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April 17, 2014

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Joel McHale and Ken Jeong on 'Community' College Life

by Jenny Hollowell, posted Nov 18th 2009 5:30PM
Joel McHale in 'Community'Joel McHale and Ken Jeong are having a very good year.

Earlier this fall, McHale -- who was until now perhaps best known as the host of 'The Soup' -- appeared as an FBI agent in Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh's 'The Informant!'. Now, as disgraced lawyer Jeff Winger on NBC's critically-acclaimed new comedy 'Community,' he has the central role in that all-too-rare commodity: a truly "smart" network sitcom.

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Review: Community - Debate 109

by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 13th 2009 2:01AM
John Michael Higgins(S01E9) Do you think the fact that this was the ninth episode of the first season had anything to do with that number in the episode title? I'm sure there could be a Debate 109 class in college, but I don't believe in coincidences that big. I do, however, believe that I really enjoyed this outing. It was nice to see Jeff buckling down and doing some work.

It's odd that he wouldn't have done that in the legal profession. Or maybe he was just used to his Legal Assistant doing all the research for him and just hitting him up with the highlights. Either way, I can't believe that he thought singing in a debate would work. Come on, Jeff.

The rest of the episode featured the return of Abed's student films. Only this time, there's something a little eerie about them, and it's freaking everybody out. And it's not just that he found people in the school who look incredibly similar to every member of the study group.

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Review: Community - Home Economics

by Jason Hughes, posted Nov 6th 2009 1:28AM
Danny Pudi(S01E08) Well, that ending was disappointing, wasn't it? Spoiler alert: the gag over the closing credits did not feature Abed and Troy. What were they thinking? Those were some of the funniest moments of the first seven episodes!

It was about time we saw the financial repercussions of Jeff having lost his license to practice law. There's a lifestyle that comes with being a big-shot lawyer, and it's not at all the same lifestyle of your typical college student. That's Abed's life, and we got to see that, as well.

Meanwhile, Annie tries and tries and tries to muster up the courage to talk to Troy about her feelings. The problem is, I think she's expecting him to put two and two together as long as she drops enough hints. But it doesn't look like math is one of Troy's strong suits. Or thinking, for that matter.

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Review: Community - Introduction to Statistics

by Jason Hughes, posted Oct 30th 2009 12:41PM
Community: Introduction to Statistics(S01E07) My wife bought me one of those giant weekly pill containers as a joke once. She even took my allergy medication and dispersed them across the different daily containers. Looking at it, though, made me think about that day in the future when I just might need to be taking a bin full of medication on a daily basis.

Granted this revelation that Pierce carries one of these around with him shouldn't come as a real surprise. His age is a huge part of his character. That, and the pills were a major part of getting us where we needed to go in this episode for Pierce's arc. And Jeff's for that matter, but then again Jeff is at the center of everything, isn't he?

Speaking of which, is he really all that charming and good-looking? Maybe I don't see it because I'm a straight man. So tell me, if you're not, would Jeff's best moves and lines work for you the way they were working on the teacher this week, or are you more resistant to his affectations, like Britta?

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Review: Community - Football, Feminism and You

by Jason Hughes, posted Oct 23rd 2009 1:29AM
Donald Glover(S01E06) See, now that wasn't so hard, was it, Community? I knew you could give me another good episode. And finally a sympathetic side to Britta. So far she's been the annoying, self-righteous blonde that Jeff wants to sleep with for some reason. But that's about all we've seen of her personality. In fact, I couldn't even see why Jeff wanted to get into her pants.

This week, we got to get behind Britta's walls a bit and see her even take her first tentative steps outside of them. Shirley, as the social queen of the show, was right there to help her along the way. And Annie was right there, too, to give Britta the chance to be a shoulder for someone to cry one.

Which brings us to what Jeff's up to this week. I guess it's going to take a really damned long time for Jeff to "grow." Every time he seems to have a moment of self-awareness about his douchebaggery, he turns around the next week and is just as big an ass.

