TV on Disc: 'Community: The Complete Third Season'
Celebrating the final season under the direction of creator Dan Harmon
"Community: The Complete Third Season" (Sony) may be remembered as the season that this fan-favorite sitcom really gelled as the most clever comedy on TV. It will surely be celebrated as the last season with its brilliant creator/producer Dan Harmon at the helm. Hard to know what's ahead for our little community college study group, but this season everything clicks.
What was once an ensemble piece centered around Joel McHale's Jeff has shifted to the brilliant rapport between best friends and roommates Troy and Abed (Donald Glover and Danny Pudi), two guys living in their own fantasy world of role-playing and pop-culture immersion, and their dynamic springboards the season's most famous story: the two-part "Pillows and Blankets," a college-wide pillow fight civil war directed as a Ken Burns documentary (complete with narration by Keith David). The show also lays waste to "Glee," "Doctor Who," the holodeck of "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "Law and Order" (complete with chung-chung), and so on.
But it's the chemistry and interaction that makes the show hum. It's not just that they all get a spotlight, it’s that they interact like a jazz ensemble, with comments flying and responses ricocheting through every study meeting like a mad bop tune.
The fringe members also get their time in the spotlight. Jim Rash's cross-dressing Dean Pelton, who graces most episodes with an impromptu fashion show, is promoted to the opening credits, and Ken Jeong's Senor Chang stages a coup with his band of adolescent blackshirts, while guest star John Goodman plays a devil of sorts competing for the hyper-cooled soul born air conditioning repairman Troy.
The concepts are clever, the characters are fun, the chemistry is magic, and the execution is always surprising. Funny is subjective, I know, and the freewheeling comedy may not be to all tastes, but I don't think you could point to a more consistently creative sitcom anywhere on TV.
22 episodes (counting the epic two-part "Pillows and Blankets" as one episode) on three discs, with commentary by various groupings of actors, writers, and other collaborators on each and every episode. There are also short featurettes on the Christmas episode and "Pillows vs. Blankets" (more fun than informative), deleted scenes, and outtakes.
and loads of extras on three discs. DVD only.
[This review dedicated to the memory of Star Burns and Annie's Boobs]