That’s right, Human Beings, tonight is October 19 (okay, it is actually February 7) and our beloved show makes its Season 4 debut on NBC. It was supposed to premiere on the real October 19, alongside Whitney. However, NBC decided that it was in the best interest of the show to promote it heavily rather than allowing it to air. (Writer’s note: I haven’t seen this happen.) Many saw this and the departure of former showrunner Dan Haromn as two more nails in the proverbial coffin for the show, now beginning its fourth season. However, fans were promised by new producers at the San Diego Comic Con panel that Community will retain its same charm and substance even without the show’s creator.
NBC once reigned supreme in the battle for comedy viewership. Sitcoms like Friends, Fraiser, and Will and Grace have been among the most beloved television shows in recent memory. With a nice balance of humor that was both approachable and intelligent, the programs which aired on NBC for the most part appealed to a more mature and smarter audience. By 2005, NBC’s grasp on the comedy market seemed to wane, with the network favoring more police procedural, media, and reality drama, though that has been standard across all networks. It has also seemed that the network has no real desire for its shows to succeed. The truly great shows have never particularly gotten the advertising that they should and/or they are placed at time slots which spell certain doom.
Case in point, Community, a show that has been pushed around by the network for the last three years. With troubles between creator Harmon and Chevy Chase, Chase and the network, Harmon and the network, and well, Chevy and everyone, the disharmonious tone that was felt behind the scenes seemed to contribute to problems with the network giving the show the push (in the right direction) that it deserved. Members of the cast, who have done several IAMAs on Reddit, have all given major kudos to Dan Harmon for his hard work. When the news broke that Harmon would no longer be the showrunner, fans and stars alike rallied around him. There were flash mobs, twitter blasts, Tumblr posts, and the like which supported the cast, Harmon, and the show itself, which reinforced the fact that Community is truly a show of the people.
But as it turns out, many of the writers who helped churn out our favorite episodes stuck around, even if Harmon is no longer involved. Buzzfeed has a great list of reasons why the fourth season of Community is going to be awesome. Above all, though, it is because of the tremendous fan support. When the network all but abandoned the show, the fans never gave up, and that gave the cast and crew hope. So even if Community does not get its #sixseasonsandamovie, we will know that not only was it deserving, but that for a time, it was the smartest show on television.
It looks like we have a lot to look forward in the study group’s final year at Greendale. What are you most looking forward to this season? I cannot wait for Jeff to finally meet his father. I am also intrigued to see how they worked the departure of Chevy Chase into the story. Also, The Hunger Deans and an Inspector Spacetime convention? Really? This is fantastic.
What is your favorite episode of Community?