Friday, May 18, 2012

Episode 1334: #sixseasonsandamovie

So with yesterday's trio of episodes that closed its third season, Community demonstrated why it's one of the most innovative comedies airing now. (Nick Chen, if you're reading this, there is absolutely no way that Party Down is funnier.) Of course, they also proved why the show has struggled to find the sort of audience that 'safer' comedy fare like The Big Bang Theory can garner. Yes, I'm calling it a 'safe' comedy. Given the stellar ratings this draws, it should be obvious it's hardly as demanding on its viewers as something like Community, where to some extent, the viewer has to do some work most of the time in order to really get the jokes, many of which work as self-referential, ongoing gags. Besides, it's not like US audiences are great arbiters of quality these days. For proof, just look at all the people watching 'reality' TV and the increasingly ridiculous competition shows. (Not that I'd consider Community to have 'sold out' if its ratings suddenly doubled. Obviously, it would just mean that a whole bunch of Nielsen families had suddenly got pieces of their brain injected back in by Walter Bishop, right?) There are rumblings online that Dan Harmon won't be coming back with Season 4 of Community, which has only been given a 13-episode order and also been shunted to Fridays on the assumption, openly stated by NBC, that its niche audience will follow (probably true, but clearly a shabby excuse for deliberately spiking a show's chances). That would be a shame, and despite the vanquishing of Dark Abed in this season's finale, would truly plunge us into our darkest timeline. One can only hope that should the rumours prove true, whoever takes over for the next (and final?) season will still manage to be as inventive as Harmon. (Oh, who am I kidding? Six seasons and a movie, I still believe!)

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