Finally! Last Thursday we saw the return of Dan Harmon to his show Community. After a whole season without the show’s original creator, these two premier episodes saw a return to form. The comedy was quick, layered, and hilarious. It begins with Jeff, who apparently graduated last year, (I didn't actually watch past the first 3 episodes of season 4) and returned to his career as a lawyer. Sadly, he blew most of his money on cheap ads that featured him battling "the system,” and no longer has his “Winger moves” as his scummy lawyer friend points out. He is forced to return to Greendale in hopes of tricking people into suing it.
Seeing all the old characters together again felt right, with the exception of Pierce, but we all know what went down with all of that. What I really loved about the premier episode entitled "Repilot," was that it was just that, a repilot, a re-imagining of the show, which I thought was just classic Harmon. He found a way to side step last year’s season and reboots the characters and the series in general. We also get to see the very symbolic burning of the study table! It goes up in flames, and the Greendale six create a new one from scratch in a pretty touching montage.
As the episode progresses, Abed, in all of his self-referential glory, suggests that Jeff should become a teacher, and of course he does just that. After a while, he decides he does actually like being a teacher after he abandons his attempt to actually teach law in favor of a "scam school" of sorts. As usual, Community does guest stars right, and pairs Jeff with Johnathan Banks’ character, and he becomes something of a mentor to the ex-lawyer. I think Banks is a great fit to the series, and I hope he does become a series regular and fills in the shoes of Chevy. You might have it missed it, but he was sitting in Pierce's spot at the table after all.
All in all these two episodes were refreshing. Harmon’s back with his classic humor and sharp social commentary, and it seems like we may be shifting out of the darkest time line and into the light! I also want to comment on the comedic genius that was episode two's tag. Troy and Abed sneak into Jeff's office in disguises to surprise him, but Banks is there instead, and the scene turns into a hilarious dark comedy. If you’re on the fence about watching Community, I suggest you dive into it, and if you don't feel like starting from the beginning, this repilot is a great place to start! I'm giving the first two episodes a 9 out of 10, and I look forward to where Harmon takes this series. Six seasons & a movie!
Written by Isaiah Mueller