Community: Repilot Indeed
We’ve all been there when a show we loved got cancelled unexpectedly. (*cough* Firefly *cough*)
But what happens when you know it’s coming? When you can tell that the big wigs of the network want to cancel a show you love? If this is the case, a few things may happen…
First, a show’s time slot or day of the week may get moved. It’s not necessarily a bad sign so you’re hopeful and you think, “Maybe…maybe the new time will be better?” If that doesn’t work, a show’s episode list may get cut from 22 to 13, to which your immediate reaction is, “Uh oh”. And thirdly, the show may fail to show up on the spring lineup after the winter hiatus, and there is no word on when the show will be returning, and by that point you pretty much stop talking and cry into your pillow until it comes back.
All these things happened to Community. This quirky, entertaining comedy focuses around the lives of seven misfits attending the wonderful, community college known as Greendale. With episodes involving paintball, zombie outbreaks and even alternate universes, it’s understandable why it raised a few eyebrows. But, the fans were persistent and demanded more. The third season returned from winter hiatus and it was announced Community would have a fourth season.
However, when creator and show runner, Dan Harmon, was fired, it was a huge blow to Community’s dedicated fan base. What would happen? Would the show be the same without Harmon? Would they still have awesome movie homages? Would the characters we know and love still be the same?
Unfortunately, the fourth season was just as rough as was feared. Yeah there were still really good jokes and yeah, there were still episodes that were hilarious. But, it didn’t feel the same. Hell, it didn’t even look the same. The show looked brighter and more colorful, which made it feel almost cartoonish. The actors were still amazing as ever. But their characters weren’t the characters were knew and loved. It just felt…wrong.
Another blow came when, towards the end of filming the fourth season, Chevy Chase left the show. His character, Pierce, had been the butt of many jokes and the villain in many of the story arcs. He was an important and integral part of the Greendale Seven’s dynamic and was one of the few characters who would outright call Jeff out on the crap he was trying to pull. Community’s future looked bleak once more.
Then, two miracles happened. One, Community was renewed for a fifth season. It was still 13 episodes, but hey, it was coming back. The second miracle was even more exciting: after Chase’s exit, Dan Harmon was rehired. The show runner and creator was returning! Community fans rejoiced. Six seasons and a movie actually seemed possible.
The air date was announced and Community fans anxiously awaited the one hour, two episode premiere. On January 2nd, the wait was over.
All I can say is: POP POP!
Within the first five minutes it was clearly the Community we know and love. The jokes
were amazing. The characters proved they had grown, but really they hadn’t changed that much. The show even looked the same.
Harmon brought the heart back to Community, and even addressed the progression of the show as a whole through one of Jeff’s monologues. For example, Jeff cleverly points out how Britta went from headstrong and opinionated to the group’s air head. How did that happen? In that same monologue, with a few casual mentions of the “gas leak year” aka season four, Harmon reassures assures his audience all the blame was not going to be put all on the fourth season. As Jeff says, “We can’t blame everything on the gas leak year.” Yeah the show might have gotten a little off track, but it happened long before season four and now we’re moving forward.
There was even a cameo from Chase, putting to rest any rumors of ill feelings towards the show itself. It was a wonderful surprise. I personally have already re-watched both episode several times, and still find them hilarious. Some highlights include:
Jeff being is old snarky, manipulative self. And Joel McHale beating the crap out of Rob Cordry with a tie. “Guys like you should be scared — you trust-funded, body-sprayed, Eli Roth DVD owner. You’re an amateur monster, Alan. And you stomped on the grave of a real monster, who was willing to stay buried. Because real monsters have shame. Real monsters … You’re not worth the monologue. Give me your tie.”
The irony of Annie selling pharmaceuticals and giving Jeff homework. “Relaxarex doesn’t make you give up on your dreams! That’s a side effect!”
Troy’s joke about Zach Braff leaving Scrubs (which was a nod to Donald Glover’s upcoming exit from the show after the first five episodes – which I am saddened by and still in denial about) as well as, “Do you guys feel kind of bad about doing this without . .. Magnitude?” and “I’m much sadder than the rest of you…I’ll figure out why later!”
Shirley’s love of Hellraiser and of course just being Shirley. “There’s a course about Nicolas Cage, but if you mention Jesus to your science teacher, you get a written warning.”
Dean Pelton…period. “After you and your friends left, it was closed for sentimental reasons. And asbestos reasons.”
Chang…period. “Awwwww, she in yo class, yo!”
Britta’s continued attempt at analogies and insistence on studying psychology. “That’s like me blaming owls for how bad I suck at analogies.”
And of course, Abed having his Nic Cage meltdown. [insert Nic Cage noises]
If you aren’t familiar with the show, all the seasons are available on Hulu Plus. It’s a show that’s easy to catch up on and watch over again and again. I cannot wait to see what the rest of the season has in store.
To all my fellow Community fans: #sixseasonsandamovie
(EDITORS NOTE: All this week, those involved with Community and its fans have been tweeting out #sixseasonsandamovie. Please help save this show. If you won’t, who will?)