5 Reasons It’s the Best 2010s Sitcom (and 5 Alternatives)

The popular 2010’s sitcom, Community, which saw a group of oddball students, attending a local community college in the fictional city of Greendale, garnered a large fanbase in recent years, after it debuted on popular streaming sites such as Netflix. Starring Joel McHale as Jeff Winger, the lawyer who is exposed for his illegitimate degree and forced to attend community college to rectify this, who meets Britta Perry, played by Gillian Jacobs, as they start a study group, joined by Annie (Alison Brie), Troy (Donald Glover), Abed (Danny Pudi), Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown), and Pierce (Chevy Chase). The seven form an unbreakable bond, and while members continue to leave and join the study group, they remain tight-knit to cause some trouble, leading to hilarious conclusions.

While the series has had its fair share of drama, especially during the fourth season, where creator Dan Harmon was relieved of his duties, and an infamous “Gas Leak Season” underwent. In-cast problems, with a very public Dan Harmon-Chevy Chase feud. With A-list guest appearances by Brie Larson, Jack Black, Owen Wilson, and even LeVar Burton, the show gained a massive fanbase, and large cries for there to be a movie, fulfilling the inside #SixSeasonsAndAMovie joke, and quenching fan thirst for Community content.

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It’s The Best: Troy & Abed’s Hilarious Bond

Over the course of the six seasons, Donald Glover’s Troy Barnes, and Danny Pudi’s Abed Nadir form an unlikely friendship, which evolves into a brotherhood, as they become the best of friends. Their hilarious one liners, Abed’s crazy ideas, the Inspector SpaceTime (an obvious Dr. Who spoof) and the funny moments between the two highlight the whole series. Standing next to each other through thick and thin, eventually leading up to a Pillow-Blanket war, with Abed leading the pillows and Troy the blankets, is legendary. Their movie moments, and the tragic final farewell, as Troy departs is heartwarming. The hilarious ‘Troy And Abed In the Morning’ morning show and a recurring joke within the series, is now iconic for its fans. Troy And Abed’s famous Spanish ‘101 Rap’ known for its completely nonsensical yet rhyming and amusing lyrics, involving Troy being labelled as ‘T-Bone’ and Cameron Diaz being the “goat’s moustache.” While many sitcoms have tried to replicate this, it is debatable that few even came close to replicating the unbreakable, and amusing friendship between Abed and Troy, also amusingly highlighted in the Law And Order spoof episode, where the two are tasked with finding the “killer” of the yam they were growing for their Biology project. One of the unique aspects of this friendship, came when they were tested, as Troy was to move away to Air Conditioning Repair College, to become The Truest Repairman. But the two remained strong, even moving in together, in an apartment, later joined by Annie and Britta, after Troy’s departure.

Alternative: Parks And Rec

Parks And Rec has been one of the most famous sitcoms in recent history, gaining a cult-like fan following, and one which is large and vast. The show follows Amy Poehler’s Leslie Knope, a mid-level bureaucrat, who starts off wanting to help a local nurse, Ann, to convert a disguised construction site into a local community park, but is met with with many challenges along the way. Starring Amy Poehler, Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Rashida Jones, Ben Schwartz, Nick Offerman, Aziz Ansari and Adam Wyatt among other names such as Rob Lowe. The show gained a large following due to its hilarious jokes, and Greg Daniels and Michael Schur’s amazing writing. Set in the fictional town of Pawnee, the show deals with a rather hilarious side of politics, thus making now President, Joe Biden, ex-First lady, Michelle Obama, and John McCain’s cameos, all of political professions, even more appropriate. As did The Office, the show got mixed reviews its first season but went on to be nominated for and win big awards, such as the Emmys. Headlining NBC’s Thursday night primetime block, it won the Television Critics Association Award for Outstanding achievement in Comedy. With a similar age-range and improvisational comedy as in Community, this was an instant fan favorite as it found its rhythm, within a few episodes.

It’s The Best: Its Satirical Parodies Of Famous Movies And Pop Culture

One thing which not only made Community a whole lot funnier, but also set it apart from its competition, was its satirical parodies of many famous movies, TV shows, and pop culture, with many episodes being obvious parodies of shows such as Law And Order, G.I Joe, For A Few Dollars More, A Fistful Of Dollars,and even Glee!, which the show took a few not-so-subtle digs at. With the mere mention of the concept being enough to make the audience laugh, as a mafia movie centered on chicken strips, or a Wild West movie as a paintball match, it had its audiences rolling on the floor. References to the complexity of movies such as Inception did not go unnoticed, as Troy crying while admitting he did not understand the complex Nolan masterpiece. The paintball episodes were standouts in the whole series. The Apollo 13 spoof, based on a KFC Rocket and a recurring City College-Greendale rivalry was comedy gold, as the crew found themselves in a surprisingly high-stakes situation. The zombie apocalypse Halloween episode was amazingly amusing and made an excellent Shaun Of The Dead parody, by coupling Dean Pelton’s money-saving shenanigans with Greendale’s knack for finding themselves in hilariously rare situations.

