16. Community (NBC)
Stars: Joel McHale, Alison Brie, Gillian Jacobs, Donald Glover, Chevy Chase, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Jim Rash, Ken Jeong
If you're more concerned with reading about pop culture than actually experiencing it firsthand, the last few months have no doubt put NBC's Community in a troublesome light. News reports and entertainment industry gossip blogs have devoted much of their written words to the show's behind-the-scenes turmoil, mainly the feud between creator Dan Harmon and curmudgeon/star Chevy Chase. And it all boiled over, unfortunately, into NBC giving Harmon the boot in May.
All of the negative press has sadly overshadowed Community itself, but allow us to, however humbly, try to remedy that. No matter what goes on in the writers' room and NBC offices, Community always brings the funny in clever, meta, and reference-heavy manners.
Series leads Joel McHale, Alison Brie, and Donald Glover were all at the top of their respective games during Community's high-reaching, if not slightly uneven, third season. What other sitcom has the stones to devote entire episodes to video game aesthetics ("Digital Estate Planning"), a Hearts of Darkness-inspired faux documentary format ("Documentary Filmmaking: Redux"), and seemingly innocuous events presented in seven different timelines ("Remedial Chaos Theory")? Hopefully the show will continue to make such ballsy moves in its post-Harmon state.