DIANNE BUT­LER OUT OF THE BOX

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Sunday -

THIS isn’t too bad in win­ter, I sup­pose, but is 5.30 in the af­ter­noon the ideal time for Com­mu­nity? Not sure that it is. Ter­rific show, but it has never quite fired up. Don’t know. On the other hand, I can’t un­der­stand why any­body watches NCIS. Most of life’s a mys­tery and there are two more.

So to re­cap: Com­mu­nity was yanked off air late last year, for rea­sons un­known, and you’ve prob­a­bly for­got­ten ev­ery­thing you ever knew about it. OK, so it’s set in a com­mu­nity col­lege, around a study group.

The ring­leader, played by Joel McHale — very funny guy — is a struck-off lawyer try­ing to get it to­gether again (I re­mem­ber one line from the first episode where the dean says to him he thought he had a de­gree from Columbia and he says, ‘‘ Yeah, and now I need to get one from Amer­ica’’), but it’s es­sen­tially an en­sem­ble. Chevy Chase is in it, too, which shows you it re­ally is en­sem­ble be­cause I didn’t men­tion him first.

Ken Jeong — Mr Chow from The Hang­over movies — plays Senor Chang, a pos­si­bly dan­ger­ous so­ciopath who got sacked as a teacher and is now a stu­dent. Betty White has been in it a cou­ple of times as a hard­core an­thro­pol­ogy pro- fes­sor. It’s a great show when it’s on its game.

Two episodes here: the first one is done in stop an­i­ma­tion — clever — but the sec­ond one is bet­ter, where they’re ad­mit­ting a new per­son to their study group. One con­tender is Rich, who seems right, but per­haps a bit old — he has a lan­d­line and uses the word ‘‘ al­bum’’.

One of the guest stars is Mal­colm-Ja­mal Warner, Theo Huxtable on The Cosby Show, who gets in a nice Bill Cosby jumper gag.

He plays the re­formed ex­hus­band of Shirley, who has just taken him back. Her friend Britta is unim­pressed with her for­giv­ing attitude: ‘‘ Well I guess that com­pletely un­bangs that strip­per.’’ Com­mu­nity GO, 5.30pm

Ring­leader: Joel McHale

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