“Troy and Abed back for Season Fiiiivvveee!!” (sort of... but we'll get to that in a minute)
That’s right, Community is returning to NBC this fall, or Christmas, or as possibly a mid-season/summer replacement. OK, the truth of the matter is, no one knows for sure when it will return, but it is confirmed that Community will return for a season five on NBC, date forthcoming. For those unfamiliar with the comedy’s drama, Community has been one of NBC’s critically-acclaimed comedies for 4 seasons; however, poor ratings have always placed Community on the proverbial network television chopping block year after year. Luckily, Community has one of the largest and most active fan bases in television, responsible for an endless parade of completely fan-made songs, parody videos, and art galleries all based upon their love of the show. The fan base even went so far as to mail NBC’s advertisers, pleading for the return of their favorite sitcom, and they succeeded, which is why Community is returning for a fifth season. News of their renewal did surprise many, given that season four suffered through the firing of series creator and show runner Dan Harmon and the departure of star Chevy Chase, which many believe was the reason for a lackluster season four. After attending the Community Hall H panel at San Diego Comic–Con, here are five reasons why those of you still on the fence about giving the show another (or a first) chance should give it a shot…
- Dan Harmon is Back!! – That’s right, series creator and season 1 – 3 show runner Dan Harmon has returned to the series. The mind behind much of the geek and pop culture humor that runs through the show has returned to get this train back on track. His return gives us hope that the show will be able to reprise the magic of the first three seasons that helped establish its devoted fan base.
- Chris McKenna returning as Executive Producer – Who?! Oh, don’t make that face. While you may not know the name, you know the work. Chris McKenna is responsible for penning episodes like “Paradigms of Human Memory”, “Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design”, “Anthropology 101”, and the Emmy nominated “Remedial Chaos Theory”, just to name a few. McKenna has a knack for thinking outside the box, and bringing the surreal to the Community world. Pair him with the zany geek brain of Harmon, and we have the makings for a smart sitcom with lots of laughs.
- Donald Glover is Recurring – Say What?!?! Now hold on, put down your pitch forks and listen… While Donald Glover, who plays Troy, has decided to limit his time on the show due to his rising career as the rapper Childish Gambino, he will still appear in a number of episodes and storylines. Moreover, this is an opportunity for writers to remove the crutch that is Troy from Abed and allow Abed to grow and face challenges on his own. Thus, Donald lessening his time on screen could potentially lead to richer storylines and character development.
- Focus on Returning to the Magic of Season 1 & 2 – During the panel, Harmon and McKenna made it clear that their goal in season 5 of Community is to return to the shows roots of organic storytelling by making use of the strategies that made season one and two such a huge success. Season one and two contained many unforgettable moments from the series run, including the paintball episodes, “Modern Warfare”, and the season 2, two-part episodes, “A Fistful of Paintballs”, and “For a Few Paintballs More”. Would you be surprised if season 5 contained a paintball episode?
- Chevy Chase is Gone – Yes, Chevy Chase’s character decided to graduate at the end of season four. But in real life, Chase departed in the middle of shooting season four due to numerous conflicts with Harmon. With the departure of Chevy and the return of Harmon, this gives the production team and the cast a chance at a fresh start for season 5. It’s like season four was a two week juice cleanse, and season five is the healthy toned body we’ve been waiting years to get.
While many view change a bad thing, in the case of Community, change has only made the show better. Like a Saiyajin from Dragon Ball Z, each of its battles and challenges has simply made the series stronger. However, if season 5 doesn’t perform to the NBC executives’ expectations, it’s going to take something a lot more powerful than the Dragon Balls to get to “six seasons and a movie”, as many fans have begged for from the beginning.