Hey. You watching Community? You should. It’s one of the best network comedies in forever.
I’ve been re-watching Season One, and it’s interesting to see how the show had its idea of what it was to start with and then the show it became. The pilot and first couple episodes are great, but all shows need to be in production to find their voice. I was saying this to Peter from slashfilm, but I think it’s true: Saturday Night Live had months to make their first episode and days to make their second. All network television are made not by the months but by the days. It’s because the insanity of the production schedule or just the grind can transmogrify original intentions. Watching the early episodes again, it’s like meeting whole new characters – Danny Pudi’s take on Abed became seriously toned down. Though perhaps part of that is that the character (who Joel McHale’s Jeff Winger typed as having Asperger’s) has been socialized by having his first friends. There’s no way the Abed of the pilot could understand the relationship that blossomed in this week’s episode. It’s not so much that the show changed, it’s that who the performers were at some point were either tweaked or relaxed into some amalgam of character and performer. Or – as I said – perhaps they mellowed now that they all know each other.
One of the things that worked right away with the show was the relationship between Danny Pudi’s Abed and Donald Glover’s Troy. From the second episode the two were rapping over the credits, and their moments together – and their end credit stings – can turn an okay episode into something that’s a must see. Glover was first launched as a part of the writing staff of The Daily Show and 30 Rock, and is a part of a comedy group named Derrick Comedy with fellow performers D.C. Pierson and Dominic Deirkes (both of whom seem to spend some time at Kevin Smith’s Smodcastle) with director Dan Eckman and producer Meggie McFadden. They made a movie called Mystery Team that was a minor hit at Sundance and made the theatrical rounds, with Lionsgate eventually putting out the DVD. It’s well worth looking out for, as it’s a funny film, and showcases Glover’s leading-man chops. Attentive viewers and or fans will note all of Derick Comedy show up over the course of season one of Community.
Glover also raps under the name Childish Gambino, and his latest video – which references Black Swan, a certain TV show by Judd Apatow and Paul Feig, and The Big Bang Theory (among other things) – is done in a one shot take. He’s working again with director Dan Eckman, and Glover wears the same red hoody I saw him wear while at the Agave on Wednesday night. If you’re a fan of Glover, Community, or Derrick Comedy, this latest video is definitely worth checking out, if only to see Glover comfortably and capably spit rhymes.