Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ken Jeong as Senor Chang on NBC's Community

"Why you, teach Spanish?"
"Building a wall that you can see from outer space."
"I don't want to have any conversations about what a mysterious, inscrutable man I am."

Joe Russo and brother Anthony Russo (of Arrested Development fame) have a new show out, it's NBC's Community and it's pretty much a dud. Our title character, a charasmatic manipulator of a lawyer who must go to community college to save his career is played by Joel McHale, who is distinctly uncharismatic in his role, and as much as I want to give a man who gave me such joy in Fletch a little bit of love back, Chevy Chase is not-so-hot either. There are a couple of sparks in the darkness, and it's obvious that there are some smart people working on this (hampered as they are by the damp hamminess of Mr. McHale), but for the most part, it doesn't work. The scenario: a rag-tag-group of misfits pulling together, and being led by a flawed figure who needs redemption (whether he's aware of it or not) is ten times more stale now than it was when it was used in the Bad News Bears...

But... The one shining bright light in the whole thing has been this scene in the second episode, where Spanish professor Senor Chang (played my real-life MD turned comedian Ken Jeong) explains his own pedagogical impulse in a physical and dynamic monologue that I'd like to see more of. Seriously, 1:48 seconds in, and just watch. It's amazing...

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