The fans of the little show that could, Community were rewarded for their dedication this past week or so. Community has continuously been on the bubble. At the end of every season we hear the show will not return. We’ve gotten a little more confident after we got a third season. But the specter of cancellation has always hung in the air. It is low-rated but loved by critics and possessing a devoted fan base (along with Parks and Rec and 30 Rock). There was a feeling that there was pressure from network “mainstream” a bit more. The second season of both Parks & Rec and Community were quirky, fun and creative endeavors. Season 3 for Parks and Rec was widely hit with accusation of buckling to be a bit more friendly to a wider audience. If there truly was a command from on high to tone the shows down? The very first episode of Community pretty much said “Fuck You, NBC.” Think I am kidding?
And the season proceeded to have anime fooseball, episodes with alternate realities, Evil Abed….and those were the normal things. Instead of being more mainstream, Community pushed what you could expect to see on a show in ways we had not really seen since Arrested Development. It had a vision that was unique and clever.
Last week, as Community burned off three new episodes they surprised everyone by saying they renewed Community for a fourth season. That was a pretty cool thing to do for Dan Harmon and the cast and crew. Of course, there was the odd choice to put Community on Friday nights-known as a death slot. But hey…we fans were happy to get at least one more season. So, how does one celebrate green-lighting the fourth season?
Well, if you are Sony? You fire show runner and creator Dan Harmon. And you make sure to do it as above and beyond ethically and full of respect for everybody. Well, I mean, you do it that way if you are not Sony. Apparently Sony went and announced Dan was no longer show runner, who his replacements were and that he would stay on as a consultant…all before confirming the changes with him.
Stay classy, Sony.
Truthfully..I am not sure I will stick around for season four. I love the cast. But I have a hard time believing this will be the Community I’ve been watching. It will be a show that is…like the creature in the Thing. It might look like Community. At times? It may sound like Community. But the real Community was absorbed and imitated. The only writer that had been with the show since the first season (Chris McKenna) walked. So this is what happens when you ask your cast to perform a song saying “Fuck you” to the Network to kick off your season. It was an awesome run though, Mr. Harmon.