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Community: Joel McHale Has Class


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#14161

nairuti

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Posted Apr 9, 2012 @ 8:36 PM

I asked this many pages ago without an answer, so I'll try again: is there a place that lists all the "A Dan Harmon/Russo Brothers (xxxx)" title cards that show up at the end of the show and are switched around every so often? Perhaps as a gallery?


Not a gallery, but there's a list
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#14162

thalassus

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Posted Apr 9, 2012 @ 10:10 PM

Thanks nairuti, but that's only the first season, yes? Anything for the second season?

On another note: there was no Magnitude in last week's episode, right? I feel we were deprived of the opportunity to hear Keith David say "Pop! Pop!" with seriousness. (Still, that episode was not less awesome.)
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#14163

redbudrose

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Posted Apr 9, 2012 @ 10:40 PM

I was just getting caught up on The Killing and was reading an article from last month explaining how upset viewers were. This is how they explained superviewers:

Not long ago, TV was a relatively simple three-legged stool: you had creators, you had critics and you had viewers, i.e. the passive, Nielsen-monitored masses. But the Internet, and specifically social media sites, has served as a kind of electrocharged amniotic fluid for the gestation of a powerful fourth entity: what I’ll call the superviewer. These people are engaged, passionate and vocal, an online jumble of professional critics and opinionated amateurs who gather together to watch and discuss and dissect their favorite shows. Early fan forums like Television Without Pity gave these viewers a voice; now sites like Twitter have given them a megaphone.

Superviewers can’t make or break a show — if they could, “Community” would be the highest-rated TV show in the history of ever.


NY Times
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#14164

Tabbyclaw

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 1:56 AM

This week's episode didn't work for me as a piece of comedy. A large percentage of the jokes fell flat, the format "cheated" the show out of the full comedic strength of its actors, and it failed to sell me on the scope of the conflict and therefore "earn" the parody format.

It did, however, work excellent well as a character piece. I care about these people, enough to have been stung by Abed's email and heartbroken by Troy's retaliatory text, and to melt when Jeff gave them the out of the magical friendship hats. The conflict between Tryoy and Abed has been wonderfully worrisome, and while this obviously didn't solve anything it did give both boys -- and the audience -- that touchstone of a moment when there was nothing left to fight for but they still couldn't walk away. They love each other, they love this relationship, and knowing that that's mutual will have a significant effect on how they deal with the strains on their relationship.
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#14165

romantic idiot

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 11:18 AM

This week's episode didn't work for me as a piece of comedy.

I found the comedy in the juxtaposition of the frivolity of the subject matter with the seriousness of the treatment.
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#14166

Limbonaut

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 11:29 AM

This week's episode didn't work for me as a piece of comedy. A large percentage of the jokes fell flat, the format "cheated" the show out of the full comedic strength of its actors, and it failed to sell me on the scope of the conflict and therefore "earn" the parody format.


I would love to hear Keith David say that entire sentence.
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#14167

HyeChaps

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 11:38 AM

Chevy isn't doing himself any favors:
http://www.celebuzz....nity-exclusive/
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#14168

WAnglais1

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 12:47 PM

I'm no fan of Chevy, but some of his points make sense. They did spend too much time on the Jeff/Britta and Jeff/Annie stories. I don't care about those. But if they let Chevy do what he thinks is funny, we get more bits like the tag with the soft serve ice cream machine. Which wasn't funny.
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#14169

biakbiak

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 1:09 PM

Chevy's main point in that voicemail seems to be that spending too much time on anyone who isn't him isn't good for the show.
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#14170

gotta love it

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 1:18 PM

As much as I love Jeff/Annie, I'd like a storyline or two for Annie without Jeff. She hasn't had a good one without him recently.
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#14171

3headedmonkey

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 1:29 PM

My take on his point is that he doesn't think there should be any story/plot at all, and the show should just be 20 minutes of him being "funny" by falling down and stuff. You're out of touch, Chevy.

By the way, my 3 year old nephew saw the ice cream tag and said "What is wrong with him??"
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#14172

peeayebee

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 1:41 PM

I agree that the ice cream tag wasn't funny. That did seem like typical Chevy Chase humor. But I wonder if it was he who came up with the drinking-ink gag, because that was hilarious. It also seemed very Chevyish -- Chevyian? -- to me. One gag worked, the other didn't.

