[The following contains spoilers for the first four episodes of Season 3 of Community.]

Every year, I eagerly anticipate any film or TV series that will engage me in the trials of its characters, and encourage me to consider how its using those trials to communicate something perceptive, challenging or entertaining about the world around us. Community, alongside FX’s Louie, is a rare example of a comedy show that succeeds at doing just that.

Every episode.

In under 22 minutes.

Arrested Development may have thrown down the gauntlet for most intricately layered TV sitcom, but Community has picked that gauntlet up and is running wild with it. I already feel comfortable proclaiming this week’s episode, “Remedial Chaos Theory”, to be the absolute best episode of Community thus far. Yes, better than the Goodfellas tribute “Contemporary American Poultry”. Yes, better than the zombie halloween episode “Epidemiology”. Yes, better even than the everyone’s favorite action parody, “Modern Warfare”.

High praise, no doubt. But what else is one to do when confronted with one of the best half hours of television in the history of the medium? Read More »

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Sad as I am to see summer go, there is something I’m really looking forward to about the coming months, and that is the advent of the television’s regular season. After a long summer away from my imaginary friends in Pawnee, Greendale, and Lima, I’m eager to check back in and see what the new premieres have to offer. Hit the jump to see:

  • The beginnings of a triple-Tammy drink-off in a preview for Parks & Recreation Season 4
  • Greendale Community College literally dancing for joy in the promo for Community Season 3
  • Those crazy New Directions kids up to their usual tricks again in a spot for Glee Season 3

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First thought upon hearing the plot for the just-announced comedy Save the Date: “another goddamn wedding movie?” First thought after seeing the cast: “I can’t believe I’m going to be excited to see another goddamn wedding movie!” The script focuses on two sisters and their approaches to life and marriage: “one who’s happy with the status quo and doesn’t see any reason to marry her musician boyfriend while the other’s obsessed with planning her upcoming wedding.” (Melancholia much?)

But the cast is already impressive: Alison Brie (Community, Mad Men) and Lizzy Caplan (Mean Girls, Party Down) play the sisters and Marin Starr (Adventureland, Party Down), Geoffrey Arend (Super Troopers) and Mark Weber (Scott Pilgrim) are the supporting cast we’ve got so far. And I don’t need any more than that — ticket sold. The script is by graphic novelist Jeffrey Brown, and Mike Mohan will direct the film in July in LA. [Variety]

After the break, the odd legal drama Live at the Foxes Den gets more names, as does, inevitably, American Reunion. Read More »

New Images: ‘Community’ Goes ‘Pulp Fiction’

After edging around the show for a long time I’ve finally come on board as a Community fan in a big way. The show’s two seasons have had very few whiffs (last week’s episode being a sad exception) and the cast of misfits stuck in community college (‘stuck’ in an increasingly willful fashion) has turned into a great comic ensemble.

Tonight’s episode sees the cast acting out a big Pulp Fiction riff, and while that sort of thing might be tedious from most shows, with Community it could well turn out to be both very funny and a way to further explore the bonds between the unlikely group. We’ve got a few photos from the show after the break, plus a video clip teasing the story. Read More »

Nicholas Stoller is preparing to direct his third film, Five-Year Engagement, which will be an unrelated follow-up to Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him to the Greek and mark his return to directing after a screenwriting detour for The Muppets (yay) and Gulliver’s Travels (yay, paycheck!). This film, a romantic dramedy of sorts, stars Jason Segel and Emily Blunt as a couple in, as the title suggest, a long run-up to marriage. Yesterday Alison Brie (Community, Mad Men, Scream 4) was cast as Emily Blunt’s sister.

Now Chris Pratt (Parks and Recreation) and Rhys Ifans (The Amazing Spider-Man) are boarding, too. Read More »

Briefly: Over the past year Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him to the Greek director Nicholas Stoller has been pondering his next directorial effort, saying that it was likely to be a relationship dramedy called Five-Year Engagement. Now he is really moving forward with that film. He’s got Emily Blunt and his frequent collaborator Jason Segel on hand to play a couple. And he has now added Alison Brie from Community and Mad Men to play the sister of Emily Blunt’s character. Read More »

First Look: Alison Brie in ‘Scream 4′

Wes Craven is currently doing additional photography on Scream 4, and has confirmed on Twitter that Community/Mad Men star Alison Brie will be making a cameo. He even tweeted the above image, stating “@AlisonBrie gets ready for her close-up.” It seems like Scream 4 will be challenging The Muppets movie for the movie most overloaded with cameos in 2011. Hit the jump to see the photo.
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Here’s some music to enjoy while reading this article. You know, for ambiance! (Note: This isn’t just a ploy to get you to listen to songs from the Community soundtrack. Honest.)

There’s a kind of demented brilliance to Community. It’s something I’ve been accepting of since early in the show’s incarnation, but it wasn’t until the series’ wonderfully inventive, borderline disturbing, ultimately heartwarming stop-motion Christmas special—entitled Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas—that I found myself capable of fully elucidating why that is. And I’m not just saying that because it delivered the ultimate burn on Lost.

(Haven’t yet had a chance to see the episode? Watch it on Hulu, or embedded after the break.) Read More »

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