The epitome of the quirky American sit-com, Community, has always been a source of feel-good comedy; focusing on the trials and tribulations of a group of misfits at Greendale Community College. Exploring seven friends of all age groups, ethnicities, religions and backgrounds; the underlying message in every episode is that the best friendships can be found in the unlikeliest of places.
Featuring the arrogant, egotistical, yet begrudgingly caring leader Jeff (Joel McHale), hot-but-nerdy Annie (Alison Brie), activist Britta (Gillian Jacobs), oddball Abed (Danny Pudi), adorably naive ‘jock’ Troy (Childish Gambino – Glover), old-timer Pierce (Chevy Chase) and devout Christian mother Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown) – the unusual bunch often find themselves in the most outlandish of situations. Whether it be the annual school paintball fights that leave the college in warzone status, taking on the any and every drama from noir-crime to western, or even dropping the characters inside video games – Community has reached the next level of meta comedy and pop-culture nonsense and created a whole new space for itself in these fields.
So when better than to distill this sense of strange wonder, fun and friendship than at Christmas time? Over the years, the show has provided some of the best seasonal entertainment a series can offer; and the Christmas specials are no different. With four holiday specials – there is something for everyone; from stop-motion exploration of the mind ‘Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas’ to the getting in the musical spirit (and the love-hate affair that was… okay, still is Glee) with ‘Regional Holiday Music’. The festive tradition of coursework and exam stress that we are all too familiar with in ‘Intro to Knots’ and the touching inclusion of all religions and beliefs of the holiday period in ‘Comparative religion’ – Community has refined over the years what December means to everyone and anyone; something quite special to find in a series. The best in my opinion would have to be ‘Regional Holiday Music’ – just because it captures that insane, exaggerated excitement of Christmas that we all get caught up in in a imaginative, funny way; and also because Christmas wrapping will have a whole new meaning when you come away from this episode.
Community‘s 30 minute episode length means you might as well watch all four (as they definitely are worth it, and some of the most golden moments of the series come from these specials). Get into the spirit, after all; there’s only 11 sleeps left until Christmas!