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Community: Advanced Criminal Law

by Jason Hughes, posted Oct 16th 2009 1:19AM
Ken Jeong (Community)(S01E05) Hmmm, I'm not even sure what it was. I still really like Community, and there were some moments that I recognized as humorous throughout this episode. And yet, I found myself kind of bored with most of it. Maybe it's me.

There was certainly plenty going on, with Señor Chang on the warpath because someone cheated on their Spanish test, Abed learning the highly cultured art of "messing with" someone, and Annie recruiting Pierce to write the new school song. You have the Dean running around still pretending the community college is Harvard or Brown, while Jeff's friend, Professor Duncan, began his quest to beat Jeff into Britta's pants.

I will state, officially for the record, that I am about as done with Britta constantly accusing Jeff of only wanting to get together with her. We're five episodes in and it's getting tired. Either he is or he isn't, but I don't need to hear about it in every scene they have together.

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Community: Social Psychology

by Jason Hughes, posted Oct 9th 2009 4:40AM
Community: Social Psychology(S01E04) All hail Ken Jeong, returning to the cast this week. Now we see how he can be a part of storylines even when the students aren't in his class. Despite being in very few scenes so far, I can already tell that his Senor Chang is going to be one of the funniest characters on the show.

Couple him with last week's Professor Whitman (John Michael Higgins), and it becomes clear that the teachers at this community college are going to be the ones who are completely off-the-wall insane.

Our motley crew is more eccentric. We got an opportunity to get a little further into Shirley's unique personality, as she and Jeff discovered something they could bond over and talk about. In fact, it turns out this thing is about the only thing they can talk about, and it's something we can all relate to.

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Community: Introduction to Film

by Jason Hughes, posted Oct 2nd 2009 12:55AM
John Michael Higgins(S01E03) Hey Glee fans, Principal Figgins (Iqbal Theba) is Abed's father! Not the character, but the actor. We can always pretend, though. When those kids graduate McKinley High, they can come here. And Theba's not the only fun guest star we got this week. Fresh from a failed stint on Kath & Kim, John Michael Higgins appeared as the most free-spirited economics professor you could ever meet.

Throw out your books, your shoes and stand on your desk. Carpe diem! Wow, easy "A," right? That's what Jeff thought. He tried to look like he was seizing the day to earn the grade, but to truly do it requires a combination of relaxation and impulsiveness. Jeff's not capable of doing anything without planning and an ulterior motive, generally self-serving. Still it was fun watching his carefully orchestrated attempts to appear spontaneous.

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Community: Spanish 101

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 25th 2009 5:00AM
Chevy Chase(S01E02) It looks like self-awareness has come to the study group of Community, or at least to one member of it. Also coming to Community is Ken Jeong, finally. Jeong is hilarious in ... well everything he's in, and here is no exception. We were introduced to him in a lovely scene where he berates and screams at his Spanish class for no reason at all.

Now that we're past the introductions, it's time to start getting a feel for what this show is going to be like. I'm guessing that they're still trying to figure out everybody's personality, and it's going to take time to get it right. Not to mention that it will probably take a few episodes to give everyone a chance to expose their inner selves.

I guess I was a little surprised at how quickly Shirley and Annie not only connected with one another, but went on a well-intentioned but incredibly tacky protest crusade. They did confirm that the show will be more Scrubs-zany than realistic. I can hang with the more screwball humor.

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Community: Pilot (series premiere)

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 18th 2009 12:39AM
Community
(S01E01)
In a rather touching tribute to John Hughes, tonight's premiere of Community honored the director in the best way possible. By creating a great ensemble of individuals coming together to form a ... yes, that's the meaning of the title ... community.

I expected to like this show. Hell, the promos and early reviews made it a foregone conclusion. What I wasn't sure of was whether I'd like it because it had funny lines and jokes, or whether I'd like it because I cared about the people in it. It looks like the answer to that is going to be both.

The study group that Jeff accidentally pulls together to try and get into Britta's pants -- because why else would you form one -- is made up of just the kind of eclectic personalities you need to make a comedy like this work. Like Cheers, these are people from all different walks of life coming together.

