Follow Monsters of Television on Twitter

Friday, 23 of April of 2021

Tag » Community

Community – “Advanced Dungeons & Dragons”

I attack them with my Additional Notes.”

When How I Met Your Mother did an episode that was heavy on sports references and terminology (complete with a Yankee with a faux hawk), I wasn’t thrilled because it closed me out of the episode’s story and many of its jokes (I recently saw a rerun and still felt a closed out from it). “Advance Dungeon & Dragons” may very well be the episode of exclusion for some, and while I loved the episode (I think it rivals “Modern Warfare”, frankly), I also think it could be an example of that Web adage: Your mileage may vary. Read more »


Community – “Celebrity Pharmacology”

…every dollar from the period fairy.”

Obviously I like Community, and a lackluster episode is often more enjoyable than other comedies on television. “Celebrity Pharmacology” falls into this category. It’s good, but it’s not terribly inspired. And as Cory Barker tweeted to me last night (and then wrote about in his own review), the episode is pretty broad.

Last week, I needled Perfect Couples for being broad (okay, I  skewered it), but this shouldn’t imply that I don’t like broadness, or think it’s incapable of being funny or entertaining. Broad comedy is great if it’s well-executed, and while Community does kind of stick the landing in the episode. It’s just that the episode a bit creaky in its broadness: anti-drug message gone awry, mistaken text messaging, friendships challenged by money. When I said Perfect Couples would be good as a Disney show, I didn’t realize that Community would do an episode right out of Hannah Montana. Read more »


Community – “Asian Population Studies”

I agree with brown Jamie Lee Curtis.”

Community begins to pay off some of its larger storylines in “Asian Population Studies,” particularly Chang’s quest to join the study group (to destroy it) as well as Shirley’s pregnancy as a result of her night of radioactive taco beef zombifiaction fling with Chang. Likewise back from the undead is Rich, who Annie spent the winter break with doing do-good, and is now seeing as a potential boyfriend for herself.

The episode is played straighter than most Community episodes, but doesnt quite reach the heights of “Mixology Certification” in terms of the show’s sense of grounded reality (or what passes for it on this show). On the other hand, it does address the idea of what happens when you have put a particularly sitcom-y character like Chang and try and introduce him into a group of self-aware genre nuts. I just don’t know if there’s much new in that story since the show already kind of did it last season. Read more »


I Love You, Bro – Top 10 Bromances of the Past 10 Years

Marriage, friendship, family, work, sexual. There are many kinds of relationships. But there’s only one kind that offers all of the benefits of the aforementioned relationships in one awesome package (well, except for sexual): the bromance. There is nothing like the bond between two heterosexual men. In the past 10 years we’ve seen some prime examples of bromance at work. Let us explore them together.

10. Kenan and Kel (Kenan and Kel: 1996-2000)

Awwww here it goes! These two began their chemistry on Nickelodeon sketch comedy show All That and it spawned their own show in 1996. The pair got into all sorts of shenanigans often orchestrated by the scheming Kenan and forced awry by clumsy Kel. They are the reasons kids in the 90s thought they could mess up and get away without any real consequences. I know I used it as an excuse. But I think my parents were just happy I was watching something with black people in it. The show has a number of nostalgia inducing bits of dialogue including “Who loves orange soda?”, “I. Put the screw. In the Tuna.”, and the quote used at the beginning of this paragraph. What spelled a bright career for the duo eventually culminated in short lived film success for Kel (and rumors of his death) and a gig on Saturday Night Live for Kenan. But it’s their own show where they shined. And Coolio did their addictive theme song. That equaled some serious street cred in the 90s. Right?

Read more »


Podcast 005: “Serial Killers > Zombies”

“Television would lead me to believe that Miami is the worst place in the entire world.”

And television wouldn’t lie to us, would it? This week we discuss the disappointing The Walking Dead finale (in spite of Noah Emmerich’s presence), the holiday-themed episodes we watched this past week, a little CW, a little TNT, and a lot of Dexter. So hop aboard the Polar Express, mind the pterodactyl and the Christmas Attack Zones, and let’s talk it out. Or at least let us talk it out at you.

Running Time: 75 minutes

Topics: Place in the Podcast

  • The Walking Dead: 0:00:27
  • Gossip Girl: 0:22:08
  • Life Unexpected: 0:30:14
  • Holiday Episodes
    • Community: 0:33:37
    • The Office: 0:44:03
    • Glee: 0:47:55
    • Warehouse 13: 0:52:35
  • The Closer/TNT Line-Up: 0:56:32
  • Dexter: 1:02:10

Community – “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas”

Sad quick Christmas song.”