Alternative: Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Wacky duos such as Abed and Troy, Brooklyn Nine-Nine has it as Jake Peralta and Charles Boyle. Fans of community will not only love this show, but will possibly consider it as parallel to Community due to its unique comedy, and the added element of law enforcement into the mix, it seems like a match made in heaven, as Andy Samberg’s portrayal of Die Hard loving, immature yet likable cop Jake Peralta has become a signature role of his, but for his SNL stint, where he gained his status as a household name. Brooklyn Nine Nine is the story of a group of policemen, working in the ninety ninth precinct, who encounter lawlessness and criminals while subsequently dealing with their own personal issues, in a hilarious mix between childishness and maturity. Starring Andy Samberg as Jake Peralta, Melissa Fumero as Amy Santiago, Stephanie Beatriz as Rosa Diaz, Andre Braugher as Captain Raymong Holt, Jo Lo Truglio as Charles Boyle amongst many other names. Winning big awards such as the Golden Globes, an impressive accolade to hold. With the seventh season confirmed to be the final season, given the fragility of a police-based drama amidst the current situation and the awareness about real-world issues such as police brutality and misuse of power, the series is funny nevertheless, and the decision to conclude the series is an applaudable one, especially considering the legacy it leaves behind for a large fanbase, and one very similar to that of Community. While the very story of the shows do not coincide with each other, both make an applaudable effort to execute their respective categories of comedies, in one of the best ways possible, as confirmed by their impressive ratings, numerous awards and considerable fanbases.

It’s The Best: It Breaks Tradition

Going against tradition is a very fragile task. It puts the product in a make or break situation, a chance to be inducted as one of the greats, or come down crashing because of it. But, if executed well, it makes a good show, a great. In Community’s case, it made a great show, even better. Community goes against, and breaks tradition that many sitcoms before it either willingly or unwillingly followed, and a huge part of that was single-handedly responsible due to the fan-favorite character of Abed. Abed mocks the very foundation of sitcoms. He breaks a system that was starting to feel very familiar, and repetitive, and traditionally, and arguably, mocks the very show he is in, by pretending he is in a sitcom, and sometimes stating everything as it is, even in reality, with his mention of a bottle episode as a bottle episode in the bottle episode one of the most prominent examples of the quality. Community is refreshing, diverse, different. His unknown self-awareness to a reality he should be blind to, is hilarious on its own. As he tells Jeff, “I can’t tell life from TV, Jeff. TV makes sense. It has structure, logic…” something, which in perspective, makes Community very impressive, as it essentially tells the audience exactly what it is, and what it is supposed to do, but still manages to keep the audience begging for more.

Alternative: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Set to become the longest-running US comedy series, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia is considered as one of the best sitcoms in recent history. Often referred to as Always Sunny or simply Sunny, it premiered way back in 2005, and follows a group of friends, called ‘The Gang’ who run an Irish pub in Philadelphia. Coupled with the narcissistic motives behind each member of ‘The Gang’ the show makes for some hilarious comedy, and some highly memed iconic moments, such as the “So Anyway I started shooting” line. Starring veteran actor and comedy legend Danny DeVito, Charlie Day, Rob McElhenney, also the show’s creator, and Kaitlin Olson to name a few. Constantly plotting against each other, the show is comedy gold. As each member with a significant narcissistic trait, such as drinking, or substance abuse. They inflict damage upon fellow members for revenge, personal gain, or sometimes, just for the heck of it, making for good entertainment. While they sometimes go to such extremes to achieve these means, including huffing paint and getting addicted to crack cocaine, the result is always hilarious, as backed up by a large fanbase and impressive viewership numbers. As their pub performs below par on most days, and barely turns profit, and many passers-by ignore it due to the notorious reputation of numerous stabbings and deaths that have occurred inside the pub itself. While originally on FX, the series shifted to FXX after its eighth season. Now, the entire series, bar a few episodes for controversial use of blackface, are available to stream on Hulu.

