For the past couple of years Community have been one of my favourite shows on TV (only second to Breaking Bad). When NBC renewed it for a fourth season, like the rest of the fans, I rejoiced but that didn’t last long because the good news of renewal came with the bad news of creator/showrunner Dan Harmon was fired by Sony for the minor offense of being the world’s most difficult employee, leaving the show’s writing staff for Jeff Winger’s senior year at Greendale Community College with probably the hardest task in television.
The critical and fan reactions of the new season has been predictable in retrospect: it’s not the same. Of course, Community is still funny. I’d even go so far to say that this show remains one of the silliest, cleverest and weirdest comedies on television . For the most part this season wasn’t “bad”, but even with several returning writers on the staff, something is off, a simulacrum that isn’t a low fat version of something that tastes good.
The budget was clearly lowered for this season, which was particularly evident in the sets in “Conventions of Space and Time.” Dan Harmon in the past had put his own money into the show, which he obviously would not do anymore. The writers of “Community” have done a good job with what they were given. The problem is, they needed Dan Harmon.
Luckily Community still has one of the best comedy casts out there, and nothing can change that. Sure, Chevy Chase is still going through the motions as Pierce, but the other actors are so committed and so darned talented that it’s always a pleasure to watch.
In the end I didn’t love this season but I didn’t particularly dislike it either. With the news of a season 5 renewal I have to wonder which show are we going to get in Season 5? Community Seasons 1-3 or Community Season 4?