Pilot Watch: Community

The networks have announced their Fall schedules, but which series will be worth watching? Throughout the Summer, as I watch the pilots, I'll be posting my first impressions. Note that a lot can change before a show actually makes it to air, so these aren't reviews, just quick thoughts on how the shows look now. Today's pick: the NBC comedy Community.

What's it about? A group of misfit students at a community college come together, Breakfast Club-style.

Who's in it? Joel McHale, Chevy Chase, Gillian Jacobs Allison Brie, John Oliver, Yvette Nicole Brown, Danny Pudi

The good: Community feels like a show that has potential. It preys on Hollywood stereotypes, really working its Breakfast Club metaphor and riffing on some other TV and movie conventions — a bunch of which can be seen in the preview video below. The interactions between McHale as a lawyer who's been sent back to community college and Oliver as the college's crafty dean are among the funniest moments in the pilot. The writers have created an interesting group of characters, and it's fun to watch all the alliances form and fights break out.

The bad: When the jokes miss, they really miss; I still laughed more than I cringed, but it was close. Rather than introduce the characters (except for McHale's), we're just thrown into their world, and it was a little frustrating to figure out why I was supposed to care about their relationships. I like a pop culture reference as much as the next gal, but this show toes the line of having too many. McHale is a funny guy, but I'm still not 100 percent convinced he can carry a comedy as an actor.

Will I watch? I'll check it out again. I think it'll fit well in NBC's Thursday lineup.

To check out a trailer and some photos, just read more.

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Photos courtesy of NBC

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