Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Community


If we can give you a teensy piece of advice before tuning into tonight's unbelievably brilliant—and groundbreaking!—episode of Community, it'd be this: Go into this half-hour paintball extravaganza with an open mind and you will not be disappointed.

We tracked down "Modern Warfare" mastermind Dan Harmon on his overseas vacay to get the inside scoop on tonight's tour de force, which he tells us came to be because of his simple "love of action movies"...

Basically, we've been touting this "conceptual" episode of Community for months on end, and after finally screening this 30-minute treat, we get the hype. It's unlike anything we've seen on television before, and is truly fit for the big screen. The quality is movie-like, the budget must have been ginormous because the effects are unreal—and all of your favorite Greendale kids are there, including an decked-out-in-Army-duds Abed (Danny Pudi), a muscle-shirt-donning Troy (Donald Glover) and a shirtless, muscled-up Jeff (Joel McHale). All good things. Plus, there is some serious romantic development—jaw-droppingly so!—and major badassness courtesy of Community's resident chicks, Gillian Jacobs, Yvette Nicole Brown and Alison Brie.

Now back to Dan. We were dying to know the inspiration behind this wartime epic, and here's what he tells us: "I just love action movies. And when I saw what a successful tone-juggling act Justin Lin did directing the Halloween episode, I knew it might be possible to do some cool stuff with him down the line. Then I thought, 'Wait, how do you know there's ever going to be a down the line?' if you've got cool stuff you want to do, do it during the season you know you have."

And thankfully for us, he did! We have to warn you, "Modern Warfare" is chock-full of countless one-liners (seriously!), but Dan thinks there's one in particular fans should watch out for. "All of Donald Glover's lines are my favorite," he laughs, "starting with 'Jeff Winger? You son of a bitch, I thought you were dead.' The horrors of war, for whatever reason, turn Troy into every black guy in every movie John Carpenter movie ever made." (Side note: it was our favorite line, too!)

And about that romantic twist you'll see by the night's end? We can't spoil it for you (more to come in next week's Spoiler Chat) but we promise you'll love it no matter which characters you're cheering on!

"Everybody from the line producer to the caterer did 50 to 200 percent more than they usually do so that this episode could be what it wanted to be," the always gracious—and funny—Dan says in conclusion. "I wish there was some way to let them know that they are all gods to me without them getting so cocky that they go find a better job." So on his behalf, we're passing along his biggest thank you to the Community crew.

Who do you think is hooking up on tonight's episode, which promises "Love. Honor. Paintball"? Are you excited to see what all the "Modern Warfare" fuss is about? Tune into Community tonight at 8 on NBC to find out.


Follow Kristin Dos Santos on Twitter.

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