Sometimes we discover great television programs through the recommendations of our friends and family. My wife and I started watching The Big Bang Theory, for example, after being told by her parents that it was a great show for the last two years or so. We found out about the television show Community through an entirely different way, however — one of the actors in the show also is the host of a television show that makes fun of other television shows (The Soup, on the E Network) and said host (Joel McHale) reminded viewers of The Soup that his show was coming soon for many weeks before it began. We are glad that he did so.

The story of Community started with the character played by McHale, Jeff Winger, being forced to go to Community College when it is discovered that he cannot practice law due to not having a real Bachelor’s degree and has gone on swimmingly from then.

Community is on the surface a television show about a small group of students in a study group at a community college. On a deeper level, however, the show is a brilliant skewer of culture — popular culture and otherwise. There were two different episodes that dealt with campus wide paintball wars that were actually hilarious parodies of numerous movies, sometimes more than one at a time.

Community is an ensemble show in the most true sense of the word in that there is no one character from the study group that is more important than another. At the start of the show there were characters that got more screen time, as it were, than others but as time has gone on this has leveled as more episodes have aired that have deepened the understanding of these fantastic characters.

I will admit to having a preference to the characters of Troy and Abed, who seem like two diametrically opposite personalities (one is a former jock and the other possibly has Asperger’s and has obsessively memorized many popular movies and television shows) that mesh together quite well. They use the power of their collective imagination to create worlds and to be two of the biggest fans of the fictional show Doctor Spacetime, which is a brilliant parody of the very real British show Doctor Who.

Every week we can look forward to more exciting adventures with Jeff, Britta, Troy, Abed, Pierce, Annie, and Shirley. What will happen? You can see Community on NBC or online.

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