Community

Common Sense Media says

College comedy's wit trumps some stereotyping.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The series highlights the importance of community, however you define the term. There's plenty of snarky humor (some of it based on stereotypes), but underneath the punch lines are positive messages about friendship and getting an education.

Positive role models

Jeff's choices aren’t the most ethical, but he often dispenses bits of wisdom to his fellow students. The other characters are all humorously flawed, too, but most mean well (with a few exceptions, but they're clearly meant to be the "bad guys" of the show). The people attending Greendale CC are from all walks of life -- though the show's humor often relies on stereotypes about community college and the people who attend them.

Violence

Occasional pushing and shoving, with people occasionally getting a black eye as a result. Shirley sometimes makes violent threats, but she doesn't act on them. Some episodes have featured extended paint-ball battles, with action movie-like violence, but it's all over the top and played for laughs.

Sex

Flirting, kissing, innuendo, and suggested hook-ups between adults. Other sexual content includes underage "sexting." Pierce occasionally sexually harasses his fellow students.

Language

Words like "douche bag," "crap," and "ass" are audible.

Consumerism

References to popular items like the iPhone, as well as to tons of other TV shows, movies, and pop culture touchstones.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

At least one character smokes cigarettes. There are also references to drinking, and in at least one episode, characters get drunk (drinking shots, beer, and more). One student is a recovering prescription drug addict; in at least one episode, a cast member trips out on a drug that's presumably Ecstasy.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Community -- a sitcom about a motley crew of community college students -- has plenty of sexual innuendo and stereotypes about community colleges and those who attend them, but it also has messages about the importance of friendship (and, secondarily, pursuing an education at any age). The main characters make plenty of iffy choices, and they're all flawed, but they're also a strong group of friends who support each other through thick and thin. Expect some salty language ("crap," "ass," etc.), occasional cigarette smoking and drinking, exaggerated violence played for laughs, and tons of pop culture references and jokes.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

COMMUNITY centers on Jeff Winger (Joel McHale), a sharp-witted lawyer who finds himself at Greendale Community College after his degree gets revoked. Hoping to attract the attention of fellow student Britta (Gillian Jacobs) while scoring some easy As, Jeff forms a Spanish study group that unexpectedly brings together an eclectic group of students -- including pop-culture junkie Abed (Danny Pudi), hippie-turned-businessman Pierce (Chevy Chase), middle-aged divorcee Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown), neurotic perfectionist Annie (Alison Brie), and former high school jock Troy (Donald Glover). Things tend to get a little crazy, especially when the group goes up against Chang (Ken Jeong). But as Jeff learns that street smarts don't replace book smarts, he also finds himself getting a social education.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Created by the directors of Arrested Development, this well-written series successfully mixes traditional sitcom humor with some of the quirky social interactions made famous in The Breakfast Club. It's also mildly edgy thanks to the way the humor plays off of stereotypes associated with community colleges, the professors who teach there, and the people who attend them.

The members of the study group are far from perfect, but buried within the jokes is a positive message about the importance of getting an education at any age, as well as the importance of friendship. It's definitely funny, and ultimately, Community manages to score high marks. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether it's ever appropriate to use stereotypes to create humor. Why or why not?

  • Would you consider the characters role models? Are their relationships realistic? How do they change over the course of the series? What do they learn?

  • What's the difference between a community college and a university? What are the benefits of attending one or the other? Disadvantages?

TV details

Cast:Alison Brie, Chevy Chase, Donald Glover, Gillian Jacobs, Joel McHale
Network:NBC
Genre:Comedy
Topics:Friendship
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Community was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byjillianlovescats October 25, 2010
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

I Love Community! Chevy Chase rocks my world!

100% awesome!

What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Teen, 16 years old Written byChronoTrigger July 3, 2011
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Stereotype jokes, but it's ok...

It's a funny show! I think it should be 13+, as long as your kids don't copy what they see or hear.
I've learned a lot from Abed, a character on the show- you can learn to solve a situation by finding a movie that's just like what's going on in your life. With me, it was Pete's Dragon- my boyfriend being Paul, me being Nora, metaphorically, of course. My boyfriend disappeared, but I'm sure he'll be found again someday.

What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 16 years old Written byross.allen October 25, 2009
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

When presented to its appropriate audience, this show is golden!

Obviously there are some inappropriate aspects of this show, but perhaps that is what gives it the edgy push that makes it so hilarious. When presented to its appropriate audience, this show is golden!

What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing

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