Community—Season 1

8.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Modern Warfare, Contemporary American Poultry, smart writing, great characters

Slow start, some generic Friends moments

 
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Even if we fail, we’ll succeed

Jeff Winger (Joel McHale) is going back to school…not because he wants to but because his law has been deemed ineligible in America.  When he sees a fellow student in his Spanish class named Britta Perry (Gillian Jacobs), he decides to form a study group to seduce her.  Unfortunately for Jeff, Abed Nadir (Danny Pudi) has invited Shirley Bennett (Yvette Nicole Brown), Annie Edison (Alison Brie), Troy Barnes (Donald Glover), and Pierce Hawthorne (Chevy Chase) to join in the fake study group.  Despite the lie, the group sticks and now they are out to survive their first year as students at Greendale Community College.

Community premiered on September 17, 2009 and had a very slow start.  It started building a cult following in the first season and was a critic favorite.  Despite the positive press, the show still struggled to find an audience.

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Kick-Puncher!!!

I have to admit, I didn’t like Community the first time I saw it. The plots surrounding Jeff and Britta were very generic and Friends like.  Watching it again, it does take a while for the show to get going.  It does show some potential in the second episode with the presentation and the use of Aimee Mann’s “Save Me” (obviously mocking Magnolia), but it still took a while to really find its groove.  I think the show really clicked with the “Environmental Science” episode where it just went completely insane and had the great ending that brought it all back together.  Another great episode was the “Contemporary American Poultry” episode that used Goodfellas as its basis.

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Stand off!

The season has possibly one of the best episodes this season with the Modern Warfare episode.  Not only is it a great episode for the season, but it is a great episode in general.  It taps into so many different movies and styles and comes out as a great episode that really sealed the deal on making this a great series.If you tried to watch Community and found it to generic in the beginning, give it a second chance.  The show has a lot of potential, a great cast (with no weak links), and smartly written plots.  Hopefully it will stick around (plus the Greendale Human is totally creepy).

Community—Complete Season 1 Episode Guide:

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“Pilot”

1.1              Pilot Airdate:  09/17/09

Jeff Winger (Joel McHale) is forced to return to college after losing his license and finds himself at Greendale Community College.  When he tries to get with Britta Perry (Gillian Jacobs), Jeff forms a Spanish study group to get close to her.  When Abed Nadir (Danny Pudi) invites Shirley Bennett (Yvette Nicole Brown), Annie Edison (Alison Brie), Troy Barnes (Donald Glover), and Pierce Hawthorne (Chevy Chase), Jeff realizes seducing Britta might be harder than he though.

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“Spanish 101”

1.2              Spanish 101 Airdate:  09/24/09

Jeff is assigned to Pierce for a Spanish project by Senor Chang (Ken Jeong).  Britta brings the cause of Guatemala to Greendale Community but finds that no one understands what is going on there.

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“Introduction to Film”

1.3              Introduction to Film Airdate:  10/01/09

Jeff decides to go for an easy A and convinces the study group of go with him.  Britta decides to help Abed to take a film class and finds her in conflict with Abed’s father.  Jeff learns Professor Witman (John Michael Higgins) intends to fail him if he can’t “seize the day”.  Troy deals with the fact he has a girly sneeze and goes to Pierce for help.

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“Social Psychology”

1.4              Social Psychology Airdate:  10/08/09

Annie invites Troy and Abed to an experiment on waiting by Professor Ian Duncan (John Oliver) and Duncan finds himself in a standoff with Abed.  Jeff tries to adjust to Britta’s new boyfriend Vaughn (Eric Christian Olsen) and walking to class with Shirley.  When Britta catches the study group making fun of her boyfriend, Jeff and Britt might find their attempt at friendship jeopardized.

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“Advanced Criminal Law”

1.5              Advanced Criminal Law Airdate:  10/15/09

Britta confesses to cheating on Senor Chang’s test, and Jeff agrees to defend her to the university tribunal.  Annie hires Pierce to write a school song for Greendale Community College but finds he has writer’s block.  Troy tries to teach Abed about lying and tells Abed that no one can get him.

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“Football, Feminism and You”

1.6              Football, Feminism and You Airdate:  10/22/09

Jeff finds himself forced with trying to get Troy to join the football team in exchange to get his face off Greendale posters.  Britta realizes that she isn’t a good bathroom buddy for any girl and that she is alone.  Annie realizes her feelings for Troy and wonders how to get him to stay out of football.  Pierce and Dean Pelton (Jim Rash) work to develop their non-offensive mascot, the Greendale Human.

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“Introduction to Statistics”

1.7              Introduction to Statistics Airdate:  10/29/09

Annie throws a party for Day of the Dead and forces the study group to come.  Jeff tries to seduce Professor Slater (Laurel Stamile) and skips out on Annie’s party for the faculty party.  The study group decides they have to get Jeff back and crash the faculty party.

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“Home Economics”

1.8              Home Economics Airdate:  11/05/09

Jeff loses his condo and is forced to room with Abed.  Pierce tries to talk to Britta’s ex Vaughn but joins his band…which hit song is about how much he hates Britta.  Annie finds Troy wants to date someone else and tries to keep him from the date.

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“Debate 109”

1.9              Debate 109 Airdate:  11/12/09

Britta tries to quit smoking and allows Pierce to try to hypnotize her.  Jeff is convinced to join the debate team and finds him at odds with the rival team leader.  The study group sees Abed’s movies and learns that Abed seems to be able to predict the future.

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“Environmental Science”

1.10          Environmental Science Airdate:  11/19/09

Greendale decides to go green but plans to bring Green Day to the campus backfire.  Chang goes crazy when his wife leaves him, and Jeff is encouraged to talk to Chang about the essay.  Troy fights fear about rats and accidentally releases the rat that he and Abed are working with.  Shirley is forced to give a speech and turns Pierce for help.  Chang gets Jeff out of his essay, and Jeff has to hide his friendship with Chang from the group.

