Top 5 NBC-Era ‘Community’ Episodes

Top 5 NBC-Era Community

Hey there! So in honor of the fact that Yahoo! is premiering the sixth season of Community on Yahoo! Screen in just under a month, I decided to hand out grades for each episode that I rewatched these last few months – and today release a Top 5 list of the episodes that were broadcasted on NBC in the U.S..

As a sidenote, I’d also like to add here in the beginning of the post that a fellow Community-fan is currently in the process of writing full written reviews of Community episodes over on his blog.

These short descriptions won’t be full written reviews – I’ll leave that for someone else – but they act as a brief explanation of why I love that specific episode and why I view it as a masterpiece.

#5 – Contemporary American Poultry – Season 1 – Episode 21

That’s Travis. You said you wanted someone in your entourage named Travis. ” – Abed Nadir

I think this might’ve been the first episode that managed to blend story and reference perfectly in an episode. Nadir’s narration is great, and the references are spectacular. At the heart of the show is the quirkiness of Abed, and he’s as imaginative as the rest of the fanbase.

I love Mafia-movies, I mean I LOVE these types of movies, and this genre-spoof is a masterpiece. The ensemble cast works well together in an episode that would prove to be only the beginning of the insanity that is Greendale Community College.

#4 – Advanced Dungeons and Dragons – Season 2 – Episode 14

I attack them using my… additional notes.” – Troy Barnes

I’ll preface this by saying that I am not a D&D-player, though I’d probably love it. At its core this episode is about bullying and suicide, but Community adds a number of layers to the discussion. Abed is almost perfect as the dungeon master, though not that great at coming up with names.

Though Pierce the Insensitive is… insensitive, I found his character to be rather interesting in this episode. He, himself, feels left out – bullied in some sense – and lashes out, becomes the villain of the game. SPOILER……: Jeff created the derogative ‘Fat Neill’ name, and his attempt at helping Neill says a lot about his character – his heart. And Jeff’s evolution at Greendale is one of the best things about this show.

#3 – Modern Warfare – Season 1 – Episode 23

Come with me if you don’t want paint on your clothes.” – Abed Nadir

Remember when this show was about a Community college? This list wouldn’t be complete without a shoutout to the Paintball-episodes. One of the dangerous things about this episode was that it almost immediately spawned sequels, and not all of them were amazing. Thankfully, however, this episode was absolutely amazing.

This episode managed to form a different kind of comedy on television. Incorporating a staggering amount of cultural references – so many that this episode almost couldn’t be on any other show – this episode is captivating, somewhat silly yet perfectly captures the racing-like feeling of students wanting to graduate more easily, and how amazing priority registration could be. And finally, thankfully, shows us how much of a family this group can be.

#2 – Digital Estate Planning – Season 3 – Episode 20

Okay, look. I know things seem hopeless because he’s all the way to the castle with the crystal and we’re starting over. But here’s the thing: We’re better at this game now. We’ve died and been reborn, and that makes us heroes!” – Jeff Winger

I think this might be a polarizing choice, but I am not sure. The basic premise maybe doesn’t sound that interesting to the generic viewer of television: Seven friends must play an SNES-style game against an employee of Pierce’s father to find out who gets Pierce’s inheritance. While I am pretty sure this episode would be a huge catastrophe if people weren’t watching people like PewDiePie on YouTube, the great thing about this episode is that the acting works inside of the video game.

You feel the characters when watching their avatars, you feel the characters when listening to the voice-acting. The twist at the end of the episode is excellent too. My favorite thing about this masterpiece is the fact that Abed feels so strongly about the importance of the video-game, how excited he is about it – and how he absolutely masters it. He lives it. As a gamer this episode spoke to me a lot, much more than I had imagined.

#1 – Remedial Chaos Theory – Season 3 – Episode 3

Just so you know, Jeff, you are now creating six different timelines.” – Abed Nadir

This probably didn’t shock any fan of Community. This is pretty much the most praised episode of them all. The story is simple. Seven friends are hanging out at an apartment, waiting for Pizza to arrive – all have their quirky mannerisms – and there’s a certain structure to how everyone acts. But the real charm is in the imagination this episode has. Fans of Community will without a doubt love Abed Nadir and his amazing imagination.

To me this episode is a masterpiece due to a number of things. Firstly, we get to see our Greendale friends interact in various social situations. Secondly, it feels like the writer had gathered the variety of fanfiction for Community – and jumbled it around in the episode. And finally, my interpretation of this episode is very specific. To me this episode is to and for the quote/unquote ‘Community Cult’. We’re a weird bunch, but we’re a family – and as this episode shows us all the six different timelines we are subjected to thoughts and imaginations of Abed. We are quirky, we are imaginative – and in this episode our wildest dreams and fears are highlighted and handed out to the world of television. An homage to the amazing imagination of TV’s loveliest Cult family.

But what do you think? Have you ever seen the show? Do you disagree with my ranking? Which episode is your favorite?

I’m Jeffrey Rex

2 thoughts on “Top 5 NBC-Era ‘Community’ Episodes

  1. I don’t know if it is possible for me to come up with a top 50 list for this show, to be honest, let alone a top 5! All of these episodes are fantastic, of course, but there are SO many options!

    Anyway, great job. Oh, and thanks for the shout out! I didn’t even notice the first time reading it!

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