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Community's Dan Harmon was told by NBC that critics are "bitter"

by Joel Keller, posted Sep 17th 2009 2:04PM
Dan Harmon, Creator / Executive Producer of CommunityAt the same NBC TCA party where I spoke to Joel McHale, I also ran into Community creator Dan Harmon. Suffice to say, he's a chatty fellow. I started off by asking him how a first-time show runner like him prepares to be in front of a ballroom full of reporters, as he had been earlier in the day. His answer was pretty interesting: they get briefed and told we're a bitter lot.

Harmon's claim to fame before Community was that he helped create The Sarah Silverman Program for Comedy Central, and he was one of the few people who thinks that the network creative process has been as smooth, if not smoother, than the process for basic cable.

He also got extremely effusive about having Chevy Chase on his show; I was going to edit his epic response to my question about Chevy, but it's so loopy that I figured I'd just let it stand as is. Interview after the jump.

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Joel McHale talks about The IT Crowd and the reality TV fat trend

by Joel Keller, posted Sep 17th 2009 11:03AM
Joel McHale of CommunityWith the much-anticipated premiere of Community finally bowing tonight, I figured it was a good time to pull out the interview I did with Joel McHale when I encountered him at the NBC party during the TCA press tour. I didn't talk to McHale about his current NBC show, however; I talked to him about his previous NBC show.

Fans of the British sitcom The IT Crowd may remember that an American pilot was shot and the show was announced for NBC's midseason schedule a couple of years back, with McHale playing Roy and Richard Ayoade bringing his breakout role of Moss over from the original. Only, the pilot never saw the light of day, and a series was never picked up.

I asked McHale about what caused the show to be dropped and if he has any regrets over the show's flame-out. Then, as a person standing in front of the host of The Soup would tend to do, I asked him about what in the reality TV landscape gets him charged up. Interview is after the jump.

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VIDEO: Joel McHale Talks 'Community,' Comedy Idols, 'The Soup' & More

by Maggie Furlong, posted Sep 16th 2009 7:00AM
Joel McHale'The Soup' host Joel McHale's resume just got so much meatier. Starring in NBC's much-anticipated sitcom 'Community' (premieres Thurs., Sept. 17, 9:30PM ET) -- while continuing his duties at E! and doing stand-up across the country -- McHale is officially a multi-tasker.

AOL TV sat down with the funnyman to hear all about his new gig, working with Chevy Chase, Ken Jeong and all the hilarious supporting cast of characters, why Steve Carell should be flattered and if he thinks getting guest stars will be a challenge. You know, since he's skewered pretty much everyone in Hollywood.

See all the 'Community' dish in our exclusive video interview.

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NBC turns to Facebook to preview Community

by Allison Waldman, posted Aug 13th 2009 9:02AM
chevy_chase_community_NBCI've been pretty down on a lot of the stuff NBC has done about the new fall season, especially the Jay Leno experiment. But here's something that strikes me as a smart move. NBC is streaming the pilot of Community on Facebook. It's sans commercials and free for anyone who's a Facebook user who's willing to become a fan of Community. Or they can send a link from the fan page to friends, or place it on their Facebook profile.

Marketing-wise, this makes a lot of sense. The demographic NBC is targeting is the Facebook generation. And just the idea of seeing something before it previews anywhere else -- on your laptop for free just by going on Facebook -- is easy as pie.

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TV Squad previews NBC's new shows (part 1)

by Kona Gallagher, posted Jul 3rd 2009 2:00PM
nbc logoNBC isn't exactly engendering a lot of goodwill among people, with their cancellations of shows like Life and Medium, and My Name is Earl. The fact that they're replacing these shows with not one but two medical shows, isn't exactly a confidence booster. NBC hasn't sent screeners of all their pilots yet, hence the "Part 1" in the title. But I have gotten a taste of both their comedy and drama offerings with Community, a comedy starring The Soup's Joel McHale, and Trauma, one of the aforementioned medical dramas.

Going into this, I didn't have high hopes for Trauma, and while I wanted to like Community, I had a bad feeling that it wasn't going to be the vehicle that would change Joel McHale from cute host of a basic cable show to primetime star. Now, after seeing both of them, I will say that I was pleasantly surprised by one.

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