|“||I wanted to save a relationship with my then-girlfriend. She was going to take a dance class at the local community college, and I thought we should take Spanish together. Because we’ll have to drive there and drive back, and we’ll be in a class together where we’ll be underdogs together and we’ll have things to study and learn. [Laughs.] It will force us to communicate and interact and have fun together. It didn’t work, but while I was there I became part of a study group of people I normally wouldn’t hang out with, because I’m very agoraphobic and narcissistic and solipsistic. But I was in this group with these knuckleheads and I started really liking them, even though they had nothing to do with the film industry and I had nothing to gain from them and nothing to offer them.||”|
The first season of the television comedy series Community originally aired from September 17, 2009 on NBC to May 20, 2010 in the United States. The first three episodes aired at 9:30 pm ET before being moved to 8:00 pm ET. The show was picked up for 22 episodes in October 2009, and an additional 3 episodes were ordered when The Jay Leno Show was cancelled. The show focuses on disbarred lawyer Jeff Winger, and his attempt to get a bachelor's degree at community college.
- Joel McHale as Jeff Winger
- Gillian Jacobs as Britta Perry
- Danny Pudi as Abed Nadir
- Yvette Nicole Brown as Shirley Bennett
- Donald Glover as Troy Barnes
- Alison Brie as Annie Edison
- Ken Jeong as Señor Ben Chang
- Chevy Chase as Pierce Hawthorne
- Jim Rash as Dean Craig Pelton (20 episodes)
- Dino Stamatopoulos as Alex "Star-Burns" Osbourne (14 episodes)
- Richard Erdman as Leonard Briggs (10 episodes)
- Erik Charles Nielsen as Garrett Lambert (6 episodes)
- John Oliver as Professor Ian Duncan (5 episodes)
- Lauren Stamile as Professor Michelle Slater (5 episodes)
- Eric Christian Olsen as Vaughn Miller (4 episodes)
- John Michael Higgins as Professor Eustice Whitman (3 episodes)
- Dominik Musiol as Pavel (6 episodes)
- Charley Koontz as Fat Neil (4 episodes)
- Iqbal Theba as Gubi Nadir (2 episodes)
- Jack Black as Buddy Austin ("Investigative Journalism")
- Blake Clark as Coach Herbert Bogner ("Physical Education")
- Tony Hale as Professor Marion Holly ("Beginner Pottery")
- Sharon Lawrence as Doreen ("The Politics of Human Sexuality")
- Anthony Michael Hall as Mike Chilada ("Comparative Religion")
- Lee Majors as Admiral Lee Slaughter ("Beginner Pottery")
- Katharine McPhee as Amber ("Basic Genealogy")
- Patton Oswalt as Nurse Jackie ("Home Economics")
- Owen Wilson as Other Study Group's Leader ("Investigative Journalism", uncredited cameo)
Dan Harmon emphasized the importance of the cast to making the premise of the comedy work. "Casting was 95 percent of putting the show together," he said in an interview. He had worked with several of the cast members earlier; Joel McHale, John Oliver, and Chevy Chase all had cameo roles in Episode 9 of Water and Power, the short film series produced by Harmon for Channel 101. Actor Chevy Chase had long been a favorite of Harmon. Though principally not very partial to sitcoms, Chase was persuaded to take the job by the quality of the show's writing. Harmon saw similarities between Chase and the character he plays on the show. Though Chase has often been ridiculed for his career choices, Harmon believed this role could be redeeming: "What makes Chevy and Pierce heroic is this refusal to stop." Harmon had to warn Chase against playing a "wise-ass" the way he often does in his roles since the character of Pierce is a rather pathetic figure who is normally the butt of the joke himself. McHale, known from the E! comedy talk show The Soup, was also (like Chase) impressed by Harmon's writing. He commented that "Dan's script...was so head and shoulders above everything else that I was reading." McHale appealed to Harmon because of his likeable quality, which allowed the character to possess certain unsympathetic traits without turning the viewer against him. For the role of Annie, Harmon wanted someone who would resemble Tracy Flick, Reese Witherspoon's character from the 1999 movie Election. Originally, the producers were looking for a Latina or Asian Tracy Flick but could not find any. Instead, they ended up casting Alison Brie, known from her role as Trudy Campbell on Mad Men.
The premise of Community was based on Harmon's real-life experiences. In an attempt to save his relationship with his then-girlfriend, he enrolled in Glendale Community College northeast of Los Angeles, where they would take Spanish together. Harmon got involved in a study group and, somewhat against his own instincts, became closely connected to the group of people with whom he had very little in common. "...I was in this group with these knuckleheads and I started really liking them," he explains, "even though they had nothing to do with the film industry and I had nothing to gain from them and nothing to offer them." With this as the background, Harmon wrote the show with a main character largely based on himself. He had, like Jeff, been self-centered and independent to the extreme before he realized the value of connecting with other people. Regarding the creative process behind the writing, Harmon says that he had to write the show as if it were a movie, not a sitcom. Essentially, he says, the process was no different from the earlier work he had done except for the length and the target demographic.
The show's general reviews have been mostly positive, scoring a 69 out of 100 with critics on </span>Metacritic; Notably, David Bushman (Curator, Television) of the Paley Center for Media "the best new show of the fall season. Jonah Krakow of IGN gave the first season a 8.5 saying, "Given the way Community eventually ramped up and delivered some amazing stories in the second half of the season, I'm extremely excited about what's to come for Season 2."
Awards and NominationsEdit
- The show received a nomination for "Favorite New TV Comedy" at the 36th People's Choice Awards.
- Justin Lin received a nomination for "Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series" at the Images Awards for "Introduction to Statistics". Neilson Ratings The first season averaged 5 million viewers with a 2.4 rating in the 18–49 demographic and ranked #97 for the season.
|Season One Episodes|
10. "Environmental Science"
19. "Beginner Pottery"
|Season One • Season Two • Season Three • Season Four • Season Five|