NBC’s ‘Community’ season 5, episode 1 review: What happened to Chevy Chase and more

The latest -Community” is back, and it is already funnier than ever. In between the “Eli Roth DVD” jokes and Jeff Winger deciding that he was not worthy of a monologue, we laughed harder than at any point during season 4.

The premiere episode, fittingly titled “Repilot,” was the show looking to dive back into its roots in an effort to bring it back to what it once was. In his return, Dan Harmon came up with hilarious little ways to skewer Chevy Chase’s exit, Donald Glover’s imminent departure, and also wash away the stench of last year’s “meh” season. In watching this, NBC executives have to feel like they made a mistake for what they decided to do with season 4.

The weakest part of the whole premiere was probably the story, but most of the time “Community” premieres suffer from a bit of predictability early on. They have to set up all of the exposition first, about how Jeff was an attorney before losing his job and all of his money, and how he was hired to try to strike down Greendale from within after the school more or less ruined their lives. He actually did convince them all to convince the school, until it was some advice from an unlikely source that changed his mind: Pierce. This was the biggest surprise of the premiere, and it showed that while the guy did not do very much to endear himself to the public, he and Harmon actually did come together for something. (Oh, and the Zach Braff references were perfect.) There was quite a bit stuffed in here, and it could take more than one watch to get a grasp on all of it.

Watching this episode felt like the fastest 30 minutes that we’ve spent watching TV for a long time. Even though most of the episode was spent setting up what will be the rest of the season, with Jeff teaching and the rest of the group getting back into school, it was still amazing, sentimental, sweet, and above all funny. “Community” is back, and we hope it never goes anywhere again. Grade: A.

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Photo: NBC

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