Dec 09 2011

Debate of the Day: Will Community Return?

Published by at 11:00 am under Debate,Television

Last night was the last episode of Community possibly ever. And though it might be nice to have it sent off with Alison Bree singing a non-copyrighted rip-off of “Santa Baby” in half a Santa suit, the show deserves to keep on living.

But will it? NBC is taking Community off the schedule indefinitely, “shelving” it as it were. Ratings aren’t great, and the perennial Emmy winning 30 Rock is swooping in to replace it. The show isn’t “cancelled” yet, but it’s certainly on the ropes. The problem is a lot of people don’t seem to get it, like my friends who love Parks and Rec and The Office, but don’t really understand what Community and its many parodies are all about.

I think that channels are learning a bit from past mistakes however. In today’s day and age where online fan clubs and petitions can be organized in an instant, and blogs written in support of something can actually change minds, it’s a luxury to have a die hard fanbase for a show, and that might be something NBC might not want to lose. The channel has been struggling for a while now, so to throw away a devoted fanbase, even if its translating ratings aren’t great, would probably not be in its best interest. And shelving something midseason where it would NEVER return? That’s just a slap in the face.

So what should NBC do? Let Community come back in the spring, and then give them one more full fourth season so the gang can all graduate from Greendale. Tell them its their last season so they can plan accordingly, and send them out with the sort of grand finale they deserve. I’m not saying the show needs to last forever, that’s how quality can rapidly decline, but they at least deserve a proper farewell when it is their time.





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19 responses so far

  • Sam

    Since NBC already ordered a full season and hulu just bought exclusive rights to air he show online, which will help NBC manage the cost of producing the show. I am sure we’ll see the rest of the third season. I’m also optimistic it will return for a fourth because if they finish the third season they would be close to 100 episode in the fourth season so they could sell it in syndication which is where successful tv shows make most of their money.
    All that being said, last night’s episode wasn’t that great so it CAN’T be the last episode. Community needs to end with a bang, not the whimper that it wa last night.

  • Diarmuid212

    I think it should be turned into a summer show. Less competition and the die-hard fan base will follow it there no problem.

  • andrew

    The problem is a lot of people don’t seem to get it

    I get it. I just don’t enjoy it. We watched the first three episodes and by the time Betty White showed up I was done. I thought it was trying way too hard. And I know it’s part of his shtick, but Abed’s delivery is so stilted and wooden I just couldn’t get past it. When the internet buzz became deafening I thought maybe I was just missing something, or that the show had found it’s legs. We went back and checked out a few episodes. I’ll be the first to admit that the sly pop culture parodies and references are done really well. Maybe better then 90% of the shows out there. The problem is that’s all they are: references. The jokes built around them just fall flat for me. Watched the “funniest episode ever” – the paintball episode and chuckled a couple times, but that was about it.

    Then again, I’m the pickiest tv watcher I know. I hate 99% of the stuff that airs. So maybe I’m just a miserable bastard.

  • Patty

    Good point about the die hard fanbases that arise quickly due to the internet. I sure hope Community comes back. Wish there was something I could do.

  • Bert

    I don’t begrudge NBC for airing shows like The Office or 30 Rock in place of Community, those are their babies and have proven track records, and are generally considered to be intelligent shows even if they’ve lost some of their initial steam.

    What KILLS me is that they are shoving fistfuls of cash at the god-awful sack of crap that is “Whitney”. There is no worse scripted comedy on TV right now, and they’re pushing it like there’s no tomorrow. They ALREADY have it in syndication on Comedy in Canada, despite it being available to everyone when it normally airs and NOT EVEN HAVING A FULL SEASON OF EPISODES!

    Community is an aquired taste, for sure. But wouldn’t you rather have to think about a joke than have a bunch of tired, played out jokes about not getting married thrown in your face with a goddamn laugh track behind it?

  • Uncoolaidman

    As far as I am concerned NBC can do whatever they want as long as they keep making new episodes of Parks and Recreation.

  • Skeebo

    @andrew, you didn’t watch the first 3 episodes.

    You watched the first 3 episodes of Season 2.

  • Jim Lahey

    @Bert

    The only time I have to “think about a joke” on Community is when I have to think whether what was just said could ever be considered a joke by any living human begin.

    @Uncoolaidman

    Way to talk about something nobody cares about in this post.

  • Willie McCoy

    Hopefully since Netflix and services like it are trying to have original content shows like community that have a loyal fanbase will have the chance to live on if their network drops them.

