TV review: Community

By
From the February 7, 2013 edition

Season 4 brings in David Guarascio and Moses Port (“Happy Endings”) to replace Harmon. In the two episodes I saw, Guarascio and Port do a decent job making “Community” feel like “Community” — much of the series’ signature style and humor remain — but it’s just not the same.

Thursday’s premiere is a good, but not great, episode of “Community.” A couple of meta jokes early in the episode are fun and some great laughs are had out of the Dean (Jim Rash) forcing students to partake in a “Hunger Games” competition. Nothing can keep Dean Pelton from being television’s funniest cross-dressing head of a learning institution! And like the best “Community” episodes, it’s smart.

It’s the fourth episode — the other one I was able to view — where I began to worry. The group goes to an “Inspector Spacetime” convention and it just doesn’t find the right balance of heart and humor. Some jokes fall flat and some emotional moments feel forced.

It’s hard to know if these two episodes are fully representative of what “Community” will be this (probably final) season. And thankfully Guarascio and Port have vowed to be faithful to the show fans had grown to know and love.

For me — a passionate “Community” fan — it felt like “Community” at 80-percent capacity; Harmon Lite if you will. I’ll still be watching and rooting for #sixseasonsandamovie, but it seems things ain’t like they used to be.

[provided photos in Photo Desk2]