Finally! Here’s Geekgod Review’s top 10 episode picks for “Community.” You just stopped being a study group. I hereby pronounce you as a community. Cool. Cool, cool, cool.
Top 10: “Epidemiology” (Season 2 Episode 6)
The Greendale students ingest a bio-hazard substance at the school Halloween Party, causing them to exhibit flu-like symptoms and they soon begin turning into zombies. It is up to the rest of the gang to save themselves and the school when Dean Pelton locks them in with the zombie-infected student body. I really like zombies movies and this episode, coupled with the trademark Community humor, is fun to watch.
Top 9: “Contemporary American Poultry” (Season 1 Episode 21)
Jeff Winger’s plan to get chicken fingers from the school cafeteria for the study group quickly evolves into a mafia film-style endeavor with Abed calling all the shots. The episode features several cultural references from mobster films such as Goodfellas and The Godfather. “Contemporary American Poultry” is a cool episode about school hierarchy and the factors affecting it. Really, who can say no to chicken fingers?
Top 8: “App Development and Condiments” (Season 5 Episode 8)
The introduction of an app that allows people to rate others causes the campus to devolve into a caste-based society. Like “Contemporary American Poultry,” this episode deals with hierarchy but this time, beyond school. There’s app rating and the subsequent “games” to earn a higher rating. Basically, it portrays the use of social media app MeowMeowBeenz to demonstrate how a society could be controlled.
Top 7: “Basic Rocket Science” (Season 2 Episode 4)
Dean Pelton acquires a spaceflight simulator for Greendale after City College announces one of its own. The group becomes trapped in the simulator as it is towed off campus. Abed is left behind and attempts to guide them safely back. This is episode is underappreciated but what I like about “Basic Rocket Science” is the way they pay homage to space adventure films, especially the scene with Abed and the other Greendale students inside the study room which they have turned into a control room to communicate with the study group inside the spaceflight simulator.
Top 6: “Heroic Origins”(Season 4 Episode 12)
Abed pieces together the study group’s past and reveals that their lives have always been intertwined. Chang attempts to destroy Greendale for good. Most people don’t approve of season 4 with the departure of show creator Dan Harmon, but it’s cool how “Heroic Origins” piece together past of the study group members to how they ended up in Greendale. It is quite emotional, and I like emotional.
Top 5: “Analysis of Cork-Based Networking” (Season 5 Episode 6)
Annie and Hickey embark on a mission to start improving Greendale, but it soon turns into a labyrinthine chain of favors. Meanwhile, the rest of the gang help set up a dance, and Abed connects with a fellow student. “Analysis of Cork-Based Networking” is one of the most intelligently written episodes in the entire series, delving into the red tape in the school’s bureaucracy as a mirror into the bureaucracy in our society.
Top 4: “Remedial Chaos Theory” (Season 3 Episode 4)
Troy and Abed’s housewarming party turns into a surreal, post-modern world with parallel realities; each reality showing the effect on the study group of one character’s absence from it (e.g. without Troy the group descend into chaos; without Jeff the group has fun). “Different timelines” is the trademark of this show which started with this concept episode. Different scenarios are shown in this episode, with attention to details and intricate presentation of the alternate realities.
Top 3: “A Fistful of Paintballs” / “For a Few Paintballs More” (Season 2 Episodes 23 and 24)
The Greendale campus celebrates their last day of school with a BBQ picnic. Dean Pelton announces plans for a new game of paintball, which has students forming alliances and friendships being tested. During the game, a mysterious man emerges on campus. As the paintball game continues, it takes a dramatic turn with new participants entering the game. The study group realizes they must unite to defeat the enemy despite disagreements about strategy. Just like different timelines, “Community” will be remembered with its paintball episodes. There’s “Modern Warfare” in Season 1 and “Modern Espionage” in Season 6, but the paintball war in Season 2 is much more intense (and fun).
Top 2: “Advanced Dungeons & Dragons” (Season 2 Episode 14)
Jeff invites “Fat Neil” to play a game of Dungeons & Dragons with the rest of the study group, hoping to boost his confidence, after Jeff becomes concerned about his mental health. When Pierce finds out he was not invited, he joins anyway, disrupting their plans. “Advanced Dungeons & Dragons” is one of the simplest episodes in “Community” but it is well executed. Its simplicity is what makes this episode remarkable. Despite the lack of visual effects, there’s the realness and authenticity in the story on and off the Dungeons & Dragons game.
Top 1: “Pillows and Blankets” (Season 3 Episode 14)
It’s the United Forts of Pillowtown versus the Legit Republic of Blanketsburg. Presented in the style of Ken Burns‘ documentary, The Civil War, what starts as a casual disagreement over pillows and blankets soon blossoms into all-out war on the Greendale campus. While insults are hurled and the study group chooses loyalties, Jeff tries to negotiate a truce, but with neither Abed nor Troy budging on their principles or real estate, the future looks grim for the duo’s friendship. In “Pillows and Blankets,” there’s history and documentary and comedy that makes it the show’s best episode.
“Cooperative Calligraphy” (Season 2 Episode 8) – When Annie’s pen goes missing, she suspects that a member of her own study group is the thief. On a mission to find the pen and solve the mystery, the group takes a self-imposed lockdown and Jeff takes the lead in conducting the search. Meanwhile, Troy and Abed are itching to get out of the study room to make it to the Greendale Puppy Parade taking place on the quad.
“Intro to Recycled Cinema” (Season 6 Episode 8) – When a commercial starring Chang goes viral, the group tries to cash in by converting footage of a cop drama starring him into a sci-fi film.
“Documentary Filmmaking: Redux” (Season 3 Episode 8) –Dean Pelton is asked by the school board to film a new commercial for Greendale; Abed films all the activities for a documentary.