Community's Season 1 paintball episode — a parody of action-flick clichés — wasn't just loved by fans. "It remains the favorite among everyone here," says Alison Brie (Annie). So it's inevitable that the show wants to top itself, and they'll try with the October 14 episode, a spoof of Apollo 13. Jeff (Joel McHale) and his study-group pals participate in a flight-simulation competition with another local college; the gang gets stranded on board when the shuttle is towed from the school parking lot.
This is no ordinary flight simulator: The Kentucky Fried Chicken SpaceBus — dubbed the "Herbs and Space Experience" — may be the oddest piece of product placement ever to appear on TV. "It's a tour de force of information about KFC, working to make the most delicious galaxy," McHale says.
More parodies are on the way: The Christmas episode will feature cheesy animation; the Halloween show sends up slasher films. "I hope no one dies, but I'm ready to bleed," says Danny Pudi (Abed). But all agree the show will always favor characters over pop-culture gags. Promises Brie, "We're never going to drift too far into outer space."