Community: Season 3 review (DVD)

If you're new to Community, then this is not the season to start with. But prepare yourself for the joy when you do get here, for Season 3 is easily the best year of  this wonderful, wacky sitcom.

In Season 3, Community really hits its stride. The first two seasons set up the characters, established their personalities and the show's weirdly surreal go-anywhere, do-anything format. Season 1 began with the focus squarely on the character of Jeff (McHale), but by the end of Season 2, you're in no doubt that this is an ensemble show.

Every character gets plenty of screentime, plenty of storylines. All of these terribly talented thesps get plenty of room to grow their characters and show us what they are capable of doing. There a few running plotlines: Troy and Abed's friendship hits stormy waters; Chang (Jeong) becomes a security guard and plots to take over the college; Inspector Spacetime (a riff on Doctor Who) is introduced, as is Troy and Abed's Dreamatorium; and Vice Dean Laybourne (John Goodman) continues his quest to enrol Troy in the air conditioning repairman school.

Boasting one of the best ensemble casts in the business, Community has gone from strength to strength each season, and this one is easily the best so far. And it's also the season where creator Dan Harmon got the shove from the studio, and his absence will definitely be noticed from Season 4 onwards. So enjoy Community at its best while you can.

EXTRAS ★★★★ Audio commentries on each and every episode; deleted scenes; outtakes; the featurette A Glee-ful Community Christmas (6:07), which goes behind the scenes of the Christmas musical episode; and the featurette This is War: Pillows vs Blankets (12:53), a mockumentary of the two-part episode where Troy and Abed battle over whether to build a blanket fort or a pillow fort.

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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