Lunchtable TV Talk – Community: Magic is gone


In the beginning, I loved, recommended and defended the beloved but difficult TV show Community to anyone who would listen. I bought the DVDs and sent the boxsets to people I thought would like it. My advocacy grew louder and more vociferous the more the show was threatened. But after the controversial departure of original show creator, Dan Harmon, the one season made without him completely lost it. It was already a show that many would argue had “lost the plot” because it was so complex and strange – but it had been, until Harmon’s contentious exit, beautifully, creatively messy – or at least seemed messy. It was always well thought out and tightly executed with intricate in-stories, meta humor and extensive pop culture references, which meant that deeper understanding could be possible but even on the surface it could be enjoyed. There is not much point trying to describe it in its glory days – you just have to watch it yourself.

Without Harmon, though, the show lost its vision and became increasingly boring and tiresome. I continued to watch, but I was relieved when it was canceled. Honestly, though, by the end of that dreadful season, I was not even excited to see that the show had been resurrected from cancellation by Yahoo! Screen (yet another non-TV channel coming along to offer original content as an original distribution method). Dan Harmon was brought back to run the show, and I have been watching, but the magic is gone. I actually hate it now and dread watching, but I keep doing it out of habit hoping I might see some of the magic again. But it’s just not there.

For a truly enriching viewing experience, watch seasons one through four and skip the rest.