  • Nicholas

    Andrew, I guess I’m a miserable bastard too apparantly.
    I watched a few esps. The D&D one had it’s moments but that’s because I could relate more to it. Otherwise, most of the jokes fall flat.

    People here think Community is awesome and Big Bang sucks – well I’m a nerd (I work at NASA) and can laugh Big Bang because I truly know people like that. I can laugh at Archer because it’s insane and funny (Same with South Park).

    Community tries to be…I don’t know what parodies? References? So I just don’t enjoy it.

  • Uncoolaidman

    @ Jim

    Umm, look to the right sidebar on this site. See the “television” banner? That’s a picture of Ron F***ing Swanson. At the very least, the author of this post cares about Parks and recreation.

  • http://itsabonfire.tumblr.com Castle

    I really love Community, and it bothers me when people say “I watched a few episodes and didn’t like it,” because, like Arrested Development before it, Community builds their jokes on top of previous jokes (e.g. Beetlejuice)

    It has a lot going on, but if you watch the show from the very beginning, you see characters grow and progress. That helps the jokes land for a lot of old fans.

  • Frank

    @Andrew. If you “got it” then you would think it’s funny. Community is awesome. Try watching it from the beginning instead. And yeah if someone tells you to watch “the funniest episode ever” of course you’re going to have unrealistic expectations. It’s like prefacing a joke with “check out this joke dude, it’s SUPER funny. You’re going to laugh your ass off SO hard!”

  • KAG

    It is one of the best shows on. But, the problem is that it is on the same night as there other top shows, Office and the office part deuce. those two shows make no sense in humor to me so I don’t bother with them. Hopefully we will not lose the show, just have it moved to another night. The only problem with that is everyone seems to be moving there shows to Wednesday night at 8pm now, so a ton of good shows will be lost in the shuffle.

  • Andy

    I don’t even think that the paintball episode is considered one of the funniest ever, it’s more along the lines of most well-made primetime television episode in a loooong time.

  • Alex

    I hope that they keep it. I’m guessing what they are trying to do with Community by putting all three seasons on Hulu Plus is trying to grab new viewers who have been told by friends to watch the show (but haven’t had the time or means) during the hiatus. The strategy worked well when they put the first two seasons of Parks and Rec on Netflix while season 3 of the show was pushed to midseason and they had a significant jump in ratings after that (that’s when I started watching the show). And for my money the funniest episode of Community was Remedial Chaos Theory, scratch that, one of the best half hours of comedic television I’ve ever seen.

  • JohnC

    @ Jim Lahey

    Thanks for contributing exactly nothing to the conversation. What to do with all this empty space…

    I don’t really view Community as a sitcom, if not more of serialized dramady (I hate that word, but it’s appropriate). Kind of like Arrested Development, but the comparison really soured Community for me after a while. How do you live up to AD?
    Ya just can’t.

    So now I’ve decided to look at Community in it’s true form; a quirky, sometimes overly-precious weird character study cocktail of a show.
    And as disastrous that sounds, I love it.

  • andrew

    @Skeebo – Holy shit, you’re right! At first I thought, “no way” so I went to IMDB to look it up and I had forgotten, we watched the first few episodes of season 1…didn’t like it. Tried again and watched the first episode of season 2, saw Betty White, thought it was hackneyed and stupid. Tried yet a 3rd time and watched the paintball episode. Gave it a resounding “meh” and stopped trying. Thanks for calling me on that. I guess I just lumped it into season one. 2010 was a long time ago.

  • http://www.realidadalterna.blogspot.com Frank

    I think Community is facing a trouble a lot of future TV shows are going to face. The battle against the internet.

    I don´t think this is a Like or dislike issue. Some people like other shows such as Greys Anatomy or even Ghost Whisperer. There is room for everyone.

    I think it´s almost a kamikaze mission to fight against Big Bang Theory. I want to see now how 30 rock ratings goes. It´s going to be the same. This is about a show everybody is watching, I like BBT too but Community is charming. Park, Whitney and else are fighting Rules of engagement and other shows

    The last thing is that people is getting older. And older people are the ones that watch TV this days. I didn´t realize how Two and a half men got that ammount of viewers until that cliche of “Old people like Two and a half men” came around.

    As Joel McHale claims here.

    http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/ustv/news/a355946/joel-mchale-defends-community-ratings.html

    I don´t know about you but as McHale says younger people watch the show online, and you can´t meassure that. I´m from Mexico, I knew about this show because Sony´s cable channel.
    And the only way to watch new episodes without waiting months is to watch them online.

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