'Community' returns on Yahoo: What's the verdict?

Story highlights

  • The fan favorite comedy "Community" returns for a sixth season on Yahoo
  • The series is just as weirdly hilarious as ever, with surprises in store
  • Critics and fans loved the premiere

Do not read any further if you haven't seen the first two episodes of "Community's" new season.

(CNN)For years, they've wanted six seasons and a movie, and at 3:01 a.m. ET Tuesday, fans got it ... almost.

There's no movie yet, but "Community's" much-awaited sixth season made its debut. Not even cancellation by NBC could kill the fan favorite sitcom, as Yahoo streamed the first two episodes of the new season early Tuesday.
The show appears to have suffered no decline in quality in the move to Yahoo, though cast member Yvette Nicole Brown (now on CBS' "The Odd Couple") had to leave the show for family reasons.
    The premiere briefly touches on this in its own way, with Shirley's absence sounding a lot like the setup for a spinoff (as the character Abed points out, along with several other inconsistencies throughout the episode).
    The "new Shirley," as Dean joked, is Paget Brewster's Frankie, who exists to play the disapproving authority figure to antagonize the former study group.
    Soon, the group was running a Prohibition-esque bar before they could learn to live with Frankie. And how about the end of the first episode, which gave us a look at the spinoff, "The Butcher and the Baker," with Shirley and Steven Weber as a Southern lawyer?
    Episode two got even more out there, with Dean Pelton's adventures in 1990s-style virtual reality and a less-successful plotline involving Britta's parents. Most interesting was the introduction of Keith David as '90s tech genius Elroy.
    Critics praised the show, with The Hollywood Reporter's Amy Amatangelo saying, "Everything fans loved about Community remains -- the first two episodes are chock-full of increasingly bizarre pop-culture references (Portuguese Gremlins, anyone?) and meta commentary. The show has seamlessly transferred to an online venue."
    Time's James Poniewozik also liked it (despite some reservations about the plot), writing, "The first thing that matters is if the latest reboot still has the comedy goods, and it does."
    Soon after the show went online, devoted fans on Twitter had their say.