Community returned this week with what is so-far my favourite premiere of the season. Last season’s (actual) funniest new show was in uncertain territory after a mediocre finale that threw the characters into lame romantic conundrums. But after this week, season 2 appears to have the potential to be even better than most of the first.
From the brilliant C story of Troy turning Pierce into the new “Shit My Dad Says” twitter feed to the awesome game of love chicken that Jeff and Brita undertook as the show’s perfect answer to an overly dramatic cliffhanger, the premiere was as good as they get. It had Betty White, as everything does, but didn’t need her at all. Community‘s so great on its own, the guest stars and marketing stunts that help out so many other shows are totally unnecessary. Even Ken Jeong, the show’s broad absurdity go-to character was enjoyable in this episode (though here’s hoping he doesn’t ruin future ones now that he’s in the study group and apparently mentally ill, or possessed).
My favourite thing about the premiere? Abed. Obviously. His lovable TV obsession is constantly hilarious and brilliantly self-referential, never more than in this episode. He brought some of the episode’s funniest moments, like when he asked Shirley if she’d spinoff with him and she replied with “Is this you being meta?”. But that same gimmick of his provided the deepest moment in the episode as well, when Jeff accused his quirk of being “so season one”, Abed replied: “I can tell life from TV Jeff. TV makes sense, it has structure, logic, rules, and likable leading men. In life we have this, we have you.” It hurt us, it hurt Jeff and by god it was wonderful.
That’s how you start a season.