May 7th, 2010
08:27 AM ET

All-out paintball war on 'Community'

Like many viewers, I imagine, I didn't quite know what to make of "Community" when it premiered last fall. At first, it was just a comedy about members of a community college study group, a vehicle for Joel McHale and Chevy Chase.

Then, it turned out that their community college's mascot was the "Greendale Human Beings" (to avoid offending anyone) and the Spanish teacher, Senor Chang, spent much of his time playing sadistic mind games with his students (like faking his own death, just to prove that he can "never die.") There has never been such a collection of bizarre characters, and just as the name implies, it's grown into a strong ensemble show.

One thing that "Community" excels at, and then some, is parody and pop-culture references - many of which come from the TV-obsessed Abed, who often comments on the action.

In Thursday night's episode for example, he noted the sexual tension between Jeff and Britta and commented that they're no Ross or Rachel (Shirley commented that they were no Sam and Diane either, and Annie asked who Sam and Diane were).

Jeff went to take a nap in his car and after waking up in a "post-apocalyptic world" of sorts, followed one of the sharpest parodies this show has pulled off yet... rivaled only by the takeoff on "GoodFellas" a few weeks ago. With the promise of priority registration ("You can schedule all your classes on Monday and take a six-day weekend!"), the entire campus became a paintball war zone.

It was all there: references to war movies (the point where all the characters talk about what they'll do when they go home), John Woo (a standoff with everyone pointing guns at each other), Michael Bay (slow-motion sequences abound), and "Terminator" ("Come with me if you don't want paint on your clothes.")

In the midst of all this, the "will-they-or-won't-they" status of Jeff and Britta landed decidedly in the "will-they" column, after they were two of the last people standing untouched by paint. As one might expect, they are keeping their moment of passion in the library a secret, but Abed immediately sensed something was different about them.

Very bold of a show to go there in its first season, especially when it's been renewed for a second. Then again, "Community" is more interested in being funny than character development, which is still its main flaw.

Also, can I just ask, how awesome is Ken Jeong as Senor Chang? When he came in as a ringer to take out Jeff and Britta, doing his best Chow Yun-Fat, it was just the latest of many scenes he has stolen during this show's run. Here's hoping that he sticks with "Community," despite his growing popularity in movies like "The Hangover."

Are you enjoying "Community" more with each episode, like me? Let us know what you thought of last night's paintball extravaganza, and some of your favorite "Community" moments, in the comments below.

soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Paintball Ireland

    Absolutel fantastic I enjoyed that much I watch it over and over again!

    November 2, 2010 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  2. MaskMan

    I lost track of the movie references, they were coming so fast... But I've seen the "green wall o' paint" happen in real life, and they got it *exactly* right!

    This was my first ever epesode of 'Community,' but I'm hooked now!

    July 9, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Nicco

    I think the paintball episode was hands down the most epic episode ever produced for television.

    I loved it so much I had to watch it again after I had fist seen it, I've never done that before.

    June 14, 2010 at 2:07 am | Report abuse |
  4. smbitterman

    Probably one of the finest, funniest half-hours of TV that I have watched in the past several years. I laughed out loud the entire episode.

    May 9, 2010 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
  5. C Roberts

    Absolutely adore this show. It's so consistently funny and fresh. Makes you wonder what the writers of other shows are DOING with their time!

    Wonderfully hilarious. 🙂

    May 9, 2010 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
  6. AShindel

    Love the show, best episode of the show yet. Too funny. They will hopefully have plenty of time for character development.

    May 8, 2010 at 7:30 am | Report abuse |
  7. Jennifer

    I laughed so hard at this episode I was nearly in tears. This episode was pure genius. At first I wondered how far they could go with this show and make it work. Now, I'm less concerned with the absurdity of the show and just enjoying it for what it is: freaking hilarious. Community is definitely becoming one of the top comedy shows on television right now. Hopefully it doesn't fall to the same fate as Earl.

    May 7, 2010 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. WOW

    best. episode. ever.

    watch it now

    May 7, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Pat

    30 Rock and the now canceled Better off Ted I think are the two funniest shows on this year. However Community has grown into my overall favorite comedy. The characters have become well developed, funny and very likeable each in their own quirky way. At first I was not sure what the purpose was of the Abed character. Now I have to say he steals ever scene he is in. Just watching his mannerism is funny and of course his speedy 80’s pulp culture references are hilarious. Overall the cast is becoming one of the better ensembles on television and they really work well with each other. Plus the variety and direction of the show plots, such as the paint ball episode last night, has been very creative and unique as well. I hope this show just keeps doing what they are doing and that the fans keep tuning in.

    May 7, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jeff

    I said almost the exact same thing after watching the episode with my girlfriend. Initially, it didn't seem like an idea that was going to work, and even though I like Joel McHale on The Soup I didn't think he could actually act. I have been pleasantly surprised by the convincing acting and the sharp writing. NBC finally has a decent Thursday line up again.

    May 7, 2010 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  11. Chloe

    I think this was my favourite episode yet. It was soo funny. I loved all the references and the part where the glee club was luring them with funny.!

    May 7, 2010 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  12. William

    twenty minutes into last night's episode I called to my sons that I was watching "quite possibly the greatest half hour of sitcom ever". Hyperbole? Maybe. But it was fast paced, riveting, well-directed and acted perfectly. The homages stacked like dead bodies in a Rambo finale. Down to the ringer gun taped to Jeff's back a la the original "Die Hard". And as a John Woo fan, Senor Chang blew me away. And as to Jeff and Britta finally getting down to her Hello Kitty panties? They may end up being the definitive modern sitcom couple...snarling at each other like angry pitbull puppies between makeout sessions.

    May 7, 2010 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  13. Jenny

    I was so disappointed that I only caught the last few minutes of this episode! I can't wait to watch all of it on Hulu! This show is extremely well written and acted; it's the only show I'll try to watch! Keep the laughs coming, please!

    May 7, 2010 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  14. Breea

    Community is so funny! Chevy Chase cracks me up. I'm glad that it will be on next season. Most of the shows I really like end up getting cancelled! RIP Arrested Development.

    May 7, 2010 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  15. Karen

    Ok you were right

    May 7, 2010 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |

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