It took me awhile to catch onto Dan Harmon’s smart, quirky, meta-comedy Community, but now that I have, I have done so in a big, big way. He’s taken a very generic situation comedy plot-line (a group of students from a wide variety of backgrounds, and ages/sexes/races start a study group to help get them through college) and made something genuinely unique. The show is not afraid to do something completely different, reaching for new heights in what can be done in a half-hour comedy even if that means they sometimes fail. There have been episodes done completely in claymation, and episodes filmed in the style of apocalyptic zombie movies, and one episode was a spot-on spoof of the classic ’80s movie Space Camp. Mostly this works in a most wonderful way, but even when it doesn’t its still fun to see them try. The characters are completely self-aware, constantly making references to their current episodic situation to other television shows and movies.
Initially I caught the show only periodically, whenever I was home at the right time, and managed to flip past it, or was I’d remember it while messing about on Hulu. Only recently have I gone back to the beginning and begun systematically making my way through the seasons chronologically. I’m actually in the middle of the third season right now but I can absolutely name the DVD my Pick of the Week.
There’s been a lot of scuttlebutt over the show recently with the leaving of show creator Dan Harmon and rumors about various cast members possibly leaving as well, so its anyone’s guess if the upcoming seasons will live up to the previous ones, but even if it bombs, we can still rejoice that such a great show managed to liven up our TV sets for a few years.
Also out this week that looks interesting:
The Hunger Games (2 Disk Blu-ray with Digital Copy): I’ve not read a word of the books nor seen a minute of the movie, and it all seems like a rip off of Battle Royale, but I’m still very intrigued by The Hunger Games. Not the least of which is that my usually very conservative aunt and her two young boys all love it. Extras include multiple features on the making of the film and its explosion into popular culture.
Jaws (Universals 100th Anniversary Blu-ray): Spielberg’s shark movie is a modern classic and one of my favorite films of all-time. New extras include a couple of new full-length features about the film and its impact on our culture and an all new HD transfer.
Les Vampires: While I have heard of this series before, I don’t really know anything about it. Amazon says it is a seven-hour silent French serial about a gang of jewel thieves in Paris. It’s being released by Kino so you know it is an important film and that it will look good.
La Promesse & Rosetta: Likewise I don’t really know anything about these films but they are this week’s Criterion releases and that’s always worth a mention.
Dexter: The Sixth Season: I liked the first season of Dexter but then never got around to tuning back in. I hear the quality has slipped considerably over the years, but eventually I’ll get back to it anyways.
Glee: The Complete Third Season: I never made it past the first season of this show. Some of the songs were fun but the over-the-top drama drove me crazy. Still, the kids seem to like it so here we are.