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Joe Russo Loved the Dungeons & Dragons 'Community' Episode Too

Joe Russo revealed that the "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons" episode of Community was his favorite episode of the beloved NBC series.

While Joe Russo is directing blockbuster superhero movies nowadays, his earlier work in Hollywood included directing multiple episodes of cult comedy shows like Arrested Development and Community. Earlier today, Russo mentioned during an Instagram livestream that his favorite Community episode was the famed D&D episode.

"I thought that was our most complex episode," Russo said in a live video for Duello Bar. "Pierce turns into a villain officially in that episode. There was a lot of range of heart and emotion as well. It embraced all the genrebusting we did on that show."

"Advanced Dungeons & Dragons" was a second season episode in which the cast plays Dungeons & Dragons with "Fat Neil," a fellow community college student who had become depressed and possibly suicidal. The episode featured Ken Jeong dressed as a drow (complete with very dark blue skin) and showed off the depth of storytelling potential that D&D had to offer.

"It was very stylish," Russo continued. "But most importantly it had a ton of heart and character. It was a turning point for the series."


Not only was "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons" a critically-acclaimed episode of Community, it was also an early sign of D&D's resurgence in pop culture. Between Community and appearances on other shows like Stranger Things, a new, more accessible version of the game, and a growing presence in online streaming, Dungeons & Dragons is enjoying popularity on a level it has never experienced before.

While Russo eventually left television to direct two Captain America movies and the two most recent Avengers films, both he and his brother Anthony's next project can be seen on TV in January. The two directed the pilot of Deadly Class, which will come out in January 2019 on SyFy.