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“The Politics of Human Sexuality”

1.11          The Politics of Human Sexuality Airdate:  12/03/09

Annie helps lead a STD fair and Pierce tries to invite Jeff on a double-date and Jeff is challenged to find a date.  Annie learns that she’s supposed to give a condom demonstration, but she’s worried she can’t do it.  Troy competes with Abed and tries to prove he is a better athlete.

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“Comparative Religion”

1.12          Comparative Religion Airdate:  12/10/09

Christmas comes to Greendale and Shirley finds herself forcing the spirit on the group.  Abed almost gets in a fight, and Jeff protects him.  Jeff finds the bully has targeted him and is forced to fight against Shirley’s wishes.

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“Investigative Journalism”

1.13          Investigative Journalism Airdate:  01/14/10

Semester 2 starts now and the study group is back but they have a new study friend named Buddy (Jack Black).  Jeff decides to change his direction and is assigned to edit the school paper.  When the group decides to kick Buddy out of the group, Jeff wonders if he’s just pretending to have changed.  Also has a guest appearance by Owen Wilson.

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“Interpretive Dance”

1.14          Interpretive Dance Airdate:  01/21/10

Troy and Britta have a secret…they are secretly taking dance class and debate telling the group.  Jeff dating Professor Slater and tells the group that they have to keep it secret.  Will both secret come out and could it destroy them?

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“Romantic Expressionism”

1.15          Romantic Expressionism Airdate:  02/04/10

Annie starts seeing Vaughn, and Jeff warns Britta that they have to stop it.  Abed and Troy invite Pierce to their room for bad-movie night (featuring Kick-Puncher) but Pierce finds he can insult the movie fast enough.

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“Communication Studies”

1.16          Communication Studies Airdate:  02/11/10

Valentine’s Day comes to Greendale, and Jeff prepares to have a date with Professor Slater.  Britta drunk dials Jeff, and Abed warns Jeff that shifting the balance has thrown off the relationship.  Shirley and Annie try to avenge Troy and Pierce when Chang mocks them but their attempt backfires.  Jeff drunk dials Professor Slater and Britta and learns he could lose one of them.

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“Physical Education”

1.17          Physical Education Airdate:  03/04/10

The group learns someone has a crush on Abed and decides to teach him how to be cool.  Jeff takes a billiard course but learns he has to wear shorts for the class.

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“Basic Geneology”

1.18          Basic Genealogy Airdate:  03/11/10

It is family day at the Greendale and Jeff learns that Professor Slater is dumping him.  When Pierce shows up with his ex-stepdaughter, Jeff is told that he can’t get with her.  Britta tries to befriend Troy’s mean grandmother.  Shirley’s kids give Abed’s cousin a chance to get away from Abed’s father.

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“Beginner Pottery”

1.19          Beginner Pottery Airdate:  03/18/10

Jeff, Abed, and Annie take pottery with Professor Holly (Tony Hale) and Jeff finds he has a rival in the class.  Pierce, Troy, Britta, and Shirley take a sailing class with Admiral Slaughter (Lee Majors) and Shirley is made captain over Pierce.

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“The Science of Illusion”

1.20          The Science of Illusion Airdate:  03/25/10

April Fool’s Day comes to Greendale and Britta’s plan for a joke gets April Fool’s Day cancelled.  Britta frames Jeff for the prank and it is up to Britta and Shirley to solve the crime.  Pierce’s cult tells him that he is advances and Pierce is tricked into thinking a wizard’s costume is part of his advancement.

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“Contemporary American Poultry”

1.21          Contemporary American Poultry Airdate:  04/22/10

The popularity of the cafeteria’s chicken fingers gets the study group to get Abed in as the source of chicken fingers.  As the popularity of the chicken fingers rises, Jeff’s control of the group is threatened by Abed’s power, and Jeff realizes Abed must be stopped before he gets out of control.

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“The Art of Discourse”

1.22          The Art of Discourse Airdate:  04/29/10

Jeff and Britta are made fun of by teenagers and think their life is a joke.  Abed admits he has a list of things he wanted to do as a freshman based on movies and the group helps him.  When Pierce plays a joke on Shirley, he gets himself kicked out of the group.

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“Modern Warfare”

1.23          Modern Warfare Airdate:  05/06/10

The arguing between Britta and Pierce becomes too great, and Jeff leaves to sleep in his car.  When he wakes up, the school is in chaos.  A paintball tournament has broken out all over the campus…the prize is priority registration.  Now everyone is the enemy, and only one can survive.

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“English As a Second Language”

1.24          English As a Second Language Airdate:  05/13/10

Annie learns that the group doesn’t intend to continue with Spanish and that the group could break up.  Chang admits to Jeff that he doesn’t have a degree in Spanish and Annie gets him fired to try to force everyone to repeat the class.  Jeff blames Chang for his firing and the class learns the new teacher might expect them know Spanish.  Troy demonstrates plumbing abilities and gets an offer he might not be able to refuse.

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“Pascal’s Triangle Revisited”

1.25          Pascal’s Triangle Revisited Airdate:  05/20/10

The school year is over, and Britta has been nominated for the Trannie-Queen of the transfer dance.  Vaughn gets a position on a hackysack team in Delaware and Annie plans to follow him.  Chang finds himself a student and is harassed by Duncan.  Professor Slater tells Jeff that she wants to reconsider their relationship, and Britta reveals to Shirley that she slept with Jeff.  Troy finds himself needing a place to stay and is angry that Abed won’t help him.

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Related Links:

Community—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Community—Season 3 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Community—Season 4 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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