Best Community episodes that were Homages to/Parodies of other genres
One of the aspects of community which sets it apart from many sitcoms was its intense and frequent pop-culture references. This list consists of my top ten favourite episodes that were based entirely on a homage (so the good will hunting episode [S1E24] doesn't count as it is a subplot and doesn't involve everyone) [may contain spoilers]
- •Pillows and Blankets S3E14Possibly my favourite community episode full stop, this features a fight between abed and troy that takes over the entire campus. The brilliance of this is its done in the style of a Ken Burns documentary, specifically his famous Civil War series. The episode captures perfectly the style and uses it to great comic effect as well.
- •A Fistful of Paintballs S2E23Parodying the spaghetti westerns of John Wayne and Clint Eastwood, the title itself is a direct reference to the infamous "first full of dollars". The paintball competition as always allows the show to go full blown parody, and ridiculous aspects such as Pierce's saloon really add to the brilliantly absurd homage.
- •Modern Espionage S6E11The final of the paintball episode, this one manages to freshen the concept up by having an underground paintball competition leading to a spy themed episode replete with references to James Bond films and the like.
- •Contemporary American poultry S1E21This episode is a parody of the organised crime genre, in particular Goodfellas, with the story rotating around Abed and his narration of the gang's racketeering
- •A Fistful of Paintballs More S2E24The episode immediately after the aforementioned western, this sees an open transition from Cowboys to Star Wars, with a resistance against City College and Abed playing the self-designated role of Han Solo
- •Regional Holiday Music S3E10This is both a Christmas and a Musical episode, what really makes this episode so great, however, is its parodying of the women sly popular Glee, and its ability draw in people despite its ridiculousness. This episode also features a rap by Troy [Donald Glover, aka Childish Bambino] and Abed!
- •Basic Rocket Science S2E4This episode paradise the space genre. In particular, references to 'The Right Stuff' (including a fantastic opening scene based on the Eisenhower and LBJ meeting) and 'Apollo 13'.
- •Grifting S6E9Guest starring Matt Berry [who some of you may know from the IT Crowd] as a grifting teacher, this episode pays homage to the 1973 classic 'The Sting', complete with title cards and ragtime music. All the tropes are present.
- •Basic Interglacial Numismatics S5E4This episode covers a darker genre, done in the style of Fincher's 'Zodiac' and 'Seven'. The cinematography is perfect and the serious treatment of such a ridiculous subject as the 'ass-crack bandit'
- •Modern Warfare S1E23The first in the series of Paintball episodes, this is a parody of post apocalyptic films (like Mad Max, without the cars). This is the episode that started all the other paintballs episodes on this list, and it's originality in this respect means it beats other parodies such as zombie apocalypse (S2E6) to make it onto this list.