In 2009, Jeff Winger's misguided attempt to score with Britta Perry led him to try to form a study group for just the two of them. She spoiled his plans by inviting a group of other students at Greendale Community College to the group, with the impression that it would be, you know, a group. Jeff was stuck trying to do real studying, and so was born maybe the greatest sitcom in history, Community.
For the next five years, Community was one of the most daring, creative, clever, and surreal shows ever dreamed up. Unfortunately, good things can never last, and it was announced this month that the fifth season of Community would be its last. It suffered from low ratings. We should not, however, take this as a loss. If anything, this is one instance where TV executives went with belief in the show and belief in the strong core of watchers who turned it into a cult phenomenon. That a show as quirky as Community even made it to the air in the first place and lasted as long as it did is a triumph in and of itself. That it was as good as it was for so long is a minor miracle - like the better days of The Simpsons, Community produced such high quality in the first three seasons that it felt like the show's best-ever episode was being aired every week. In the fourth season, when Community took a drastic downturn in quality, it was because creator Dan Harmon had left. He returned in the fifth, final season, though, and while the quality of the first three seasons returned, it was still recovering from the fourth season too, and it showed.
With a show like Community, it's difficult to pick and choose the episodes that could really be called the essentials collection. There are three and a half years of outstanding viewing, but if I'm up to the task of making the choices, here are the ones I would call my personal favorite episodes of Community.
What did you think of this list?