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'Community' Gets Animated This Christmas

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Sep 20, 2010 | 7:00am EDT

CommunityLast season, NBC brought the funny back to Thursday nights (though, as far as that old timer, The Office, goes, the funny only came in the form of a mildly amused chuckle). 30 Rock continued to provide incessant giggle fits (albeit with a slightly obnoxious overdose of Jack Donaghy’s ever-present love triangle - blerg). Parks and Recreation brought the hilarious and charming Amy Poehler back into our lives and introduced us to the world’s sexiest lumberjack-turned-public-servant, Ron Swanson (bacon-wrapped swoon). However, the real game-changer last season was the addition of a little show called Community.

Now, CBS is gunning for the little show that could, pitting their mega-hit, The Big Bang Theory, up against Dan Harmon’s quirky creation. The beauty of CBS’s offensive move is that it’s forcing Community to bring out the big guns; first Betty White on the Sept. 23 season premiere and now they’re adding a stop-motion animation Christmas special. Harmon told New York Magazine, “I’d like to make a new classic,” and I have no doubt that it will be just that. Burl Ives and Rudolph may have to take a backseat this yuletide season, because there is no way this episode won’t be all kinds of awesome.

You don’t believe me, do you? Sure it’s a strange idea; it’s never been done before and it doesn’t seem to make sense for a sitcom, but that’s the beauty of Community. Nothing that happens on the show makes sense for a sitcom.

Let’s think about this. The show’s most popular episode, “Modern Warfare,” was an epic paintball showdown that turned Greendale Community College into a post-apocalyptic wasteland – and it was so hilarious that I had to lay down after watching it so I could catch my breath and let the oxygen return to my brain. Then there was the Goodfellas homage, trading cocaine for cafeteria-style chicken fingers, and the Valentine’s Day episode that turned the cast into an even stranger version of gang from the teen classic, The Breakfast Club. Of course, Danny Pudi’s Abed, a walking film encyclopedia and all-around loveable weirdo, keeps it all on track with his infinite movie knowledge.

In other words, have a little faith. All the elements really come together for this under-watched comedy. The cast is pretty much golden – especially Ken Jeong as the crooked Spanish professor, Señor Chang, and Donald Glover as the empty-headed former prom king, Troy. The crew was built for comedy, and if that’s not enough, just think about cute they’ll all look in cartoon-form on the Christmas episode.

I’m hoping America grows tired of The Big Bang Theory’s nerd-clan and turns to Thursday night’s true hero, because when it comes to turning classics into new television, Dan Harmon and friends knock it out of the community college every time.

Source: New York Magazine

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