watch again, and 8 episodes too soon to watch since I remembered them so well (specifically a few season 6 episodes).

    Of course I don’t totally agree with your rankings, but funnily enough I found it a great order to view those episodes in. Watching all this episodes again came at a time when I am at a crossroads in my life, and it was comforting, especially finishing off this marathon with the finale! I started Community when I was in college, and feel in a way have evolved along with them. Incidentally, why are there so few good shows about college life?

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. #Six Seasons – Part IV | Trunk Talk - […] Jump to 110-101 * Jump to 100-91 * Jump to 90-81 * Jump to 80-71 * Jump to 70-61 * Jump to 60-51 * Jump to…

Leave a Reply to Nika Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *