A voice of reason amid all the cries of “Why even watch season 4?” “This is the darkest timeline,” and “Community won’t be Community without Dan Harmon,” this article looks at all the very plausible explanations for why he was fired.
While the show started out as an accessible, though quirky, sitcom, over the past few years it has evolved into a very niche show. I still love it, but occasionally there are episodes that try so hard to parody something that they forget to be funny (“Pillows & Blankets” was the latest offense – I think I laughed once during the entire episode).
The article linked below focuses on what good might come out of the change in showrunners. I for one am hoping the changes will be reminiscent of Mark Ruffalo playing the Hulk instead of Edward Norton in The Avengers. I know comparing actors to showrunners is a bit like comparing apples to apple trees, but both Norton and Harmon have a reputation for being difficult to work with. Bringing in Ruffalo was far from the only thing that made The Avengers a success, but I believe it helped. (Side note, since I’m already talking about The Avengers, wouldn’t it be awesome if Joss Whedon had become Community’s new showrunner? I know it’s completely different from his own shows – though not from ones he’s worked on – and unlikely to have worked out, but can you imagine the fan craziness that would have ensued?)
Found this right after I finished this post, and thought it was amazing! (And very fitting to add.)
But what I don’t understand with this move to make Community more mainstream, is why NBC still plans to air Community on Fridays, a timeslot usually reserved for niche shows. It seems like they’d do one or the other (fire Dan Harmon or move the show to Fridays), not both. How is the show expected to pick up new viewers that way? Far better to air the final season of 30 Rock there instead. I would have put Community on at 8 on Wednesdays, followed by Animal Practice (giving the new show the benefit of a veteran lead-in). Then Thursdays could have started with sophomore Up All Night at 8, followed by the similarly-themed Guys With Kids. I do hope some executive at NBC is smart enough to figure that out before fall, and if not, that a new show bombs quickly and NBC rearranges things.