Community Recap: Re-Repiloting

With Community down three cast members, the theme song’s closing words (“one by one they all just fade away”) have never been more appropriate. Nonetheless, the start of Season 6 – its first on the Yahoo Screen streaming service – is a promising one.

The remainder of the Greendale 7 quickly fill their current vacancies with two distinct personalities — one of whom looks a lot like the school’s former head of IT, and the other looking a heck of a lot like that guy from The Cape.

NEW SHIRLEY | With Shirley in Atlanta tending to her ailing father whilst working as a chef for a paraplegic detective (Steven Weber, of course), her seat at the study table has been filled by the pompous Frankie Dart (Criminal Minds’ Paget Brewster), a do-gooder hired by Dean Pelton to keep Greendale in check. Though everyone but Abed is initially concerned by her firm business ethic and no-nonsense demeanor — so much so that they create a secret underground speakeasy when she removes all forms of liquor from the teacher’s lounge — she quickly loosens up and promises to keep their eccentric campus as-is, as long as it doesn’t hurt the school’s chances of remaining insured.

INSPECTOR GADGET | Elroy Patashnik (Keith David, Enlisted) fills the Old Curmudgeon Role first filled by Pierce (R.I.P.) and most recently by Professor Hickey (Better Call Saul’s Jonathan Banks). He first comes to the attention of Jeff when Dean Pelton purchases a virtual reality system using the school’s minuscule budget. When he attempts to make a return on the dean’s behalf, Elroy refuses. We soon learn that the sale means as much as it does to Elroy because he failed to accomplish his life’s goals as an innovator and technologist. He eventually lets the dean return the system; in return, the dean offers him $500 for the pleasure he got from using it, as well as a chance to start over as a member of Greendale’s student body.

RELATED The Odd Couple‘s Yvette Nicole Brown Teases Dani’s Dating Woes (and a Possible Return to Community?)

MEET THE PARENTS | Episode 2 introduces the world to Britta’s parents (former Clue co-stars Martin Mull and Lesley Ann Warren), a well-meaning mom and pop who’re eager to help their fiscally-unstable daughter despite nearly a decade of being ignored. Though the former hippies have mellowed out in their later years and welcome any amount of closeness Britta will allow, she resents them for the conservative suburban types they became amidst her rebellious adolescence. She soon learns to let them in after a pow-wow with Frankie, in which the newest member of Greendale’s faculty points out that people always hate their parents as kids, and only learn to appreciate them as adults — kind of like how America learned to love Jimmy Fallon after he left Saturday Night Live. If Britta ever wants to move past the years they weren’t the parents she needed, she needs to accept them for the parents they can be now, and she eventually does just that.

Ultimately, the first installments of the Yahoo Screen era are both evidential of the veteran comedy’s age, and of the difficulty of writing for an ever-changing cast. Fortunately, Greendale remains as weird and self-referential as ever, and that’s about all we can hope for from a show that’s been through as much as this one. Best of all, we’re one step closer to achieving that whole #SixSeasonsAndAMovie prophecy.

OK, your turn: What did you make of Tuesday’s double-episode premiere? Were you pleased with the show’s handling of Shirley’s departure? Vote in our poll, then sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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24 Comments
  1. Tom says:

    I liked it. There was definitely a bit of a different vibe to it, but there’s room to grow. It was nice to see some cameos and references to others. I’m on board.

    Now bring back Annie’s Boobs, or is Crystal busy?

  2. SUSO says:

    It felt… off. I wanted to love it but maybe my expectations were too high.

    • Megan says:

      i agree. It was good, but not as great as it has been in the past. I miss the original Greendale 7.

      • mya says:

        i SO agree. It went down hill when troy and pierce left. its really just the the boring out of the original seven, besides Jeff and abed, 2 randoms and chang.

  3. maddy says:

    I thought the new season of Community was……. Actually i dont know because my screen kept freezing despite my fast internet. Yahoo screen is the worst streaming site around. My screen is still frozen as we speak. Oh yeah…

    • Alexa says:

      Yeah I stopped watching it after I had to reload the page 4 times from error. Wish I could just buy it off iTunes. Yahoo Screen player sucks

    • David4 says:

      I agree. I had to watch about 20 commercials because they would cut into it in the middle of a sentence. And the second episode started 7 minutes into the repilot.

