I still haven’t watched the fourth season.
I’m probably never going to.
I’m still not sure they needed a second paintball episode.
That one where they’re all playing that video game Pierce’s father made? That was pretty great.
Remember how Troy started out as the alpha-male, dumb jock type and slowly transformed into one of the most lovable idiots on TV? Remember how Jeff seemed too douchey to function so they had to play him off of Professor Duncan to give him some thread of likability? Remember how Britta is the worst from start to finish, but in the best way somebody can be the worse? Remember Magnitude?
Oh this is all sad. It’s sad because I find myself getting emotional over the cancellation of a television show that could have been cancelled after any of it’s five seasons. Shoot. The ratings were so low and inconsistent that it would have been a certain kind of business sense for NBC to have pulled the plug whenever the hell it wanted to, but despite that logic being firmly in place, NBC kept bringing Community back until it didn’t. I’m going to miss those weirdos.
I’m probably going to spend a lot of time watching old episodes (except season 4) over the next few days. It’s not that I need closure so much as I just don’t want to let them go yet. I want to find the things I missed and solve any riddles that have been floating around in my head since 2009 when the show debuted and my wife and I looked at each other and said “we’ll stick with it, but it’s no 30 Rock.” That was a different time. A different era. A different idea of a sitcom had yet to be fully fleshed out by Dan Harmon and his amazing cast and crew, but when it finally clicked somewhere in the middle of season 1… my god it was amazing.
On the list of TV shows I’m going to remember as making me laugh so hard I was uncomfortable, Community is up there with The Simpsons, 30 Rock and that’s it. That’s the whole list. Each of those shows had off seasons and dud episodes that only made me laugh so much that I was like “that was worth 22 minutes of my life,” but Community seemed to be cut from an entirely different cloth. It had the manic, joke-joke-joke style of 30 Rock couched inside the heart and, well, family structure of The Simpsons.
That’s what made Community so special to the people that loved it. It wasn’t just one thing. It was several things at the same time and at the center of it all were the Greendale 7. They loved each other. They hated each other. They did whatever they had to do to make each other happy. Except Pierce. Well, no, even Pierce showed up in the clutch when you needed him too. Harmon and his crew created a very real, very new family dynamic for television. It was multi-cultural and spanned a few generations and despite some of the obvious cliches that worked themselves out way, way faster than any other sitcom I can think of, the Greendale 7 never felt like they were anything but a loving, caring family. It was nice to see that. It was, somehow, daring to create a show around people that genuinely loved each other. I’m going to miss it.
I’m not sure which timeline we’re in right now, but it feels pretty dark to me, so I’m just going to say goodbye to the show and leave you with an image I hope you’ll never forget.
Goodbye, Community. We loved you a lot.