March 25, 2011
My Dinner With "Community"
Have you been watching "Community"? The show about a bunch of oddball friends going to a community college, that has Joel McHale and Trudy from "Mad Men" and Chevy Chase in it?
This is now the funniest show that nobody seems to be watching. It's the only show I watch that regularly makes me think, "I can't believe someone's doing this on TV."
Last night's episode, "Critical Film Studies" [video], is a perfect example. It's set up like an extended reference to Tarantino movies, mostly Pulp Fiction and a little bit of Reservoir Dogs, and then suddenly about 2/3 of the way through, it turns out that the whole episode is a long-form My Dinner With André joke.
WHAT? Yes! The 1981 movie where Wallace Shawn and theater director André Gregory have dinner and talk about life and their various experiences in the world. It set the bar for later movies about people talking where nothing actually happens: there might not be Richard Linklater or some of the weirder Gus Van Sant movies without this movie.
But it's hardly the kind of thing you tend to see on a network sitcom at 8:00. Maybe this is why fewer than 5 million people watch it and NY Mag named it the best show last year. It's the weirdest thing on network TV.
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