Dan Harmon’s Community returned to NBC last night for its fifth season (fifth season!) (with Dan Harmon back!) (it is honestly insane how this has all played out, save for a few bumps, exactly to the Internet’s favor) (NO MORE COMPLAINING) with two back-to-back episodes, and although it was a continuation of the series, it felt — intentionally — much more like a reunion, or a reboot with the original cast. (Or, a “Repilot,” as the first episode was titled.) The gang’s all back, sort of! I have to admit that, without trying to immediately pass too much judgment — just lying, I’m only human, I pass judgment nonstop, but — I was basically immediately exhausted to see, even though I knew that they would be, that the group has reenrolled in school. It felt so much more like a years-later reunion than a continuation that it felt like it truly was setting up something different, rather than merely acknowledging that they were not particularly setting up anything different. Jeff’s a teacher now. I guess that’s something? In any case, it did feel like a return to the Community that existed previous to the fourth season. The jokes, inside jokes (“After all Scrubs did for him?!”), and references had meaning behind them. It was nice to see that again. Jonathan Banks was there, and he is the best. I felt myself growing distant from Community before the end of Dan Harmon’s reign, so I’m not sure his reboot will reattach me, in particular, but how about you? Are you back? Like nothing ever changed? Are you having a recommitment ceremony? HMMM? GIFs? What? Did you hate it? Tell me!!!!

Comments (15)
  1. I forgot to DVR it and I had to choose between rushing to get home in time to watch it and stopping at the liquor store and buying two bottles of wine, and not to be an Abed about it but:

  2. I hope Troy leaves with Mr. Turner and Mingus.

  3. “You know about my Clive Owen Tumblr???”–best line of the night. Also highly applicable to certain people, it’s impossible to say who, that have certain tumblrs/pinterest pages.

  4. This show is a pathology. I’ve hated it since day one. I’ve seen every episode, and I’ve hated them all. But, like, THE REFERENCES, right?

    • These two episodes weren’t terrible, but made me wish Dan Harmon was given a 4-6 episode arc/coda to just say goodbye and put it to rest and move the hell on. The premise is dead but a goodbye that was done in the actual way that made this show once clever would be nice (albeit unnecessary). If the Internet would calm the fuck down about it, it would all be a lot nicer… though that is a sentence that works on and about quite literally every topic.
      This being said, as much as I was annoyed that my DVR recorded it, I think I actually chuckled twice in that hour… which is more than I can say for any TV show currently marketed as a 30-minute comedy. I don’t see the point in even making shows and episodes that aren’t just more episodes of Sleepy Hollow and/or Elementary as those really are the funniest shows on TV.

  5. Kate  |   Posted on Jan 3rd +8

    I think this would have been better left dead. It was fun back in the day, but this is trying too hard. In the show’s defense, I never laughed so hard at any sitcom than I did at their first paintball episode.

  6. I loved this pair of episodes, and in the pre-season 4 era, i would’ve really liked both of them. I’ll admit any pure adoration hinged on my happiness about the pervasive feel of Harmon’s influence. But there were still some great metatextual references and good old fashioned mockery at the expense of sometimes laughable characters. Jonathan Banks is a fine addition to the new cast, they cut back on the Chang in a big way, and Chase’s cameo was a nice coda to what he added to the show.

    Also: Troy and Abed. I’m going to miss that Glover kid.

  7. I missed them last night because I wound up going on a wild goose chase trying to find Pacific Rim</i. on DVD at any of the big-box stores and having to go to four different places to get it because apparently during Christmas or inventory season all of them got gone because of how that movie RULES, but so between our travels and adventure and really just not caring all that much, we missed them. I guess I’ll watch them tonight.

    I’m not entirely sure how I feel about new Community (I would have been perfectly happy if it had just gone away and not come back, in the grand scheme of things) but I’m definitely willing to give it a shot. I’m glad to hear the jokes are back. Jokes are really important for sitcoms, I’ve found.

    • Cool italics, can’t wait to see Pacific Rim</i. on DVD at any of the big-box stores and having to go to four different places to get it because apparently during Christmas or inventory season all of them got gone because of how that movie RULES when it comes to theaters.

  8. I liked it and I don’t care what any of youse palookas say! /end 1930′s guy rant

    Seriously, though, it was nice to have it back.

  9. Only one .gif from last night matters:

  10. I love how everyone just said last year was a “gas leak year,” like everything was just crazy bonkers. Because, yeah, it was.

  11. I very much enjoyed the hell out of these two episodes. I especially enjoyed catching up with the characters as they caught up with each other (ex: the reveal that Abed directed Jeff’s commercial), and I especially enjoyed the revelations as well (“You STAGED a robot fight?!”). I felt the first episode re-established the show nicely, and the second episode hit the ground running to carry season 5′s thesis over the finish line, with every character feeling reinvigorated, and ready to chase their dreams all over again.

    I was not sure if Banks was going to straight up take Pierce’s seat or just be a tertiary teacher, but I was surprised and more than happy to see him sitting at the study table (I also really appreciated the Pierce hologram and what it sparked in Jeff).

    I seem to recall back before season 3 (i THINK, not sure) that Harmon spoke to the concept of taking these characters out into the world now that they are friends. As these episodes showed, the gang got distant once school ended (fact of life, really). So I am happy they are all back at Greendale for the time being, and I’m sure Harmon has a lot to cram into these 13 episodes, and as long as great people like Jonathan Banks, Kevin Corrigan, and John Oliver are teachers at Greendale, I don’t mind spending time there (I didn’t anyway, but these guys just make things better).

    Also– Man, I’m going to miss a Harmon-penned Troy. Every line he delivered last night was so great (‘Et tu, Brute?! Am I using that right?’).

  12. As someone who isn’t a huge fan of community but likes to check in every once in a while I really enjoyed these episodes. While there were some meta moments it seemed pretty content on just being a fun/enjoyable show to watch that you don’t need to follow inspector spacetime fanfiction to really enjoy.

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