I will say this up front so there will be no confusion: I was not looking forward to this episode of Community.

I have nothing against Rankin/Bass. I have nothing against puppets. I have nothing against stop-motion animation. In fact, I love all three of these things a great deal (well, I don’t love Rankin/Bass, but I do love puppets and stop-motion). But when I heard Community was doing a homage to Rankin/Bass Christmas specials, I immediately became a little queasy. I avoided as much in the way of reading and seeing anything about it as I could.

It was the equivalent, in my mind, of Glee doing episodes centered around one singer/performer: it was too much excessive pop culture humor that unanchors the show from its reality (well, Glee isn’t nearly as narratively consistent as Community, so this comparison is a mite unfair). As a result, I came to dread the day when this episode would air.

Am I still dreading it? Is this the episode of Community that will be the asterisk in my “Best series ever!” list (instead of “Basic Rocket Science”)? Or did it win me over with whimsy and commitment to its premise…? Read more »


Podcast 004: “Stayin’ Positive”

“I just hope it has nothing to do with a music box.”

Though we here at Monsters of Television might be pegged as pessimistic, sarcastic, snarky snobs, we can be positive every once in a while and we are with the upcoming season finale of The Walking Dead and the as-yet-unannounced return of Terriers. Less so for Serena on Gossip Girl and whatever the heck Chuck is doing (though let’s stop worrying about Emmy4Yvonne and jump on Timothy Dalton’s sure-bet Emmy win for this season). We also discuss auteur theory in respect to showrunners and featured episode writers (because we’re smarty-pantses), why Community might’ve felt weird and why that’s an awesome thing, and how now is the time to be watching Top Chef: All-Stars even if you’ve never watched an episode of Top Chef. Which would be a crime because of all the meals you missed them cooking. Yes. Because of the meals.

We also hint about the Terriers finale, beating around the bush as to not reveal anything to those that are waiting the absurdly long 8 days to watch it on Hulu. If that’s you, you can also drop the $1.99 at Amazon and watch it now.

Editor’s note: Noel wants to credit Kate Tripoli for planting the Firefly/The Walking Dead seed in his head. It was all her connection. He just agreed with it.

Running Time: 70 minutes

Topics: Place in the Podcast

  • Walking Dead
    • Industry/”Writer Shake-Up”: 0:00:31
    • Episode: 0:10:16
    • Possible Comic Book Spoiler Alert: 0:18:52
  • Terriers: 0:21:55
  • Community: 0:31:48
  • Gossip Girl: 0:42:18
  • Chuck: 0:52:24
  • Top Chef: All-Stars: 0:59:09

Community – “Mixology Certification”

Alcohol just makes people sad. It’s like the Lifetime movie of beverages.”

One thing that has been mentioned about this season of Community is that it seems every new episode is “the best episode of Community ever.” I certainly don’t think this is true, and I don’t think “Mixology Certification” enters that discussion, either. I do, however, think that is a very good episode of the show, one whose character and setting beats work better than other episodes, like “Accounting for Lawyers” earlier this season.

Much like “Accounting for Lawyers,” “Mixology” is a remarkably standard sitcom episode, with very little in the way of what we normally think of when we think of Community. And while I do love Community for its joyful embrace of meta humor and homages, there’s something  very refreshing about watching the crackerjack cast and writers pull back from their general approach to tell a very simple, straight story.

Read more »


Community – “Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design”

You tried to Nancy Screw me out of my free credit!

My face still hurts from laughing. And my belly. I’m still laughing about some of it while I try and type.

“Conspiracy Theories and Soft Defenses” may not be an episode that people think back to when they rank episodes of Community, but for my money it’s easily one of their single funniest episodes of any sitcom I’ve seen in a while. It’s clever without being overly clever, grounded while still being silly, and allows for yet another glimpse into the characters without making the episode completely about the characters. Read more »


Community – “Cooperative Calligraphy”

I hate bottle episodes.”

I love bottle episodes. I think they’re great, occasionally risky episodes that tell us about what a show is about. They force a show to boil itself down to its bare essentials, showcasing very specific dynamics and how those dynamics keep the show moving.

Yes, the reasons bottle episodes tend to happen make little to no sense (as they do here), but I very often don’t care because I love excuses to spend time with characters in these very intense ways.

Needless to say, I think this is one of Community‘s best episodes so far. Read more »