I'm back to being somewhat sympathetic to him. It makes sense that if you hire Chevy Chase, you expect him to be like Chevy Chase. He's not a character actor. He has a persona and a schtick. My understanding is that NBC wanted him on the show, probably for the name, so maybe Harmon thought he could work with him and get him to perform as he wanted, or even write to his personality a little. I've said this before -- I think Chevy's done pretty good for not liking or appreciating the humor. People had problems with his character and how despicable he was, but that wasn't Chevy's fault. He didn't write the stories.

It's a sad situation. I do prefer Dan's sense of humor to Chevy's, but I can see his POV.
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#14173

braggtastic

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 1:58 PM

Chevy is a 67 year old man. The show isn't for him. Just like most people who don't keep current with music and disdain what the kids are listening to, his ear isn't tuned to a different kind of comedy from his own. He should be thankful for the paycheck and the exposure.
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#14174

Lollia Pollina

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 2:31 PM

Chevy is a 67 year old man. The show isn't for him. Just like most people who don't keep current with music and disdain what the kids are listening to, his ear isn't tuned to a different kind of comedy from his own. He should be thankful for the paycheck and the exposure.


Dan Harmon was lucky that an established name like Chevy Chase was willing to do his show. He got press attention that somebody like Joel McHale would never have been able to garner - because Joel McHale's claim to fame is a little-known sketch comedy show on an obscure cable channel that most people haven't heard of. I doubt he would have found a place on the schedule without a "name".

A lot of the jokes that Harmon's written for Chevy Chase have been about how old people are useless, unhip and out of touch, don't get modern technology, don't know the latest pop culture phenomenon, are racist and homophobic. If it's a generational war, Harmon is just as responsible for it as Chevy Chase is. They're both assholes.

I think that Chase and Community should just part ways. Their divorce is just getting ugly, and they're forcing people to take sides.
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#14175

arc

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 2:31 PM

I'm back to being somewhat sympathetic to him. It makes sense that if you hire Chevy Chase, you expect him to be like Chevy Chase.

The newer voicemail reminds me of William Goldman's story about trying to write the Invisible Man movie with Chevy as the star and Ivan Reitman as the director, back in the 80s. (Basically, the studio and director thought they were making a comedy, but Chevy wanted it to be a dramedy or something, and Goldman as the writer was stuck in the middle, plus with the added problem that Chevy was famous for comedy and who even wanted to see Chevy explore the loneliness of invisibility?) Similarly, for me Harmon's writing and showrunning instincts have been mostly solid and I'm not at all convinced Chevy's own comedic instincts are, aside from pratfalls where he really still is a genius.

I do wonder if Chevy likes those episodes where they're directly poking fun at him, most obviously in the Celebrity Pharmacology ep, where Pierce acts like a dick, takes over the show, completely takes it in the wrong direction creatively, etc. It's not like the subtext was very hidden.
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#14176

StumbleBum

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 2:42 PM

How can this guy be for real? This isn't Chevy's show. He isn't the "star." He needs to STFU or GTFO.
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#14177

redbudrose

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 3:12 PM

As much as I love Jeff/Annie, I'd like a storyline or two for Annie without Jeff. She hasn't had a good one without him recently.


One of my favorite storylines for her recently was with her, Troy, Abed and the Batman DVD but I do love me some Jeff and Annie.


Dan Harmon was lucky that an established name like Chevy Chase was willing to do his show. He got press attention that somebody like Joel McHale would never have been able to garner - because Joel McHale's claim to fame is a little-known sketch comedy show on an obscure cable channel that most people haven't heard of. I doubt he would have found a place on the schedule without a "name".


Yes, Chevy Chase is the big name but Joel McHale was the only reason I tuned it for the pilot and kept watching through the first few episodes while the show found it's footing. I would have never done that for Chevy. I'd be surprised if the majority of people watch for Chevy.
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#14178

Nell Huxleigh

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 3:37 PM

A show with Community's ratings really needs to ask why people aren't watching the show and not why people are. I don't think episodes like this one appeal to many people. I don't see it as quotable - who would you quote it to? The jokes are just too much like camp jokes at this point, the sort of thing that you really have to be in the right frame of mind and with the right people to appreciate. This episode seemed made by 20 year olds doing their first heeeelarious parody, giggling all the way. It could have worked as the middle segment in an actual episode, but it just drug on and on and on.

