As the streaming wars begin to take shape, one of the biggest selling points for a lot of these services — both new and old — are the beloved comfort sitcoms of our past. However, while most of the headlines have gone to who gets the rights to Seinfeld, The Office, and Friends, a beloved cult sitcom that may be better than all three has quietly resurfaced on Netflix.
I speak, of course, of six seasons (and no movie) of Community. Across two networks (or one network and one now-defunct streaming service), Community gave us 110 fantastic episodes, or rather, 97 fantastic episodes, plus the 13 episodes NBC produced in season four without creator and showrunner Dan Harmon (otherwise known as the gas-leak year). No show has ever rivaled Community in terms of pop-culture riffing, inside jokes, and running gags, and no sitcom has taken on so many targets, from Law & Order to spaghetti westerns to the multiverse! Some of those jokes were so good, and so well hidden that it took years for viewers to pick up on them. Most people also mostly remember the core cast of the series, but in its later seasons, Community actually churned through some fairly remarkable series regulars in Jonathan Banks, Keith David, and Paget Brewster, plus Community assembled an amazing roster of recurring characters, including Magnitude, Star-Burns, Leonard, John Goodman’s Vice Dean Laybourne, and John Oliver’s Professor Ian Duncan.
There was also a lot of behind-the-scenes drama involving Dan Harmon, the cast turnover, and the network’s annual decision over whether to bring the series back. It eventually achieved most of what it set out to accomplish, which was six seasons and a movie (the movie is apparently still in the works, potentially). New viewers of the series on Netflix will not have to endure the stress of that, but they can enjoy one of the best binge-watches of all time. We encourage everyone to watch them all (yes, even the gas leak season), but for those sampling, here are the 15 best episodes of the series of all time.
Zachary Hewitt is a Chicago-born California-based writer/editor with over six years of experience creating smart and compelling content for various high-profile brands, including Life & Style Weekly and the American Kennel Club. He considers himself a pop culture fanatic who spends way too much time binging shows on Netflix and scrolling through Twitter.