Russ’s Review: Community, Modern Family, The Office

Last week I blogged about some intense dramas — The Killing, Boardwalk Empire and Moon. This week … time to laugh! Here’s my take on three comedies, some into their second season, another on its wind down.
Community: Started off with an OK premise — lawyer who loses his license goes to back to community college to re-instate himself, and is surrounded by quirky characters — but was headed toward the land of Meh. And since then it has gotten so surreal and wonderfully weird that I simply can’t look away. Breaking from the traditional mode and going “out there” did the trick, going for satire and pop culture spoofs at every turn. From paintball and Quentin Tarentino spoofs to stop animation specials. Hilarious, strange and fun. I never get tired of Community’s brand of bizarre.
Modern Family: Season 1 was great, and season 2 has been a very solid sophomore effort. It’s been a little over the top at times, losing just a tiny bit of the groundedness it showed from the beginning, but it’s refreshing to watch a comedy that is smart, packed with great characters, and centered around a family that actually likes each other, despite getting on each other’s nerves. A winner. Phil’s waggy-dog personality. Gloria’s va-va-vaoom. And if you can’t love Manny, who can you love? That kid cracks me up.
The Office: Well, this old gal is starting to get long in the tooth. Season 7 has been a little uneven. It started slow, but as we got closer to Michael Scott reuniting with his true love, the season just got better and better, although Steve Carrell’s final episode was a little anticlimactic, given how his character had until that point lived and breathed Dunder Mifflin. Meanwhile, Will Ferrell’s guest role just hasn’t worked out anywhere near like you would think. I can’t imagine The Office surviving for long without Steve Carrell, but I’ve been in from the beginning, so I’m willing to see if they can bring in someone new to breathe fresh life into it. I’m not expecting much, but then again, nobody thought The Office would get this far anyway.

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