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By now well used to rumours of its own imminent demise, ‘Community’ opens series three with a joyful ‘Glee’ pisstake-cum-suicide note, before hinting at the departure of Chevy Chase that actually comes to pass a series later.
Reports from the US suggest that Chase’s exit, along with that of showrunner Dan Harmon, have seen ‘Community’ enter sharp decline, so this may be the last chance to see this show at its considerable best. This double bill introduces two new nemeses –John Goodman’s tyrannical vice dean and Michael K Williams’s uptight biology professor (both terrific), while the plots, for what they’re worth, see Jeff exiled from the group and Annie meeting her ‘multicultural evil twin’.
With references ranging from the US perspective on British telly to ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, ‘Community’ can sometimes feel like one big in-joke for pop-culture nerds. But it combines gags, innovation and goofy warmth with an ease that never ceases to impress. Episodes three and four follow at midnight.