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Five Things I’ll Miss About Community

Community - Season 5We wanted #sixseasonsandamovie, and got so close. Unfortunately Community, the beloved cult favorite that was perpetually on the brink of cancellation has been cancelled. Sure, we’ve lost some beloved cast members along the way and season 4 was disappointing, but it felt like there were many adventures left to be had at Greendale.


So in memoriam of one of my favourite TV shows, here are five things I’ll miss about Community.


The Recurring Characters

Star-Burns_Season_OneFrom Star-Burns to Magnitude, Greendale was populated with some of the strangest supporting characters on television. Best of all was the way we got to know them over time. Not content with leaving them with simple one-liners, it genuinely felt like these characters were having adventures of their own. Neil started dating Vicki, Leonard reviews food products on YouTube, and Garrett… well, we love Garrett. What I wouldn’t give for one more “POP POP!”


The Dean’s Outfits

deanOne of the benefits of a sitcom running for several seasons is that the production staff can recognize when they have an untapped resource. Jim Rash is laugh-out-loud funny on this show, from the way his hands linger on Jeff to his awkward freak-outs when he doesn’t know what to do. But one of my favourite running gags on the show was his entrances to the study room. Not content with making an announcement over the loudspeaker, he would enter in an elaborate costume complete with a pun. “It’s time to Tina Turner the clocks ahead!”


The Theme Episodes

themePerhaps the importance of Community’s theme episodes is overstated when people talk about the show’s greatness. But while I feel like the hype for the theme episodes tends to overshadow what is, on its own, a great comedy TV show, the reality is that the theme episodes are pretty great. The original Paintball episode took season 1 to new heights, and “Dungeons and Dragons” remains the most compelling half hour of people sitting in chairs you’re likely to see. Personally, though, my favourite theme episode is season 2’s “Critical Film Studies”. The episode’s clever misdirection about its theme coupled with remarkable character work is nothing short of TV perfection.


The Friendships

friendsThe friendships in Community were always a strange beast. In the pilot Jeff only joined the study group because he wanted to get with Britta, but over time this band of misfits genuinely grew to care about each other. What differentiated this show from other comedies about groups of friends is that it was never that simple. These characters fought. A lot. Over subjects as big as secret affairs and as small as the Barenaked Ladies. The group’s friendships were complex, layered and entertaining to watch. We may not have seen a show’s core cast this toxic and funny since the days of Seinfeld.


The Way the Show Would Go All-Out

realWhen Community went for a gag they REALLY went for it. While other TV comedies are concerned with things like “realism” or “isolating the audience”, Community knows how to commit. Whether spending an entire episode in stop motion to explain Abed’s troubled relationship with Christmas or telling a Beetlejuice joke ( over the course of three seasons, it’s clear that the cast and crew of this show cared about the stories they were telling. They respected their audience and made a comedy that wasn’t like anything else out there.


Still, while I’ll miss Community, five seasons is a pretty amazing run for a show that was always on the edge of being cancelled. And while we won’t have Troy & Abed In The Morning anymore, we’ll always have Troy & Abed on DVD. And I know I’ll be watching those DVDs pretty frequently.

  • Anna J

    Great post! I completely agree, Community will surely be missed.

    • Owen Craig

      Thanks, Anna! It’s hard to complain about “only” getting 5 seasons… and yet here I am.

  • Inigo Montoya

    I only discovered Community last year and by the time season 5 started I was all caught up. What I love about this show is you can watch episodes over and over again and find jokes that you may of missed on your first watch. I think my favourite episode is the law and order one. The writes and actors did a really good job on paying homage to everything that made law and order a great TV show back in the day, even the twist at the end felt like a classic law and order ending.
    Great post…
    Rip Community :(

    • Owen Craig

      Thanks Inigo (surely not your real name… or is it?). I agree, that was a great episode. One of many.

  • prett77

    I agree with everything you said in this. Next fall, when Thursday night comes around, I will be very sad. Thanks for sharing.

    • Owen Craig

      Thanks for reading, prett77. Thursday nights are going to be rough next fall.

  • EricD

    R.I.P. Community. I will sorely miss the thrill of watching a new episode for the first time as it blows my mind with a hilarity, complexity, subtlety, and cleverness that has never been matched by any other show.

    • Owen Craig

      Well said.

  • Matthew Gregg

    The thing I’ll miss most about community is complaining about how bad it had become. Now I can reminisce about the better seasons and not the Chevy Chase/Donald Glover less episodes.

    • Owen Craig

      Complaining about the newer seasons is a favourite past-time of Community fans. And while I do think that season 5 had some definite highlights, I certainly agree that it was never better than season 2, which was just phenomenal.