You know when sitcoms have that occasional mad episode when they go inside someone's mind, or everyone becomes a zombie or the have a giant paintball war?

Wait, every sitcom doesn't do that?

Well, even those that a brave enough to do always have them happen in a dream, or it all be fake. Well not Community, the sitcom that crazy and confident that all of these things are part of the main story. Even the zombies.

But, like the best things, it all starts somewhere dull.

Community follows the exploits of seven members of Greendale Community College, who have all ended there out of need, not choice.

They are Jeff (the disgraced lawyer who found out his degree wasn't valid), Britta (the political activist who's run out of ideas), Abed (the emotionally stunted pop culture encyclopedia), Troy (a high school quarterback who threw away a scholarship), Shirley (a mum of two who wants more out of life), Annie (the innocent brain box who ended up addicted to painkillers) and Pierce (the ageing heir to hand wipe empire).

While this might sound like a completely unbalanced and nutty group now, just you wait until you get to know and love every one of them. These guys and gals are anything but cookie-cutter, all brilliantly original and, for the most part, utterly endearing.

The colourful collection of characters doesn't stop there, with the dalmatian obsessed Dean Pelton and pathological Chang standing out.

Over three series of antics, we have experienced more than most show can delivery in ten. The sheer variety in episodes is incredible too. From the 'Greendale Seven' having to recover a lost space simulator against the clock, to a battle between rival model UNs and forays into the seedy world of competitive debating. While the first season occasionally trod the path of a regular sitcom, the second two were when the show really too flight, confident in it's a ability to always stick the landing.

The magic of the show though is that it knits together so well. A lesser show would have all the craziness feel lumpy and inconsistent, but Community always manages to string everything together and keep some form of balance.

It's mainly due to the fantastic chemistry between the cast and phenomenal scripts, which never feel short of a scathing comeback or hilarious comment.

Even the Christmas specials are something, well, special. One has been entirely clay-mation while the latest was a brilliant parody of Glee.

Never afraid of a parody, Community has quite happily heavily referenced everything from Apollo 13 to spaghetti westerns with a slice of The Godfather on the side. Community is the zenith of pop culture comedy, succeeding with flying colours where peers like Family Guy fall flat on their faces.

Where most show's say, 'That's enough of this bonkers stuff', Community just plows on ahead. Take the side character of Chang. He started like as the schools terrible Spanish teacher and has over the last couple of years evolved into the power-crazed security guard who took over Greendale and ran it like North Korea.

This absolute diamond of a comedy has just been given it's marching orders in America, with a shortened 'signing off' series 4 planned and even that's without creative spearhead and show runner Dan Harmon.

Community deserves so much more than the recognition and praise I've lavished upon it here, it deserves to be seen.

Cooped up on Sony TV now, after spending a year on Viva, Community has truly been hidden away, while lesser imports such as Erica thrive on E4.

You can get the first two series on DVD though, something which I condone to the same level as breathing and orange juice. And I really like orange juice.

FemaleFirst Cameron Smith

by for
find me on and follow me on