Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Don Gone

Somewhat bad news--Donald Glover will appear in only five of the thirteen episodes of Community this upcoming season. I was worried this might happen.  Allegedly it's because he wants to do more rapping, but I wonder if that's it.  I think he knows Community is half a season and out, and maybe he figures as he's sort of hot now it's time to develop a sitcom he can star in.  Things would be different if he were in a major hit.

Community is a true ensemble show. Some of the satellite characters--Change and Dean Pelton, along with the outside students and professors--could probably cut without much damage, but the study group seven have a dynamic, and any one would be  missed.

Chevy Chase has left, and at least his character Pierce can be cut more easily than the rest since he generally played an outsider, but it still does damage.  Then there's Shirley, another they might be able to pull it off without.  But the rest--Glover's Troy Barnes, along with Jeff, Annie, Abed and Britta, are the nucleus of the show. Mess with the nucleus and the whole thing blows up.

In fact, Troy has become my favorite character, and Glover my favorite actor, on Community.  But even to fans who don't put him on top, there's still his relationship with Abed, which has been central to the show. (Less central has been his relationship with Britta, which season four fumbled anyway).  I can't imagine any fan thinking the show can work as well without Troy.

More Community--with Dan Harmon--is better than none, but there comes a point where it's not quite Community any more.

On a somewhat happier note, Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan now seems serious about a Saul Goodman spinoff. Whether it'll be a half-hour comedy or hour-long drama he's not sure yet, but he's working on it. (Can you go from one format to the other.  Sure. Lou Grant did, for example.)  The whole idea might be a disaster, but Saul Goodman is not only a fun character, but the one most separate from the rest.  Walt, Jesse, Gus, Mike, Hank, even Skyler, are all deep into the drama of the meth world, but Saul seems to be his own man, happy to make money from Walt, but just as happy to pull off other legal capers through hook or crook.


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