For all of its surreal humor, the show is almost shockingly sincere, and more often than not ends with an earnest monologue about friendship — as New York Times critic Mike Hale noticed last month:
“[I]t seems safe to say that the web of allusions woven by the show’s creator, Dan Harmon, and his staff serves a double purpose. It’s potentially funny in its own right […] but it also serves as a kind of code, in both the moral and the encryption senses. [… E]very episode is a miniature essay on friendship and belonging, and nearly every incident and every obscure line of dialogue works toward those themes.”
Reading that, it’s hard not to think of the “brony” phenomenon — the popularity of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic among a certain kind of empathy-deficient young person. There’s a fairly common theory that My Little Pony has developed this devoted, socially awkward post-adolescent fan base because the show is a straightforward, almost step-by-step guide to friendship. Maybe Community resonates where Big Bang Theory doesn’t for a similar reason. It used to be that all you needed for internet popularity was sci-fi references. Now everyone loves sci-fi. Want to be popular on the internet? Teach it how to make friends.
This is a good article and I don’t even watch Community.