Community is a half-hour NBC sitcom created and directed by Don Harmon. It takes place in and around fictional Greendale Community College and focuses on the relationships and high jinks of a "study group” of students who fulfill the roles of standard community college misfit archetype.
Jeff Winger (Joel McHale), the down on his luck smooth talking professional who thinks he's too good to be slumming but has to anyway. He was disbarred when the a judge found out his degree was from Colombia University...now he needs one from America.
Britta Perry (Gillian Jacobs), the self-appointed crusader for under recognized causes who an opinion on everything. She is one of those people who, after taking one class in a subject, thinks them self an expert. Her enthusiasm to make the world a better place is counter balanced by how naïve she is about how the world actually works.
Abed Nadir (Danny Pudi), the borderline dysfunctional head-case managing to get by with a skewed world view and the help of others who care too much to let him fail. He suffers from Aspergers with an encyclopedic knowledge of TV and movie tropes. He often uses his knowledge of onscreen stereotypes to navigate the real-life society he can't fully engage with.
Shirley Bennet (Yvette Nicole Brown), the single mother trying to continue her halted education after a divorce while raising two children. She has double billing as the religious nut (well meaning Christian with a side of unintentional bigotry).
Annie Edison (Alison Brie), the honor roll student who burned too brightly and sputtered out. Her drive to fill her life with academic achievements ended with her getting addicted to focus enhancing drugs; eventually leading to a melt down near the end of high school. She is the youngest of the group and serves as their moral compass and meter for innocence.
Troy Barnes (Donald Glover), the high school all star athlete who had no idea how to function in the post-high school world. Often chided for being the least intelligent of the group, while he can be scatter brained, he does have a heart of gold and will call others on their bullshit...when he notices it.
Peirce Hawthorne (Chevy Chase), the "successful" "business owner" and "entrepreneur". He "guides" the others with his years of "wisdom", "keen" mind, and vast "knowledge". Mind the quotation marks. He constantly tries to remain relevant despite his age, but these overtures usually involve him grabbing for the spotlight. In addition, his man from another time role usually results in him saying something flagrantly discriminatory at the drop of a hat.
Along with the inept school dean played by Jim Rash, a deposed tyrant formerly security guard formerly fellow student formerly frightening Spanish teacher played by Ken Jeong, a host of cameo appearances by other prime time actors, and recurring characters, the show chronicles the often bizarre events of the school year which are usually send ups and not-so-subtle parodies of other TV shows and movies.
The dialogue and jokes are fast paced and witty, although frequently rolling off into tangents and non-sequiturs the scenic route is worth the trip. The actors always seem to be having a lot of fun with the material. With an ensemble cast made up of seasoned veterans and talented newcomers there is a nice mixing of delivery styles.
Season 1 ran from September 17, 2009 – May 20, 2010
Season 2 ran from September 23, 2010 – May 12, 2011
Season 3 ran from September 22, 2011 – May 17, 2012
Season 4, due to behind the scenes upsets, is only a half season, and will begin sometime in 2013
Update: Series creator Dan Harmon announced on his blog May 19th, 2012 that he had been replaced. Even though there had been some behind the scenes drama and each season seemed like it would be its last, the show had been renewed every time. The blog entry itself takes about how petty working in TV can be. It's bitter and snarky but rather funny, and the voices for each of the main characters can be seen in his writing style.