Community’s back… Or is it?

Artwork by Engelen at Deviantart.

Community is back and it is October 19th in our hearts. While just about every episode of Community leaves us confused, this time we have more questions than ever:

How many cultural references will it take for Community to no longer be Community and fall into the pop-culture event horizon?

If you fall past the event horizon can Inspector Spacetime help you?

Will Smash’s bad press and even worse ratings give Community a fighting chance of not getting mercilessly canceled after this season?

Will Smash become the next Glee in Community’s punching bag pantheon?

Was my inability to load this episode on Hulu a result of my crappy wifi or some deeper conspiracy by NBC?

Was it actually a conspiracy by Dan Harmon to get me to watch Community in real time so that it starts generating revenue and doesn’t get gutted with a machete?

Did anyone else want to murder themselves if they had to listen to that laugh track for one more second?

Is this the same Community we know and love? Because it’s a bit hard to tell. The references and character beats were turned up to eleven but that could just because we’ve gone without for so long. The show is still being economical with its time, ignoring all the boring questions like:

Troy and Britta, will they won’t they? (They did.)

Was Shirley’s sandwiches a fever dream? (It wasn’t.)

Will Jeff ever change? (Nope.)

Jeff still loves the group but he loves freedom from Greendale even more, and to secure spots for his friends in the coveted History of Ice Cream class he has to compete in the Hunger DeansĀ (a Hunger Games reference that wouldn’t have felt any less stale in October, but then again it’s Dean Pelton, so it might be lame on purpose). Meanwhile, Abed tries to cope with being a senior by going to his happy place (which Britta suggested, Britta-ing it). His happy place is a parallel universe Big-Bang theory-like Community show with Fred Willard, a laugh track, and really bad jokes. Of course, his parallel universe has a parallel universe because Abed will always be Abed and Inception had to creep in there somewhere.

It’s still hard to tell where they’re going with this season, though it’s clear everyone expects it to be the last. Which leads to the most important question: if Community gets six seasons and a movie, what the hell would the movie be about?