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3 reasons why Community is the perfect show to watch after Christmas

The cast of Community.
Sony Pictures TV

Are you feeling a little glum now that Christmas has arrived? Or have you just had enough of Christmas in general? Either way, you’re in luck. Because Community is the perfect show to binge watch after Christmas and find your post-holiday groove. The series originally aired for six seasons (five on NBC, and one on Yahoo Screen) from 2009 to 2015, and it left behind a passionate fanbase that practically willed Peacock‘s upcoming Community TV movie into being.

Rick and Morty‘s Dan Harmon created Community, and he clearly had an eye for talent. Chevy Chase was the most well-known cast member when the show began, but the series ultimately made stars out of Joel McHale, Alison Brie, Donald Glover, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Ken Jeong, and Jim Rash. Following some cast departures, later seasons introduced Jonathan Banks, Paget Brewster, and Keith David to the lineup. And before he hosted Last Week Tonight, John Oliver had a recurring role on the show as well.

The series was set at Greendale Community College, and it revolved around a study group that included Jeff Winger (McHale), Britta Perry (Jacobs), Abed Nadir (Pudi), Shirley Bennett (Brown), Annie Edison (Brie), Troy Barnes (Glover), and Pierce Hawthorne (Chase). That was an eclectic group of characters, to say the least. But if you want to know more about the show, keep reading for our three reasons why Community is the perfect show to watch after Christmas.

Community has episodes for every season

The cast of Community gets animated in a still from the show.
Sony Pictures TV

Yes, this post is about why Community is the perfect show to watch after Christmas. But you should really get an early start with it because Community also has one of the greatest Christmas episodes ever made. In season 2, Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas was a stop-motion animated episode that parodied the classic Rankin/Bass Christmas specials. In the story, Abed has a bit of a mental breakdown when he perceives everything in an animated form.

This episode is an exceptional Christmas story because it tackles themes like loneliness and heartbreak that other holiday specials tend to shy away from. Abed ultimately finds meaning in Christmas through his friends rather than in the mother who emotionally abandoned him when he needed her. The episode gets plenty of humor out of the premise before arriving at that cathartic moment. As an example of that, the opening scene features Abed turning the show’s theme song into a Christmas anthem.

The Most Important Christmas Is Here! | Community

There are also episodes that take place on and around Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and even more Christmas stories. That’s not unusual for any sitcom, but Community does an extraordinary job of making them fun to watch.

The show embraces high-concept comedy

The cast of Community goes Spaghetti Western in A Fistful of Paintballs.
Sony Pictures TV

In theory, Community was just supposed to be a comedy about a study group at a community college. Yet the show never let that limit the possibilities for what it could pull off in under 30 minutes. The creative team quickly embraced the series’ ability to bend itself into any particular genre for an episode or two. There was a Law & Order parody, a zombie parody, a Civil War parody, and so on.

One of the most imaginative episodes was season 2’s Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, which took a game of Dungeons & Dragons and turned it into a high-stakes story about the group attempting to emotionally reach a classmate who was cruelly nicknamed Fat Neil (Charley Koontz) because they were afraid that he would commit suicide. Another episode of Community unfolded in six different timelines, which introduced “the darkest timeline” into our collective vocabulary.

But the most famous high-concept episodes were the paintball stories, particularly season 2’s A Fistful of Paintballs and For a Few Paintballs More, both of which were directed by Joe Russo. Both Russo brothers worked extensively on the early seasons of this show, which eventually led Marvel to give them multiple MCU movies to direct.

A Fistful Of Paintballs Opening/Title Sequence | Community

Community has real heart

The cast of Community gathers round Jeff's hospital bed.
Sony Pictures TV

The real reason why Community stands the test of time isn’t the special episodes or the gimmicks. It’s because the people behind this show never forgot that none of it would matter if the audience didn’t care about the characters. And one of the primary ways it made us care was by letting the characters love and care about each other, even when they didn’t always get along.

By the end of season one, the study group was more like friends than simple acquaintances. As the series progressed, they felt like a family as well. These characters decided to embrace those connections rather than running away from them. The bonds they created were unforgettable, and that’s another reason why Community fans have such intense emotions about this show. They identify with the group and vicariously feel their experiences. It’s not as easy to make those kind of bonds in reality, but there is something really nice about watching them play out on TV.

Watch Community on Netflix.

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Blair Marnell
Blair Marnell has been an entertainment journalist for over 15 years. His bylines have appeared in Wizard Magazine, Geek…
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