Community has been getting better every season. I say that, knowing I am in the minority. I also say that as a matter of fact, and not opinion. Regardless of what the ratings say, this is true (and, quite frankly, declining ratings just prove my statement). The fact of the matter is, that you can only truly be judged on what you set out to do. For instance, if my ONLY goal in life is to perfect a Triple Lindy and I do, it hardly matters that I gave upo a family life to hone my skill. That being said, Community’s only goal is to be familiar to a very specific demographic. It is as niche as anything has ever been. It is probably THE sole example of “if you don’t enjoy it, you probably don’t get it” (and if you say The Sopranos, I will smash your face). And, please, understand, that I am saying you probably don’t understand is not a reason to get offended. Would you get offended if I said “you probably don’t understand nuclear physics…or Japanese”?…Of course, you wouldn’t. Because you DON’T understand Japanese (unless you do), so anyone that speaks Japanese probably isn’t speaking to you.
Community isn’t speaking to you.
Everything about the show is a joke inside of a joke. Everything. If ever a minute goes by, without a joke…you missed a reference. I promise. this show is, successfully, the most meta show ever created. And, somehow, they manage to get more meta as seasons pass. The result; more viewers are alienated, the ratings suffer, and the show is dismissed by most as “used to be funny”.
But, it is still funny. Funny in a way I can’t explain if you don’t already know…but, if you know, you really know. You know?
The problem is, networks don’t want “funny”. They don’t want “clever”, or “genius”, or even “good”. Networks want ratings. And, more and more every year, the networks are getting cutthroat about ratings. We see good, even great shows get the axe after a few short episodes due to poor ratings. Evidently a show is expected to rate through the roof, right out of the gate, or its “to the block”. And, if a show is not cancelled immediately, it lives its life not knowing if it will be back next season, every season. Case in point, Fringe…and, of course, Community.
Community’s days are officially numbered. This week was a busy one. NBC (via Sony) fired the creator/showrunner Dan Harmon, who (while, possibly very difficult to work with/for) is wildly felt to be the essence of the show. Unlike The Walking Dead, who had great source material with or without Frank Darabont, Dan Harmon is Community.
In case the show would be able to recover from losing Harmon, the execs announced also that, while it was picked up for (a measly) 13 episodes next season, it will be moved to Friday nights, a known graveyard for potentially good shows. And, finally, in what is most likely THE unrecoverable move, NBC announced that Community would be following Whitney. The Kiss of Death.
So, next season will probably be the last for Community. But, that’s OK. If it were something that would last 10 seasons, it would be The Big Bang Theory, and also terrible. Instead of getting angry that such a perfect show was given a raw deal from the network, I will instead bask, knowing that the show will never outstay its welcome.