  4. BrightLight says:

    I’ve only watched the first episode, it was different but that was expected. I did enjoy it being 5 minutes longer though. I laughed way too hard at the montage of sorrys.
    Oh and if Shirley’s “spinoff” was real, I’d binge watch it all day long. Mainly to try and find out where the bayous are in Atlanta because as someone who lives near there, I’ve yet to see them. Well maybe Shirley can help me find them. ;)

    • Angela says:

      I would totally watch Shirley’s spinoff, too (clever way to explain her absence, and I like that she was able to make an appearance at the end of the first episode). And that Portuguese ‘Gremlin’ movie looked pretty entertaining as well :D.
      And the montage of “sorrys” was hilarious. Especially when Jeff was holding Abed in his arms.
      I liked these episodes! Paget’s fitting in very well with the others-I love her Frankie character, love seeing how she’s slowly getting roped into the craziness. And I particularly like the idea of her being a “big sister” of sorts to Britta and Annie, and working alongside Jeff. Elroy looks like a fun character, too-that random thing with him and Jeff laughing at the idea of fixing “regular Dean” was a fun bit of randomness. I also like the idea of Britta moving in with Annie and Abed.
      Good to see this show’s still as weird and bizarre as ever-I’m excited to see where the rest of the season goes. Thank you, Yahoo!

      • WenRaz says:

        I enjoyed everything you did. In addition, I liked that Chang wasn’t overused (as had been the case in the past) and that he still isn’t really part of the Study Group, even though he’s there. Seeing Nathan Fillion reprise his role (albeit too briefly for me) was a nice surprise as well. I didn’t experience any problems using Yahoo! Screen to view, as unfortunately, several others here have reported. I’m hoping to catch another episode of “Hard Drive and Wing Man” too. LOL.

        • Angela says:

          Glad we’re in agreement :D! Yeah, I liked the use of Chang throughout-the running joke with his bitten hand in the second episode was particularly funny. And considering Nathan Fillion’s cult show past, it seems rather fitting he would show up on a show like this. I’d be all for a few more random appearances by him.
          I didn’t have an issue with Yahoo! Screen either, really-it took a couple seconds for the episode to load when returning from their little ad breaks a couple times, but that’s about it, otherwise it played fine for me. I’m sorry for those who did have difficulty, though-I hope they can figure out some way to make that work for them.
          Yes to more “Hard Drive and Wing Man” :D.

  5. Azerty says:

    Not too bad, I missed Greendale and I laughed a couple of time. But it’s nothing like the quality of the Seven of Greendale…thank you Yahoo for bringing Community, I don’t know if it will last long but at least if it doesn’t pass this season anticipate and make a great finale and try to gather the gang one last time please! Last thing: the post credit scene made me sad because it usually was a “Troy and Abed in the mooorning” and I seriously miss that :(

  6. Miffay says:

    Look at all the comments here! It’s clear that Community is a great big giant hit, bigger than ever!

    • ed says:

      are you being sarcastic?….. i think you are.

    • Tom says:

      Numbers =/= quality. Just because 20 million people watch Near Completely Indistinguishable Series does not mean it’s the best show on tv, it just means 20 million people watch it

  7. Anna says:

    I loved it, personally. The cast is still amazing and even though I do miss all of the other characters quite a lot, I still prefer this reduced version of the show to not having the show at all. Season six! Who would’ve thought? I scream when Nathan Fillion was on screen, because I was totally not expecting him to show up. Best thing about this season for me was that Annie and Jeff are just as crazy as Abed and Britta now (in the best way possible, obviously). Though I do think the first episode was a little heavy on the montages. Anyway, I’m happy the show is back and I do think it feels like the shame show it always was (except during that gas leak…)!

  8. johnson says:

    STREET AHEAD I was so happy to see community . the shows were great…. great S6

  9. David4 says:

    It took me 45 minutes to watch a 27 minute video because Yahoo Screen was so bad.

    However I do miss Shirley a lot more than I missed Troy, and will be missed. Leaving to go to her dad’s side, was nice, but she left her children? Did they go with her?

    It felt a little bit like a “real” sitcom, mixed with the last season of Boston Legal with the winking at the 4th wall.

  10. Jss0058 says:

    I loved the two episodes. Yeah it had a slightly different vibe but it still felt like Community which means its still as different & wonderful as compared to any other show out there. Glad it’s back

  11. rowan77 says:

    I enjoyed it. The pacing is weird because they have those extra minutes – but I’m not complaining! I really liked it. I especially love how Shirley got a fun send off from the show. Obviously there are zero hard feelings about her wanting to leave and do a show that’s easier on her home life while she cares for her father. I also thought they did a great job on making “New Shirley” Paget Brewster just as much of a freak as everyone else at the end. It was a nice, unexpected twist that shows Harmon and the gang in good form. The second episode was pretty great too – with Dean Pelton showing more guile than we knew he had.

  12. Joey Padron says:

    First 2 episodes was good & funny. Glad Shirley got a good send off. Frankie is a good addition to group. Can’t wait for next episode!

  13. Raftrap says:

    Loved it.

  14. Nick says:

    Community will always be funny. And after my first long load, I didn’t have any problems with Yahoo Screen. I used the iOS app

  15. Rich Abey says:

    Excellent start, with a slightly different vibe which is a given without almost half the original cast. The standout/classic ‘Community’ moment is the Dean wreaking havoc in the Virtual world simulation. His movements to mimic those required for the game were just so very accurate & downright hilarious (like a giraffe attempting cheer-leading!)