I’ve been a huge fan of The Soup for as long as I can remember. I’m not a fan of much reality television (with the exception of Ru Paul’s Drag Race!) but The Soup is my guilty pleasure each week because it highlights and mocks all the worst best moments of talk, reality, and “news” shows from the preceding week. What makes the show is not the clips themselves, but the the guy who presents them. That guy of course is Joel McHale.
Joel mocks the featured trash television clips so well, he takes away any guilt you might have developed from each seeing a glimpse of them. The Soup team also does mock trailers for movies and recreates interviews placing Joel in them opposite a “star”. No one is safe from Joel McHale’s wrath (although they don’t get into politics) but the butts of his jokes almost consider it a privilege to be made fun of by him. After all, in some ways, it just extends their 15 seconds of fame a bit longer.
Watching Joel serve up great Soup for so many years, I always knew that the guy was a special guy whose talent could stretch way beyond what we’d seen til now. He had a small role in the ill-fated Pushing Daisies last year and did a ton of stand-up this year, maybe in preparation for the launch of Community. He’s certainly promoted it enough on The Soup, which is often a place where shows and movies are plugged since people are so used to fast-forwarding through commercials.
Well, we watched the pilot episode, which aired on Thursday at 9:30 on NBC. Pilots are a hard feat to accomplish. You’ve got to introduce all the characters, set the premise of the show, the setting, and still make it funny – or at least promise the audience that it will be funny. Well I think that Community did pretty good job on the pilot of convincing me that it’s worth watching.
The basic premise, which they described in the “Meet the Cast/Preview” video below, is about a guy named Jeff Winger who’s back at school because he had faked his way through life, posing as a lawyer with a made up degree. After being found out as a fraud, he comes back to community college to apparently make all the same mistakes again. In the first episode he asked the dean (who he had defended in a DUI case) for all the answers to all the tests for his curriculum. As the story unfolds, you meet a complete set of misfits who attend Greendale Community college, including Pierce, who is played by Chevy Chase.
All the students in the Spanish “study group” all have something to get over and you pretty much get a glimpse into each of their disorders during the pilot. There’s enough comedic talent to go around for a couple of TV series so hopefully the writing will be great and make Community a regular part of several viewers’ Thursday nights. In the episode that follows the pilot, we’ll meet the Asian Spanish teacher, Señor Chang, played by the hilarious Ken Jeong. For Soup lovers, there are some great inside jokes and even references to Ryan Seacrest, who Joel constantly teases for being so short. In some ways, this show reminds me of the community college version of…. that’s right… you guessed it Strangers With Candy staring Amy Sedaris and Stephen Colbert. Although Community appears to be slightly less irreverent.
Watch the Meet the Cast/Preview video below:
(sorry for the incorrect reference to Talk Soup and for the commercial)
Well I would love nothing more than the tall, handsome, and smart Joel McHale to have a runaway hit with Community and with his upcoming film with Matt Damon called The Informant. If you like what you see in this video, tune in on Thursday nights at 9:30 on NBC or you can watch the show on the Community site.
Update: I think Joel is good but I think the writing is pretty crappy. Will give it 2 more weeks!
Let’s make this funny, sexy guy a star!
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