The return of Community opened with a Glee parody during which the ensemble cast sang about how this year things were going to be lighter and more normal. Say it ain't so Joe! Was one of the most interestingly radical sit-coms of recent years going to try to muscle its way into the mainstream. It could do. It has one of the strongest and broadest casts. There's not a single character that I don't like and even the bit parts (pop-pop) shine with unusual brilliance. And the one liners and physical comedy could survive a transition from an out there postmodern feast of in jokes and parody to a more straightforward character driven comedy. Now they even have star cameos from John Goodman to help push them into mass popularity. So are we going to lose strange in the service of audience? We needn't have worried. A quick 2001: a Space Odyssey dream sequence and the deranged falling apart of Jeff later and we're back on comfortably uncomfortable territory. The second episode was even stronger as Annie fought off an evil Annie. The jokes are as sharp as ever and it's almost unique in making you both laugh and feel cleverer by the end of it. Go Greendale and the Human Beings.
John Bleasdale is a writer. His work has appeared in The Guardian, The Independent, Il Manifesto, as well as CineVue.Com and theStudioExec.com. He has also written a number of plays, screenplays and novels.