10 'Community' episodes that defined the Dan Harmon era
Parodies and psychology, meta humor and monkeys, laughs and tears
"Debate 109" (Season 1, episode 9)
Though "Community" under Dan Harmon eventually became known for its format-breaking episodes, the show in its early days was actually very good at working within a fairly traditional sitcom framework in which a group of seven unlikely friends had strange adventures on a community college campus. The best of those was probably this early outing in which Jeff gets recruited to join Greendale's debate team to go up against the school's hated rivals at City College. What starts out for Jeff as just another Greendale goof to coast through becomes something he comes to take very seriously after his passions for both the school and debate partner Annie are stirred up in the process. If Port and Guarascio's mandate is to steer the show away from the stranger territory Harmon took it into, they could do a whole lot worse than aspire to the quality of an episode like this or "Physical Education."