Community has become one of the icons of pop culture skewering in the modern age. Ask anyone online, not in person of course, about the phrase Six Seasons And A Movie and they can place it at the NBC sitcom’s feet, and the vocal fans that used it as an online mantra to see the show reach the goals jokingly mentioned in a season 2 clip show episode with regards to a one season show called The Cape that once aired on the network.
Such is the way that Community integrates itself in the nerdiest areas of the internet, and takes pot-shots at other elements in the zeitgeist, turning them into something entirely brilliant within the show and making one find it hard to watch any attempts at a trope or genre straight ever again. Such examples of Community at its best pop-culture and film/tv skewering are:
Season 1 Episode “Modern Warfare”
The well-loved and much discussed episode directed by Fast & Furious/Fast Five/Fast & Furious 6 director Justin Lin saw the Greendale Community College campus become a wasteland full of gangs and fraught with danger as a light paintball contest gets way out of hand whilst Jeff Winger (Joel McHale) took a nap in his car/home.
From the forming of difficult alliances with untrustworthy allies to the long, drawn-out death scenes, the episode takes into account everything you would see in a bland Hollywood action thriller and a post-apocalypse film, ala Mad Max. It takes the stakes down from life or death to priority registration for classes next semester, whoever wins has ultimate control over their own schedule. It’s not life and death: it’s far less important than that.
The joy of seeing characters who until this episode have been pretty normal, if often bi-polar, go full out crazy, especially Ken Jeong’s Señor Chang with a high-powered paintball gun and paint bombs at the ready, takes what you know and expect from an action film and makes it a goofy sitcom without missing a beat. High concept silliness that embraces everything it parodies, rather than calling it all out as terrible.