Recently it was announced that NBC cancelled Community after five seasons of struggling to stay on the air. This should not come as a surprise for many fans as NBC has had their crosshairs on Community for years. This is due to the fact that for five seasons Community never had a large audience, but what it did have is a very dedicated cult-following.
The show stars Jeff Winger (played by The Soup‘s Joel McHale), a lawyer who is stripped of his title as a lawyer after it was discovered he faked his degree. He goes to Greendale Community College in order to regain his advocacy in the cheapest way possible. There, he meets a ragtag group of lovable rejects who are also down on their luck. These people include the strong-headed, politically active Britta Perry (Gillian Jacobs), socially awkward and pop-culture referencing Abed Nadir (Danny Pudi), overly sensitive jock Troy Barnes (Donald Glover), ex-pill head and hard-working Annie Edison (Alison Brie), religious nut and loving mother Shirley Bennett (Yvette Nicole Brown) and clueless old billionaire Pierce Hawthorne (Chevy Chase). Together they form a study group and get up to all sorts of wacky adventures.
Community is one of the best comedies…ever. That includes other TV shows, books, movies, plays, etcetera. It manages to combine meta-humour, pop-culture references, movie homage and outrageous hijinks. There are many episodes dedicated to one or two particular movie genres. Some of them include a Halloween party where the students are turned into infected “zombies”; the college is turned into a battleground for an all-out war of paintball; the study group take a game of Dungeons and Dragons a little too seriously, and the study group becomes a cartel who controls the school with delicious fried chicken. This is just a small slice of the insanity that ensues in Community. Not only is the writing wonderful, but the chemistry between the main characters and the side characters is the glue holding the show together.
Unfortunately, Community is notorious for having struggles throughout all five seasons behind the camera, which is probably why it got cancelled. Community never had the ratings NBC desired. Halfway through its third season the NBC executives put the show on hiatus in order to decide whether or not to bring it back. Never did the fans’ loyalty show more than when a group of Community geeks showed up outside of NBC Studios singing Oh Christmas Troy (a reference to one of the episodes) protesting against cancellation. The show was brought back shortly after. Another difficulty came from friction between show-runner Dan Harmon and Chevy Chase who openly did not get along. This led to Harmon getting fired for season four. Harmon was brought back for season five, but in return Chase left. Donald Glover decided to also leave the show in order to pursuit other interests.
The constant shifting and fighting between the people involved has shown in the series as season four and five have noticeably fell in terms of quality. While seasons one to three were phenomenal, seasons four and five are mediocre at best. There was a certain charm that went missing after Harmon was fired, and even when he returned it was still missing. Perhaps it is not so bad that Community got cancelled. It is better for a show to be cut down in its prime than to burn out. There will be some fans who will be disappointed with this news as one of the most famous Abed Nadir quotes is “six seasons and a movie”, something the fans wanted for Community. It is a shame that Community has struggled so much for five seasons to make those words come true just to be cancelled one season away. Perhaps they can do what Arrested Development did and get Netflix to produce a sixth season and maybe a movie.
Opinion By Ignacio Gatti