Another season of NBC’s hit comedy series Community has begun, and against all odds, the whole gang is back at Greendale.
Community, set at the fictional Greendale Community College, follows a group of unlikely acquaintances turned study group turned close-knit circle of friends through many ridiculous, pop-culture-fueled hijinks. Sadly, Dan Harmon, the show’s creator and chief creative influence, was removed from his leading role as producer and showrunner after season three, leading to a season four that, while still funny, felt a bit off. Luckily, Harmon was reinstated as executive producer after the end of the season. Realizing that he couldn’t undo the changes made in season four, Harmon decided to start season five with a “Repilot,” that paralleled the show’s first episode and allowed for a fresh start, relatively.
In “Repilot,” Jeff almost convinces his friends to sue Greendale for giving them an improper education (with the ulterior motive that the lawsuit would save his career.) At the last second he has a change of heart, realizing the valuable experiences and wonderful people Greendale has introduced him to, despite the college’s flaws. Pierce, the one main character not to physically appear, still makes an amusing holographic cameo appearance. The episode satisfactorily ends with Jeff returning to Greendale as a professor, and the rest of the group returning as students. The next two episodes aren’t as moving, but they’re just as well written and much funnier, hearkening back to the show’s humorous sitcom roots. “Introduction To Teaching” introduced Professor Buzz Hickey as a new member of the cast, while “Basic Intergluteal Numismatics” parodies thriller films like Se7en.
Season five might be Community’s last, despite Abed, who often breaks the fourth wall, revealing his hope for “six seasons and a movie,” throughout the series. Whether season five is the end or not, Community is one of the smartest, funniest, most sincere shows on television, and it’s a pleasure to watch it all unfold.
Community airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on NBC.