Once again let's get the obvious out of the way. Comedy can be incredibly subjective. What you might find funny, I might not and vice versa. Ok, I am glad we can all agree to disagree. Let's continue.
It is rather difficult to talk about this show in terms of plot line because there is rarely an overarching one. I guess you could say that they need to save the school which is a plot that is used quite a bit in Community episodes. Though there really doesn't need to be one continuous story because, as with most comedy shows, we are there for the ride. Community knows this; and tries to make the most of each episode by giving us clever dialogue and spoofs on just about every genre that it can think of.
The positives of the show come almost entirely from its wit and willingness to be different. This is showcased through the performances of the actors and all the wild scenarios they go through. Many of these scenarios would seem unnecessarily far fetched, but Community is one of those rare shows that loves to poke fun at itself. What makes this show special is precisely what makes it off putting for some. It has incredibly quirky, quick paced humor with countless pop culture references and every episode can be a different genre. That is the reason I watch it and will continue to.
The next paragraph is a minor spoiler, so if you haven't seen the season and don't want bigger details then don't read.
The main thing missing from Season 5 is Troy Barnes. Part of the way through the season he has to leave, leaving an empty space in the episodes. His chemistry with Abed Nadir is one of the things truly special about the show. Without him, Abed isn't quite as funny. Don't get me wrong Abed is still hysterical, he is just missing the peanut butter to his jelly. A case could also be made for Pierce Hawthorne played by Chevy Chase, but I didn't miss his absence as much as I thought I would. Jonathan Banks previously from Breaking Bad does a great job of filling in the gap of the senior role with the hardened and bitter, yet soft and sweet Professor Hickey.
What also can be lacking at times is the same level of laugh out loud comedic moments in previous seasons. Heartfelt connections sometimes, as well, can be missing, but for the most part the chemistry between the characters is superb. I would mention them all and give each of the characters a quick summary, but I assume you know most of the characters well enough to be reading this review.
The main character I will talk about is Jeff Winger. He is the true lead character who I would consider the soul of the show. The heart of the show I believe belongs to Abed with his whimsical ways of thinking, partial fourth wall awareness, and creativity. Where the true thinking, reason and heartfelt response to this wild community college is Jeff. The actor Joel McHale does a borderline phenomenal job of giving us a character that is a flawed, intelligent, manipulative, sympathetic, sarcastic (among other adjectives) leader who pretends to hate the environment he is a part of. He's so well fleshed out, while at the same type playing a certain archetype of the cool but damaged protagonist. Small spoiler: Now if he could only decide where his heart lies as far as romance. . .
In summation, Community Season 5 is just as good as any of the other seasons. It is not at perfection, but it doesn't need to be. It has the just right amount of joy and creativity we need in our lives. I can only hope they continue for a sixth season and a movie.
My personal preference: 4.5/5
How well it was made: 4/5