DVD Review: Community (The Complete Third Season)

I could make this one of the shortest reviews ever and tell those of you who haven’t seen Community to go out and buy all three seasons on DVD, or those of you who already own the first two seasons that the third one is now out and that it is also a “must own” season. I could do that and be justified, because there are very few shows you can blindly recommend to people and simply know they’ll love it, but Community is definitely one of them. Because if you don’t love it, then you’re likely from the darkest timeline, and all hope may already be lost for you and your felt goatee.

Like its two predecessors, the third season of Community is filled to the brim with absolutely classic episodes. First there’s “Remedial Chaos Theory,” which is an Emmy-nominated episode for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series. Not only is it one of the best episodes of the season, but it also has season-long ramifications – at least on a comedic storytelling level – that come full circle by the season finale. Other classic episodes include: “Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps,” “Documentary Filmmaking: Redux” (which spoofs on the documentary Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse), “Basic Lupine Urology” (which spoofs on Law and Order), “Curriculum Unavailable” (which is a clip show featuring scenes we’ve never seen before), “Digital Estate Planning” (an episode that places the study group inside an 8-bit video game for 20 minutes), and “The First Chang Dynasty” (which is a spoof of most heist movies).

There are also two more classic episodes from this season that stand out even more than the six mentioned above, and those are “Pillows and Blankets” as well as the Christmas episode “Regional Holiday Music.” “Pillows and Blankets” is a perfect replica of a Ken Burns documentary, right down to the voice over work done by regular Burns’ narrator Keith David. It’s a mix of still images, interviews and action, and while it’s great even for those who aren’t familiar with Burns’ work, it’s even better for those who are.

Now, there are other shows that are known for certain holiday episodes, like Roseanne for Halloween (though Community is right up there with them as well), and Friends for Thanksgiving episodes; however, nobody does Christmas like Community. While I’m not sure they’ll ever top last year’s Claymation Christmas episode, “Regional Holiday Music” comes close. This episode is a spoof of Glee, right down to the constant mention of regionals and people breaking out into song at random. The songs are hilarious, original and fun, as is this entire episode.

While awards may not matter in the long run, it’s simply inconceivable (yes, I do think I know what that word means) that Community has never been nominated for Best Comedy series at the Emmys, nor have any of the actors in the show. Yes, one of the most original, consistently hilarious and flat-out best programs on TV can’t even get a nomination, while the same shows and actors that were nominated last year (and the year before that, and even the year before that) continue to get recognized. It’s as inexcusable as Steve Carell never winning Best Actor in a Comedy Series for his role as Michael Scott in The Office.

Every actor on Community deserves mention for their outstanding work, and perfect chemistry. Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Alison Brie, Donald Glover and Chevy Chase make up the main cast, while Ken Jeong and Jim Rash fill out the main supporting cast. This is a group of people that help bring the brilliant writing of Community to life every episode and help make it the best comedy series on TV.

There’s a lot more that can be said about the third season of Community, but those who know and love the show already know everything I could possible say, and those who don’t should take my advice from the start of this review and go pick up all three seasons. Then you’ll understand what all the hype is about, and hopefully with your help this show will make it six seasons and a movie.

The audio and video transfer quality of this show is great. The visuals follow whatever thematic need each individual episode requires, and they all look great. The audio is also fantastic, with everything coming through incredibly clear on all sides.

Disc 1, 2 and 3:

Commentaries – There are commentaries for every episode of the entire season, and they’re all awesome and hilarious. Cast and crewmembers all talk about working on the show, share inside information and point out Easter eggs to those who may have missed them during the show. These are priceless commentaries, and the fact that there’s one for every episode with so many people involved in each one is just gravy.

Deleted Scenes – Each disc has some deleted scenes, and while there are a few funny ones worth seeing, most of them were rightfully cut in order to keep up the pacing of each show.

Outtakes – There are outtake reels on each disc, which are all hilarious. On disc three there’s a bonus outtake reel that focuses on bodily functions. It’s also hilarious, and makes you look at Alison Brie in a whole new light.

Disc 2:

A Glee-ful Community Christmas – This featurette is just over six minutes in length and is a behind-the-scenes look at the making of their Christmas episode. There are interviews with the cast who talk about working on this musical episode and the challenges that came along with it – but they do so in a hilarious way.

This is War: Pillows Vs. Blankets – This featurette is 13 and a half minutes in length and is a behind-the-scenes look at this episode as well. In beautiful Community fashion this is a spoof of a Ken Burns documentary about making a spoof of a Ken Burns documentary. When your special features are classic you know you’re amazing.

Sony Pictures presents Community: The Complete Third Season. Starring: Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Alison Brie, Donald Glover, Chevy Chase, Ken Jeong, Jim Rash. Boxset Contents: 22 episodes on 3 DVDs. Released: August 14, 2012. Available at Amazon.com.

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