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Fri Jul 19, 10.45-11.45pm, Sony Entertainment TV

Series four, episodes one and two
Much fuss was made in America when ‘Community’ showrunner Dan  Harmon was removed prior to this fourth series, and this opening double bill does lack a little of its former sitcom sparkle. Tonight sees Troy hooked up with Brita, Jeff announcing he’s leaving, then attempt ingto assuage the inevitable disappointment of his classmates by taking part in ‘The Hunger Deans’, and Abed retreating to his ‘Happy  Place’ to dream of a spoof ‘Community’ sitcom that, worryingly, proves far more amusing than the show itself.

And that’s just in the opener, with the second episode dispatching the gang to Pierce’s haunted house, dressed in Halloween costumes. It’s still spasmodically smart and constantly bursting with invention, but too many ideas in this apparently endless stream fall flat and too many laughs get misplaced. ‘Community’ is in serious danger of slipping from chaotic into plain messy – here’s hoping it pulls back from the brink.