Let me make something clear right off the jump. I love the show, Community. I think the ensemble cast works wonderfully together, the writing on the show is top notch, and every actor or actress brings their own amazing energy to the table. I love the pop culture riffs, I love the homo-eroticism, and I love the Leonard (shut up, Leonard!). But I would be lying to you were I not to mention my apprehension going into the fourth season, which starts tomorrow, Thursday night, at 8 pm.
I figured what better time than now to explore some of the behind the scenes changes that may be spell trouble for our favorite community college, Greendale. A quick warning, this article will be streets ahead of any others you may come across today. Also, someone will be called a “fat f*ck” so if the pairing of those two words make you cringe, you may want to go elsewhere. Me drudging up so much dirt on the show is why they are all collectively thinking I suck in that picture. Also, Microsoft Paint for the win.
I would have sex with 68% of this cast. Up to you to figure out who.
For those not aware, things have been rumbling behind the scenes at Community for some time now. The two things you have all heard the most about is Dan Harmon being fired from the show he created, and Chevy Chase being fired off the show he helped make awesome. The thing most don’t seem to be aware of is, the two problems are almost one in the same. First, we will address the Chevy Chase thing. Chevy Chase is, well, Chevy Chase. Even though the man has dropped off and not done anything spectacular since Fletch, he still tries to act like he is king shit, and he does this everywhere he goes. While initially, Dan wrote Chevy’s character, Pierce, as sort of a rich, arrogant fool, but he DIDN’T write him as a prick. But Harmon having to work so closely with Chase, began to write Chevy’s character traits into the Pierce. Believe it or not, he has done this with all the cast, though. Even the blossoming sexuality of Annie after the first season was a direct result of all the attention her boobs were getting on the web. Something that Harmon actually didn’t like. Here, though this is done in jest, check out how Harmon interacts with the stars who helped make his show famous:
Orange you glad he didn’t say banana?
And this brings us to our second part in all this, Dan Harmon. It was plain to see from how the media focused on it and clung to the issue that Dan and Chevy were not seeing eye to eye that there were some problems behind the scenes between these two. In simple terms, a clashing of egos. It was Harmon’s show, they were just stars on it. And the more and more Harmon would write Chevy’s character into a prick (with serious racism and hate issues), the more and more Chase was getting pissed he was being made into the antagonist on a show that didn’t initially have one. To this point. I slightly agree with Chase. Pierce was a fool, but in those first few seasons, his foolishness was absolutely charming. Thing is, they evolved that foolishness into pure hate, making him, and the show, a little harder to watch. This culminated with the D&D episode that made every fat kid cringe for twenty two minutes straight. Great episode, without a doubt. Yet Pierce took himself new levels of bullying.
Gone was all stupidity that made him charming, replaced by seething hate.
Though the episode was wonderful, there was a real change to the tone of the Pierce character, and it stayed with him, only being perpetuated more and more as the seasons went on. But the Harmon/Chase feud was starting to finally bubble over. And it was only going to get worse.
This is the awkward face you make after Chevy Chase calls you a n****r on set.
Flash forward the amazing “Digital Estate Planning” episode of Community, when all the characters go into a video game and have to fight their way out. The way the episode was supposed to be built was around an amazing end that would have changed the pacing for Chevy’s Pierce character. Only problem, Chevy left the set that day and refused to film the scene (which you can find out in more detail here). This caused a major element of Pierce’s returning humanity to not be flushed out and explored at all, and this time, it was Chase’s fault.
This episode is one of the greatest episodes of anything ever.
This really drove the nail into the coffin for Harmon, and much of the cast, regarding Chase. When the wrap party finally came for that season, a drunk Harmon had some very strong words for Chase. But Chevy was at the wrap party with his entire family. While Chase refusing to do that scene did damage the show, that was not the place to air your grieving, and to do so in such fashion was classless. Ofcourse, Chase had to fuck things up further by drunk dialing Harmon later on and letting him know just what he thinks of him. I will give you a hint: fat f*ck. See, I warned you about that in the intro for a reason.
Both men seem equally classless to me, to be honest.
But Harmon, wanting to out “classless” Chase yet again, went and played the voice mail for a live audience. This, ofcourse, made its way onto the web. At this point, people involved with Community felt like they were in the middle of an abusive marriage. Suffice it to say, with little reasoning outside of the obvious, Dan Harmon got fired from his own show. This may end of being, for all intents and purposes, the death blow for this show. While season four has yet to air, they had planned to start the season twice and had to move it back (to this coming Thursday, February 8th, at 8 pm). On top of that, Chase finally cracked and exploded on set this season, leading to him being fired as well. Well, he says he wasn’t “fired” and chose to leave, but after yelling the N word in one scene starring both African American cast members, it is hard to imagine any network wanting to keep that kind of time bomb around. Chase said he only yelled it in the scene because that seems to be the vile direction they were going with Pierce, but that is like an actor raping an actress on set and saying he was “in character”. That just doesn’t fly with me.
” Holy crap, I said THAT? I’d fire me, too.”
And that brings us up to the current conundrum we are facing. Can Community survive all this drama? I am writing this because I am scared. I am not one who enjoys sitcoms. So the fact that there is a current sitcom I love is a rare and beautiful thing. And make no mistakes about my TMZ style reporting up to this point, I f*cking LOVE this show. But how can a show that was built on Harmon’s writing and ideas, and a show that relied so heavily on the Pierce character, take both of those hits and still retain the charm that turned us to fans in the first place? There is no way to know, other than to tune in and give them a chance, and this Thursday night at 8 pm, that is just what I intend to do.
Chevy Chase isn’t acting here. He is just being a confused old man, God bless his angry soul.
Truth is, I never got over the death of Alex. Oh, you may remember him from his other name, Star Burns. If there is a TV God, that teaser at the end of season three will make season four well worth it, Harmon and Chase or not. THE RETURN OF STAR BURNS!
He will be seen riding the tail of a comet into heaven, piloted by the greased up ghost of Patrick Swayze.
By the way, I might be as homeless as Chang soon, so show a brother some love if you can. Annie’s boobs would be proud.