You know those TV shows that your friends who hate TV, or at least hate mainstream TV, gush over? The Wire, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones? You tell yourself you are going to watch them but you don’t, because when it comes down to it and you have a choice between some shiny content-free bauble or something intense that won’t necessarily ease yourself to sleep, the bauble wins. It’s reasoning like this that goes through millions of minds and leads to Splash getting a second series on ITV whilst intricately produced bio-dramas get tucked away on BBC4.

But wait a second. If you take the time to invest in  risky choice for your night’s viewing you get a good pay-off. This is true of all the dramas listed above no doubt, and I’m sure I will take the time to watch one of them soon (probably GoT, as I like a bit of fantasy in my life now and then). It is just as true of comedies. 30 Rock and Arrested development have been become my barometers of how to judge people- if you watched and enjoyed them then we will get along fine. If you disliked them, and instead insist on telling me that Mrs. Brown’s Boys is funny, then you may end up wearing whatever I’m drinking at the time.

Community has joined that same cache of shows. For those unaware, and the blank looks many people produce when I talk about it, it is set around a community college and a disparate group of adult learners. Comedies like this can easily descend in to ‘everyone is basically sweet but has little quirks that create friction’. But like 30 Rock, the closest programme I can find to compare Community to, the comedy rises above that. The characters are beautifully layered. Jeff, Pierce and Britta are confident on the outside, with Jeff in particular brash, but they all fear failure. Abed may be socially stunted, but he is more attuned to what is going on around him then people give him credit for.

Of course none of this matters if the show is not funny. But it is. Gloriously so. The jokes are subtle, numerous and brilliant. The absurd and the satirical sit by each other in comfort. I cackled for days after watching the episode where Britta faces a disciplinary panel that takes place by the college swimming pool. The fact that excellent plots are weaved into this as well is the cherry on top. Watching Community makes you wonder why so many joke-free, plot-light comedies that revolve around just one half-decent line of dialogue thrive (I’m looking at you, Mrs. Brown’s Boys).

One confession to end this post on. I’ve only watched five episodes of it. Before you judge me, go and watch one. And then tell me it’s not love at first watch. I dare you.

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