It’s The Best: Attention To Detail And Genuine Love And Care Put In The Show

Dan Harmon is undoubtedly a writing genius, but the massive attention to detail within the series is a huge plus point for its unprecedented success, especially after its recent resurgence. A perfect example of this is Abed, who, in brief shots in the background of some episodes is seen interacting and then in an SUV with a pregnant lady, only later to have revealed that he had helped a pregnant lady deliver her baby in the back of an SUV, something which was not fully covered, but a funny gag nevertheless. Another example lies when Jeff tries to prank Britta, only to message her nephew provocative text messages, putting their relationship at a chaotic point, as her nephew visits her play, with ulterior motives, and eventually has to be bribed and explained to by Jeff, to avoid anything that might have happened. Another creative and hilarious gag was Danny Pudi’s Abed revealing to Jeff about his visit on the set of hit sitcom, Cougar Town, a personal favorite of Abed’s character. This revelation coincided with Danny Pudi’s actual cameo in Cougar Town, another stroke of genius by Dan Harmon.

Alternative: Rick And Morty

Not adding Rick And Morty, another one of Dan Harmon’s comedy masterpiece feels like a crime. Masterminded by Dan Harmon and Justin Rolland, the animated series follows a teenage boy, Morty, who goes with his eccentric grandfather, Rick on interspace and interdimensional adventures, on his grandfather’s spaceship, ending in hilarious results. In terms of ratings, while Community was rated PG-13, and contained minor language, Rick And Morty, with all its fowl language, and adult content, is a hard R. Justin Rolland also providing the voice for both Rick, an old drunk, and Morty, a teenage boy, is as impressive as is Dan Harmon’s amazing writing. Dan Harmon gaining a role himself as ‘Birdperson’, the excessive callbacks to mainstream pop culture, such as A Nightmare On Elm Street and Inception produces some great comedy, and mixed in with the Harmon charm, its a solid hit, and one that will have you laughing your guts out. Also in the show are Morty’s parents, Elizabeth and Jerry, as Jerry disapproves of Rick returning to live with the family after his prolonged disappearance spanning two decades. With the show gaining critical acclaim due to its hilarious comedy, creativity, and originality, it is a must watch for any Community fan, thirsting for more Dan Harmon.

It’s The Best: The Cast

One thing which contributed to Community’s success majorly was the chemistry and visible friendship that the cast shared. A great cast can uplift any piece of television or cinema to unparalleled heights, as it did in Community’s case. Now fans cannot envision anyone other than Joel McHale headlining the series as ex-lawyer, Jeff Winger, or Donald Glover and Danny Pudi as lovable and fan favorite duo Troy Barnes and Abed Nadir. With the cast going on to gain much more success and acclaim, notably Donald Glover, getting critical praise for Atlanta, and dominating the music charts as Childish Gambino, or even Alison Brie, headlining Netflix’s GLOW! Yvette Nicole Brown gaining herself co-hosting on shows such as The Realand appearances in Will And Graceand even Avengers: Endgameas Joel McHale hosting the Tiger Kingreunion, and Crime Scene Kitchen. Regardless of eventual future success, the cast of Community had a certain chemistry about them, an unparalleled aura, as if they were not acting as friends, but truly and utterly were friends, which resonated with audiences and was reflected in their portrayals of the characters, making the very portrayals better, tenfold.

Alternative: Arrested Development

Airing from 2003-2019, Arrested Development narrates the story of the Bluth family, a once wealthy tycoon business-oriented family, only for the head patriarch losing every penny he saved to investor fraud after treating the company as his own bank account. Starring Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Will Arnett and many more, Bateman’s Michael Bluth must work to keep the family together and survive, as the rest of his family refuse to accept the reality and severity of the situation and refuse to work and strive for recovery. A hilarious riches to rags story, Arrested Development, also co-created by the now household names of the Russo Brothers, thanks to their record-breaking stint at Marvel, both of whom are also co-creators of Community. With a plethora of improvisational comedy, coupled with the hilarious narrator element, the show does not fail to amuse, as Ron Howard narrates, produces and stars as a fictionalized version of himself. The usage of handheld camerawork, and voice-over narration adds an additional color to the hilarious series, but despite a positive response from critics, it was victim to low ratings at Fox, but for Netflix to commission new episodes, and keep the amusing show alive. Hilarious characters such as Tony Hale, who plays Jason Bateman’s Michael’s smaller brother, and David Cross’s Tobias Funk were standouts in the show, as the failed doctor, wanting to be actor’s numerous failed attempts made for a good laugh, however unfortunate they are.

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