Saturday, May 11, 2013

Communitease

Slaughter at NBC, as Whitney, 1600 Penn, Up All Night, Guys With Kids and Deception were put out of their misery (while they re-upped on Parks And Recreation). And then Go On (Matthew Perry should go back to Mr. Sunshine) and Rock Center.  New shows have been ordered and a few other shows are on the bubble, in particular Community.  On any other network it'd be canceled but NBC has so many flops that such a show, with a small but intense fan base, has a shot.

A year ago, that would be great news.  But now that the 13-episode fourth season has ended with the so-so "Advanced Introduction To Finality," a renewal would be nice, but not thrilling.  The finale, in fact, pointed to what was wrong with the show.  It had the tropes of Community, without the heart or wit.

The plot was a return to the great--their greatest, I'd say--episode "Remedial Chaos Theory," with the characters from the darkest timeline returning to destroy the prime timeline. (Turns out it was all a dream--a good thing, since the idea that the darkest timeline exists outside anyone's mind (particularly Abed's) is ridiculous.) It also pointed to other plots, including a healthy helping of paintball, very important to Community. For that matter, the title is a nod to the third season's finale (and perhaps the show's true finale) "Introduction To Finality."

The season started as a question mark.  Creator Dan Harmon had been forced out and a number of the other writers left.  Additionally, Chevy Chase quit and even in the episodes he appeared was kept at arm's length.  So often, what was left seemed to be fan fiction--sometimes good fan fiction, but generally plots and jokes that reminded us of previous episodes and captured the surface of things but missed the inner workings that made the show so special.

So I hope the show continues. I still like the characters and some of the episodes this season weren't too bad. But I doubt it'll ever be the same Community.

PS  Just before we went to press, NBC renewed Community.  So hold off on ordering those box sets just yet.

Congratulations to the cast.  Now that Jeff has graduated and has become a lawyer again (for public service?--boring) it's not clear what happens to the study group, but TV paychecks can maybe solve that.

More important is how to solve the dip in quality.  Perhaps the new producers learned something and can avoid the mistakes of the last year.

It's not clear how many episodes this will mean.  If it's just 13, it'll be like season 4B.  In any case, it'll have enough episodes to go into conventional syndication, where others can rediscover it.

PPS  More good news. There's a rumor that, just maybe, Dan Harmon will return to the show--for what will be a 13-episode season.  The show could survive the loss of Chase (especially if they can somehow replace him with another great character--some have suggest bringing in Fred Willard, as in Abed's dream), but losing Harmon seemed to put out the pilot light.

Actually, I think this is nonsense.  I believe NBC still doesn't want the unpredictable Harmon back, and he might not be ready to return.  Still, if he did come back, it'd be a chance, if nothing else, to let this show go out right.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Community will be syndicated on Comedy Central. This sometimes helps ratings, and may be the reason NBC decided to give it another year. Plus it has low ratings, but really gets the young adult crowd.

1:47 AM, May 11, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeff said he would work "the little guy" not public service- he has the mindset of a class-action plaintiff's lawyer- I anticipate his first case will be representing normal fat folks who found a dead mouse in their cola

3:45 AM, May 11, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The finale was way too goopy- clear violation of the neo-Seinfeldian comedy trope of no hugging and no learning

3:48 AM, May 11, 2013  
Blogger LAGuy said...

Seinfeld was reacting to every other sitcom, so it's not a hard and fast rule.

Community has been sentimental before, but it did overdo it a bit here. But I could forgive that if it were funnier, or at least more clever.

9:12 AM, May 11, 2013  
Anonymous Denver Guy said...

I'll miss GoOn, though we stopped watching it after NBC moved it from Tuesday night to Thurs. night I think, where it ran against Person of Interest. For wht it's worth, we never watched "The Voice," and tuned in just for Go On.

8:16 AM, May 13, 2013  

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