Character Corner: Community - Best of Shirley (Season 1) (by tvgirl17)
Once a bully and an alcoholic, now a devout Christian mother and proud African-American woman/”racist-prover”, Shirley Bennett will alternate between sassing and guilting-tripping you. She’s hidden her past lives well enough considering the very apparent rage issues lurking under her very pleasant disposition.
She started taking business classes at Greendale Community College to market her brownies after her split with her husband (with whom she’s since reconciled). A housewife finding herself later in life, she’s gotten the chance to grow into a more tolerant person through her loyalty to her eclectic, spiritually diverse study group and her maternal instincts often come into play with them as well, often in touching ways.
Passive aggression, meddling, and ambiguous Halloween costumes aside, Shirley is a complex character on a very complex program. Being so demographic-heavy, she could have been a recipe for stereotypical disaster but she’s given some of the funniest lines on the show just like all the other characters. She’s nice.