It may be almost four months past its original premiere date (October 19), but "Community's" fourth season is finally upon us. And while the absence of show runner and creator, Dan Harmon, was felt thanks to the episode's more obvious types of jokes (we get it -- Annie is uptight and Abed likes pop culture), the series still managed to hold on to enough of its charm to send fans to their happy place.
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So to maintain the momentum of the "Community" premiere, we've listed our favourite quotes from "History 101." And while they may not have been as quick as the lines written by Harmon, they still set up the season as one for character growth, story change, and the gang's inevitable graduation. Here's to a heartfelt fourth year.
"Troy and Abed back from summer!"
In the laugh track-based sitcom Abed uses to escape from reality, references to earlier episodes (like morning show theme songs) prevail, while the "character" of Pierce (Chevy Chase) is replaced by Fred Willard. (Replacements -- just like real sitcoms!)
"Are you ready for your first day of senior year?"
It's official! This will be the study group's last year at Greendale -- and talk about a harsh reminder. Within the first minutes of "Community," we're reminded by Britta (Gillian Jacobs) that this will be the gang's last year, and that all good things must come to an end. No wonder Abed wants to live through an imaginary TV show.
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"Good luck, Troy."
In case anybody forgot that Troy (Donald Glover) and Britta are now an item, everyone else remembered -- especially Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown), who said what viewers were thinking when Britta began getting political within the show's first ten minutes.
"And just like [Leonardo DiCaprio in "The Aviator"] lost his mind, I lost your student records."
Dean Pelton (Jim Rash) is a master of delivery, so no one should be surprised that his arrival in an "Aviator"-esque wardrobe was the highlight of the episode. Fortunately, his lost student records were only part of Abed's sitcom -- and in reality, Pelton simply overbooked a history class to keep Jeff Winger around for another year (since he loves him).
"As you know, our students' records are stored on a Microsoft Paint file -- which I was assured, was future-proof."
And this was just marvelous.
"Jeff's really going after that ball -- there's gotta be a joke in there somewhere."
Newsflash: Pierce (Chevy Chase) is still around, and while he and Abed sat watching Jeff compete for a spot in history (which required collecting rubber balls), he simply "spoke Pierce." And in that moment, we swore we were going to miss him.
"The fountain works!"
For the last three years, Troy and Abed spent the first day of class tossing coins in a school fountain and making wishes accordingly. This year, Abed opts out, so Troy brings along Britta, where her lack of respect for said tradition leads to an in-fountain brawl between she and Troy. Scandalous, and totally Britta.
However, the Dean has been doing the same thing -- and, according to his own admission, his wish has been to dance the tango with Jeff. Which he does (before reluctantly allowing Jeff back into history).
"And we're going to be friends even if we ... don't move into the same apartment building after Pierce dies."
It's not "Community" without a Jeff Winger speech, so to coax Abed out of his sitcom, Jeff approaches the table and ... stands there. Abed, however, has imagined an entire monologue, and it not only reassures the continuation of "Community" (or at least the friend group), but foreshadows the upcoming departure of Pierce.
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"You smell like the floor of a movie theatre" - "Yeah, but for not the right reasons."
And sometimes a verbal exchange between Jeff and Dean Pelton is all anybody needs.
"Hello, my name is Kevin. I have Changnesia."
You think a subplot-based show like "Community" would leave Chang (Ken Jeong) up in the air? Leave it to the very last scene for a naked Chang to approach a U.S. postal worker, hand him a note, and leave fans in love. This is the "Community" of yore -- surprising, weird, and unable to anticipate.
Abed's imaginary sitcom was no underground phenomenon: as it was airing, it was accompanied by standard network advertisements. In one case, "American Swordcooks," a reality cooking show starring he and Troy, and the other, "Blind/Blonde," about doctors Britta and Annie playing the roles the titles describe. If only they were real.
And so the "Community" fourth chapter officially begins. Will it maintain the charm of the Harmon-run enterprise, or will we feel the difference between the show now and the series of yesteryear? Tune into Citytv on Thursdays at 8 p.m. EST to find out.