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Community - Season 1 | DVD | (14/11/2011)
from £11.95 | Saving you £11.04 (48.00%) | RRP
Community hits an ingenious balance: it's both a top-notch sitcom about a gaggle of misfits at a community college and a satire on the very nature of sitcoms. Jeff (Joel McHale of The Soup), a fast-talking suspended lawyer seeking an authentic undergraduate degree, forms a Spanish study group for the sole purpose of wooing Britta (Gillian Jacobs, Choke), a former political activist trying to move into mainstream life--but to his dismay a handful of other students show up as well. As happens in sitcoms, they turn into an alternate family, including Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown), a Christian housewife; Abed (Danny Pudi), a business/film student with Asperger's Syndrome; Troy (Donald Glover), a former high school football star; Annie (Alison Brie, Mad Men), an overachieving ex-drug addict; and a former moist-towelette magnate (Chevy Chase, Saturday Night Live, Foul Play). Community's plots occasionally revolve around classes--most often abusive assignments from their volatile Spanish teacher, Señor Chang (Ken Jeong, The Hangover)--but more often the show veers into daffy social territory, such as female bathroom etiquette, excessive political correctness, sexually transmitted disease prevention, the true meaning of Christmas, bullies, and teacher-student affairs. The characters are delightful, the dialogue swift and clever, and the stories skillfully orchestrated. But the secret pleasure of Community is its sneaky commentary on sitcom mechanics, from the whole concept of an alternate family to the manipulative nature of will-they-won't-they sexual tension to any number of subtle but affectionate digs. The show's pop-culture awareness extends even further in two of the best episodes, one that turns a craving for chicken fingers into a GoodFellas-esque Mafia tale and another about a paintball competition that escalates into a quasi-apocalyptic action thriller. Fans of Arrested Development will enjoy the rich, layered humour and fans of How I Met Your Mother will take similar pleasure in the clever stories, but Community should appeal to anyone seeking smart, high-energy comedy. --Bret Fetzer
Community - Season 2 | DVD | (24/09/2012)
from £17.99 | Saving you £7.00 (28.00%) | RRP
Welcome back for a wild new year at Greendale Community College, as the study group faces their toughest tests yet… Why would bachelor-for-life Jeff Winger (Joel McHale) pop the big question to Britta? What incites innocent Annie (Alison Brie) to chloroform a janitor? Hey, Pierce (Chevy Chase). Is your mum really still alive in a lava lamp? Will Abed (Danny Pudi) miss his Pulp Fiction birthday for a chance to give Jeff his own version of My Dinner With Andre? What makes Troy (Donald Glover) boldly go for LeVar Burton? Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown) is expecting – but who’s the daddy? Is it her ex-hubby (guest star Malcolm-Jamal Warner)? Or ex-Spanish teacher, Senior Chang (Ken Jeong)? Finally, is that really Betty White rapping with Troy and Abed? All these answers (and much more) are found in the hilarious, guest star-filled sophomore season of the breakthrough comedy hit.
The Five Year Engagement (Blu-ray + UV Copy) | Blu Ray | (29/10/2012)
from £6.45 | Saving you £18.54 (74.20%) | RRP
Planning a wedding is no easy task, and finding the perfect moment for the big occasion is nothing short of impossible, but Violet (Emily Blunt) and Tom (Jason Segel) have no idea of the challenges ahead of them when they decide to get married. This slapstick comedy plays like the art of awkward: Violet, Tom, their friends, and families all have huge propensities for saying and doing the absolutely worst, most awkward thing in any given situation. From a bungled marriage proposal to a multimedia presentation about Tom's ex-girlfriends at the couple's engagement party, and an inappropriate hookup between Violet's sister Susie (Alison Brie) and Tom's good friend Alex (Chris Pratt), the impending nuptials promise nothing but trouble for everyone but viewers in the mood to laugh. Rising chef Tom sacrifices a job he loves in San Francisco, along with the promise of swift promotion, to follow academic Violet to a teaching fellowship in Michigan. The only job Tom can find there is in a sandwich shop, and the move puts their wedding plans on hold. As Violet pursues her dreams of teaching, Tom refuses to admit how unhappy he really is, instead desperately pursuing a friendship with a fellow faculty spouse that lands him with some very odd hobbies and not much fulfillment. Eventually, the strain takes a huge toll on their relationships with one another, their friends, coworkers, and families. But one thing is certain, director Nicholas Stoller makes sure that their journey is just as funny as it is sad. The Five-Year Engagement is an irreverent comedy that takes every opportunity to go well beyond the boundaries of good taste in the quest for laughter, and that really is the main point of the film. That said, Violet and Tom do actually share a few heartfelt moments and discover some very real truths--that no one can anticipate and solve all the problems of an impending marriage before they actually take the plunge, and there is absolutely no "perfect time" to get married. Of course, those moments of truth are arrived at by a winding path of awkward conversations, bawdy humor, ridiculous situations, and childish behavior that will keep viewers laughing out loud for pretty much the entire film. --Tami Horiuchi