Third-episode verdict: Community

The CarusometerA Carusometer rating of 1

In the US: Thursdays, 9.30/8.30c, NBC

Well, of all the new shows so far this season, we have an undisputed winner in the quality stakes: Community, NBC’s Thursday night comedy about a bunch of disparate losers who join a community-college study group and learn something about life in a Breakfast Club stylee.

After three episodes, we’re getting to see the show’s colours: a love of the bizarre and outrageous crossed with one-liners. The first episode was a whirlwind of jokes and character moments that were really very clever and funny, but the second and third episodes have steered slightly away from one-liners in favour of the downright bizarre. We still get the character moments, but what moments.

Episode two, in particular, built through the episode towards a denoument that was extraordinarily odd yet also heart-waming; however the show cynically undercut that heart-warming moment, but still managed to keep it heart-warming, leaving you admiring its cleverness.

Episode three was even more bizarre, with Jeff having to go on movie course run by someone who’d taken Dead Poets’ Society way too much to heart, and Abed the Palestinian with Asperger’s producing a student movie about his life that was awe-inspiring in its oddness. And let’s not forget the raps and the krumping during the credits.

It’s interesting to see that each episode involves a different class, with Spanish and film-making getting the first couple of outings, and social psychology being the pick of the week next episode. This should give it a flexibility of format to prevent it outstaying its welcome. 

It’s funny, it’s clever, it’s got a great cast – it’s almost as good as 30 Rock. Give it a try.

Carusometer rating: 1
Rob’s prediction: I fear cancellation, but if there’s any justice in the world, it’ll keep going.


  • I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.