Six seasons and a movie are just the beginning!
‘Contemporary American Poultry’
“Community” had already been piling on the pop-culture references for most of its first season, but the extended “Goodfellas” parody/homage here showed just how far Dan Harmon and Co. could take a high-concept joke and make it work. A great bit of character work from Jeff and Abed — plus the introduction of Annie’s Boobs and the in-joke of “streets ahead” — only add to the fun. It’s one of the show’s earliest high-concept episodes and also one of the best.
— Rick Porter
‘Remedial Chaos Theory’
If I don’t stop myself, my list of favorite “Community” episodes very long very quickly. But the single best episode of the show, in terms of both quality and influence, is probably Season 3’s “Remedial Chaos Theory.” Seven timelines were explored in a single episode, each showing what would happen to the Study Group if just one person were removed at the wrong moment. From “Roxanne” to the creation of the Darkest Timeline, this is the ultimate “Community” episode.
— Laurel Brown
The thing I will miss most about “Community” is the themed episodes in general. The “Kill Bill” or Western-style paintball games, Dungeons & Dragons, the blanket fort documentary, the animation, the musical episode, the “CSI”/”Law & Order” and many more — “Community” is one of the two best shows for creatively-themed offerings, along with the also-ended show “Psych.” They will be greatly missed on the TV landscape because there really is no other comedy out there pulling off these kinds of feats.”
— Andrea Reiher
Though “Community” will mostly be remembered for it’s outlandish situations and ridiculous sense of humor, both of which will be sorely missed, it also had heart. Though it might not have shown it often, when you got a peek at the emotional side of Greendale it was something special.
“Environmental Science” in Season 1 is a perfect example of that. From Jeff trying to get Chang back together with his estranged wife, to Pierce helping Shirley become a better public speaker, the real lesson of the week was helping your fellow human beings. All of that, plus a special performance of “Somewhere Out There” by Troy and Abed as they tried to find their lost lab rat, and “Environmental Science” is easily one of “Community’s” best.
‘Critical Film Studies’
There was no secret that “Critical Film Studies” showered some love on the very popular film “Pulp Fiction,” but the fact that it was also huge homage to the much more obscure flick “My Dinner With Andre” forever cemented it — and Abed — as a personal favorite. Add that to the fact that this was the culmination of the amazing actual “Cougar Town” crossover, and it’s a perfect example of “Community” at its very, very best.
— Terri Schwartz
October 19 and other important holidays
For a show with often random scheduling, “Community” managed to pay tribute to a lot of holidays. Halloween (best represented by Season 2’s “Epidemiology”), Christmas (“Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas” and “Regional Holiday Music” are both classics) and more introduced some of the oddest ways television has ever celebrated a special day. And never forget that it’s always October 19 in our hearts.
— Laurel Brown