Community is a comedy television show created by Dan Harmon which follows the events of a study group atGreendaleCommunity College. It premiered on NBC on September 17, 2009 at 9:30 and has been renewed for a fifth season which will return onJanuary 2, 2014. Noteworthy cast members includeChevy Chaseand Joel Mchale, who also is the host of the popular E! show "The Soup". Joel Mchale's character, Jeff Winger, worked for a law firm, until they realized his degree fromColumbiawas fake. He goes toGreendalesearching for an easy degree. He invites another student, Britta to a fake study group he created in the hopes of seducing her. She invites Abed who invites the rest of the cast. The cast is an amalgamation of different ages and backgrounds but despite this, the study group becomes close.
This show's main theme is that friendship and connecting to others even if very different from yourself is valuable and can help you grow as an individual. Jeff's transformation from a self centered, self important, slacker to a friend willing to make sacrifices for the group is evidence of this. The humor and events of "Community" often are often based around individual character flaws. In the episode "Modern Warfare" a paintball tournament is held, the winner receiving early registration for classes. Jeff is driven all the way to win the tournament by his selfish want of early registration and from help from the rest of the study group. At the end of the tournament he decides to give the prize to Shirley, who wants to use the early registration to spend more time with her children. His unselfish act shows a different Jeff from the selfish Jeff at the start of the season.
The televisual flow around my viewing of "Community" was slightly different from cable because I watched the show on Hulu. As Hulu is online, I expected ads for a younger audience. Instead many of the ads were targeting an older audience with disposable income. Luxurious commercials for a high end camera, Don Q Rum, designer perfume, and a mastercard ad involving a ski lodge and a black tie party show that the target audience has money to spend. A Henry Ford cancer treatment commercial played at least 10 times in the hour and a half that I watched "Community" which reinforces the idea that the ads targeted an older audience.
The advertisements and show together present the ideal of a rich luxurious life including friendship and interpersonal connection, they show that you can have very expensive things and friends, and that everyone has and can work through personal flaws. Even if you can't afford the luxury items in the advertisements there are plenty of ads for credit cards to still purchase these items on credit. The connection may be drawn that money may bring you friends. Pierce,Chevy Chase's character, is a self centered, bigoted millionare who enrolls atGreendaleout of boredom. Despite his flaws the group still accept him, in some instances because of his money.
The messages in the show may conflict with the messages in the commercials that I saw because in order to afford those luxury items, most people would have spend more time working. This time spent working is time that you aren't necessarily making new friends or enjoying time with old friends. Also the prevalence of credit card commercials suggests that the viewers may not actually be able to afford these items without using credit. There is an incongruity between the commercials and their extravagance, and the need to use credit to afford the products being advertised.
Community is a funny show with a heartwarming message about friendship and interpersonal connections despite differences. The advertisements however concentrate on material things targeted mostly at older people that have extra disposable income. The televisual flow produces a message that is inconsistent in considering what is valuable. Are material luxuries, or friendships more valuable? Or do we strive for both?