I don't buy the it goes over people's heads excuse. I understand all the references the show makes, but it just has been very off this season. I get that they were contrasting a pillow fight with a Ken Burns documentary, but that isn't really funny to me. And then the narration didn't commit to the format and instead explained jokes to me. That is never funny. I've never seen a rockumentary, but Spinal Tap is outrageously funny because it actually is a bunch of funny people doing funny things. Jeff and Annie's texts weren't funny in themselves, they were just mildly amusing because some TV show that normally reads serious emails is being parodied by another TV show that is reading boring texts instead! Wacky. And Annie apparently is too good a person to be funny anymore, except for her boobs. They really tried pushing Alison Brie is hot in publicity this year, but it never turned into ratings did it? They shouldn't have infected the show with that mindset.
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#14179

braggtastic

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 3:41 PM

I watched the show despite the presence of Chevy Chase, not because of it. He hasn't been funny or relevant for years, probably decades at this point.
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#14180

WAnglais1

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 4:03 PM

A lot of the jokes that Harmon's written for Chevy Chase have been about how old people are useless, unhip and out of touch, don't get modern technology, don't know the latest pop culture phenomenon, are racist and homophobic. If it's a generational war, Harmon is just as responsible for it as Chevy Chase is. They're both assholes.


I'm in the middle of the two of them, age-wise. Chevy (while never funny to me) has gotten some good bits. The "Apocolypse Now!" parody was especially inspired. And he was good in it. His attitude makes me think about a SNL book I read years ago where Lorne said Chevy would turn in script pages which read, "Me being funny." That might work at a country club comedy night, but not network TV.
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#14181

Shimmergloom

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 4:17 PM

Dan Harmon was lucky that an established name like Chevy Chase was willing to do his show. He got press attention that somebody like Joel McHale would never have been able to garner - because Joel McHale's claim to fame is a little-known sketch comedy show on an obscure cable channel that most people haven't heard of. I doubt he would have found a place on the schedule without a "name".


I see it as the other way around. First of all, from everything I have heard, NBC forced the show to take Chase. Further, there is so much hatred and ire among people toward Chevy that it is IMO that he could have done as much harm as good.

Because while they might have wanted a more established name, this isn't Ed O'Neil who is basically beloved by all. People see Ed O'Neil on a show and they are like, "oh cool Al Bundy, I will check that out". People see Chevy and they have mixed emotions. So for every Chevy fan who might check out Community, you could have someone who is turned off by him and skipped the show entirely.

Now there is a lot to be said about getting a good name. But then imagine Ed O'Neil as Pierce and Chevy Chase as Jay on Modern Family and think about the difference. Cause while I personally doubt that Chevy would be getting along with everyone on MF, I on the other hand believe that Ed O'Neil's Pierce would be too lovable to hate.

And I am comparing the two only because both these shows appeared at the same time and both decided to use older more established names mixed in with a lot of new faces.
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#14182

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 4:35 PM

Chevy is a 67 year old man. The show isn't for him.

I wonder what Richard Erdman (Leonard) makes of the show. He seems to really commit to all his bits and to sell the humour perfectly, so I feel like he enjoys it despite being out of the age range. But who knows, maybe he's just a good actor who doesn't get it but is happy to be working.
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#14183

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 4:37 PM

Not Telling Us Anything New Department:

Lots of other stuff on the edge, but of course the biggest question mark in the world of TV nerddom is the beloved, obsessed-about Community. It seems likely that NBC will renew the show — it has critically adored cult status and its return last month earned solid ratings — but it's not a sure thing. Same goes for Up All Night, Law & Order: SVU (if you cancel that show you are dead to us, NBC), and Parenthood.

In good news, Are You There, Chelsea? is likely cancelled.
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#14184

jr352

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 4:37 PM

A show with Community's ratings really needs to ask why people aren't watching the show and not why people are. I don't think episodes like this one appeal to many people. I don't see it as quotable - who would you quote it to? The jokes are just too much like camp jokes at this point, the sort of thing that you really have to be in the right frame of mind and with the right people to appreciate. This episode seemed made by 20 year olds doing their first heeeelarious parody, giggling all the way. It could have worked as the middle segment in an actual episode, but it just drug on and on and on.

Not to sound like an asshole, but have you seen Community before this episode? I mean I remember those exact same complaints during the early run of the show when it was just a(slightly) goofy take on a Community College. Somewhere around episode twelve, it turned into a post-modern take on the sitcom. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Trying to switch the tone of the show this late in its run would probably doom Community. It's unlikely to attract new viewers, while maybe turning off the ones who kept the show going this long. We could argue the quality of the show, but at this point, like most shows nearing its fourth year, it is what it is.

