I wish I hadn't been exposed to massive amounts of hype about this show from people whose taste I respect. I might've enjoyed it more, or at least enjoyed it for what it is: a very light and conventional sitcom wrapped in a thick protective layer of irony.
Yes, it breaks the fourth wall a lot; yes, it has some amusing, occasionally inspired riffs on pop culture and TVTropes. But when your show has the basic sensibility of an after-school special, there's only so much you can do. How many times do we really want or need to watch Jeff learn a valuable life lesson about not being a douchebag? How many romantic subplots can begin, only to be discarded within two episodes or less? How many times can Abed play Asperger's Jesus before the audience realizes what a tired gimmick it is? (OK, the episode where Abed literally was Jesus was one of the few that got a genuine laugh out of me, rather than just a few chuckles.) Scratch its self-referential, postmodern veneer, and Community is simply not about anything. Jerry Seinfeld was talented enough to get away with that, but so far, no one else has.
While watching the first season, before I knew anything about the writers, I said to myself: "I'd bet a lot of money that these guys write mostly for film." Yep -- turns out the creator, Dan Harmon, had never written anything but film scripts prior to this, and has even commented that he finds TV writing a challenge. It shows. Every episode feels like a National Lampoon flick that's been compressed into only the funniest bits. Without doubt, that is an enormous improvement over an actual full-length National Lampoon flick, but Community's obsession with closure and status quo ante borders on neurosis. It's as if the writers expect every episode to be the last, and are terrified of leaving the audience with even a single unresolved question. This frequently creates a bizarre sort of whiplash between episodes: two characters may go from being "just friends", to sleeping together, then back to "just friends" in one installment, act as if they're perfectly content to let things continue that way for a couple more, then all of a sudden resurrect their sexual tension... only to defuse it again. In the rare instances that stories develop across several episodes, it's handled in the most ham-handed way possible, with no feeling of any actual change or growth in the characters. The actors, clearly taking their cue from this narrative stasis, get lazier and lazier as the series goes on, eventually falling back on exactly the sort of repetitive shtick the writers seem intent on parodying.
I don't want to sell it too short. There are moments of hilarious writing on the show, and the cast is talented enough within their carefully-delineated roles. The problem is that it's hard to find anything really funny unless you care about it, and Community simply doesn't give the audience enough purchase on its characters to make us do that. Ultimately, watching it feels like eating a bag of Funyuns: tasty, but unsatisfying, and mostly air.