One of my favorite new TV comedies is back for a second season…and I couldn’t be happier. It had an incredibly solid beginning, packed with creative storylines, a charismatic cast with fantastic chemistry, and of course, brilliant humor and writing. If anything, the first season was so strong that I was concerned about the follow-up. That’s not to knock the talents and skills of those involved in creating the show, simply a testament to their overall success in their freshman year. Most shows normally take a full year or so to find their footing. Community managed to more or less stick the landing from the get-go.
All of which brings us to season two. To use an overcooked comedy cliché, the sophomore year at Greendale Community College took everything that worked from season one and cranked it to 11. The character conflicts and relationships got funnier and more complicated. The episodes got more and more creative, somehow without getting gimmicky.
That balance isn’t an easy one to strike. This season features a bottle episode spoof, a zombie episode, a stop-motion animated episode, one involving Dungeons and Dragons, and a tribute to both Pulp Fiction and My Dinner With Andre (in the same episode!). Oh and one of the main characters gets pregnant and gives birth over the course of the season. They took everything and the kitchen sink and threw caution to the wind.
Speaking of throwing caution to the wind, they also had the balls to revisit one of best episodes of last year (the season finale paintball/action film spoof episode). They not only did another campus-wide paintball game, but they expanded it to a two-part season ender. Far from feeling rehashed or played-out (like most sequels), this year’s paintball game played tribute to both westerns and science fiction. It was a creative risk, but they pulled it off with flying colors.
As for this DVD set, it’s packed with deleted scenes, outtakes, behind-the-scenes featurettes and cast and crew commentary on every episode. The 24 episodes themselves are spread out across the four discs. It’s a solid release all around.
Thankfully Community got renewed for a third season, so the hilarious adventures of the Greendale study group will continue. Bone up on your collegiate studies and get into this show.