Because while they might have wanted a more established name, this isn't Ed O'Neil who is basically beloved by all. People see Ed O'Neil on a show and they are like, "oh cool Al Bundy, I will check that out". People see Chevy and they have mixed emotions. So for every Chevy fan who might check out Community, you could have someone who is turned off by him and skipped the show entirely.

I'll raise my hand as someone who nearly didn't watch the show because of Chevy. I didn't grow up during his heyday so I'll admit I didn't see the best of Chevy, but anything I've seen him in the 90s on has been pretty terrible. I think part of it is a major disconnect with other actors. The guy's like a chemistry-sucking black hole.

Edited by jr352, Apr 10, 2012 @ 4:50 PM.

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#14185

Limbonaut

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 4:48 PM

Probably part of the reason Dan wanted to make Pierce darker in the second season was that he saw that side of Chevy Chase and wanted to expose it a little on the show.


A show with Community's ratings really needs to ask why people aren't watching the show and not why people are. I don't think episodes like this one appeal to many people. I don't see it as quotable - who would you quote it to?


Other Community fans? I quote Arrested Development or Newsradio or Mystery Science Theater 3000f it's a cult show, then it's a cult show. I don't care if it's a mainstream hit only if it lasts another season.

Edited by Limbonaut, Apr 10, 2012 @ 4:53 PM.

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#14186

nairuti

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 4:58 PM

I've been quoting this last episode quite a bit this week.
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#14187

Calvnhobbes

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 5:50 PM

A show with Community's ratings really needs to ask why people aren't watching the show and not why people are. I don't think episodes like this one appeal to many people. I don't see it as quotable - who would you quote it to?

I don't think that the end-all-be-all of a TV show is its quotability. There's something to be said for shows that are entertaining as a whole and aren't easily broken down into digestable sound bites. It's like when I mentioned to some classmates at our community college that I was running home to watch Community; they said, "Never seen it, what's it about?" I had a blank expression on my face, as I couldn't quickly summarize it in a few seconds. And that is precisely why I watch- there's nothing quite like it on TV which is probably why people aren't watching it.
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#14188

peeayebee

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 6:40 PM

Other Community fans? I quote Arrested Development or Newsradio or Mystery Science Theater 3000f it's a cult show, then it's a cult show. I don't care if it's a mainstream hit only if it lasts another season.

ITA. I would love the show to continue with the same quality for a long time, but I don't see how it's possible to bring in millions more viewers without changing the recipe.
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#14189

Mibbitmaker

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 7:00 PM

As an SNL fan from near the beginning (Jan. 1976, at age 14), I did start watching Community partly because not only was Chevy Chase going to be in it, but he was (originally) glowing about how smart a show it was, which is why the notoriously elitist anti-TV guy (remember him almost getting into fisticuffs on Politically Incorrect over hating TV?) decided to be on the show. Sure, I knew Chevy was an ass since the late '70s, and was notoriously bad at career choices, but this seemed like it would be a good show.

I do enjoy Chevy's physical comedy, like with the Three Stooges and Tim Conway before SNL. But I also loved Arrested Development, and that kind of thing. I love pop culture references, too. Not the cheap, gimmicky stuff that too many do, but the more clever stuff like old '40s Looney Tunes used to do. And Community does now.

Chevy's assholic side can be very unpleasant, though. I do agree with him that there can be too much "romantic" stuff on the show - although I'm not as on board with his hating the heart Community shows. Even though it doesn't always work in Harmon's writing, the perceived lack of "heart" on Arrested Development was one of the things that hurt it with the elusive "mainsteam" audience. I'm glad Community tries harder not to fall into that trap.

But, all things considered, I think it's time for Chevy to leave. Pierce has been too underused this season anyway. Maybe Harmon can have Lorne Michaels come over and ban Chevy from Community. I wouldn't put it past either of them at this point.

Edited by Mibbitmaker, Apr 10, 2012 @ 7:03 PM.

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#14190

Cherith

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Posted Apr 10, 2012 @ 7:11 PM

I hate Chevy Chase and I didn't watch at first because of him but he is absolutely correct about a few things.

First I thought the Jeff Winger speech ending of this episode was terrible and Chevy brought up that point in his HuffPo interview. It is really cheap and cliche and was especially so in this latest episode. Second, the focus on romance especially the ridiculously bad Jeff/Annie stuff does bring down the show. It makes both of those characters less enjoyable. And it is just the same exact thing as original Britta/Jeff. But Britta's self-righteous sanctimony is ironic now. Annie's is played straight when she is with Jeff (and wonderfully subverted with Troy and Abed). Say what you will but he isn't wrong.
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