Please don’t mistake the exclamation point at the end of the title for me being excited by this news. Community lives on Yahoo! has an exclamation point because the site is actually Yahoo! so it’s just part of the title. If you haven’t heard, Yahoo! did in fact agree to host a 6th season of the cancelled NBC show Community.
Community nerds are all breathless and excited that this show was saved but in all honesty, this is a mistake. The show has not been good for a while and even bringing back the show’s creator Dan Harmon last season didn’t help a huge amount. Sure it improved from the worst times but still it just wasn’t the same.
If they are saving this show, they should change the name from Community to Abed and the gang or Community featuring Abed and the gang or just call it the Abed show. That is pretty much all they have. They need that whacky Abed to dream up whatever fantasy they are going to focus on for the week. Abed is the only way they have an excuse to do whatever parody or tribute to some pop culture fad that they are doing for the week. There are no actual stories any more and none of it actually makes any sense.
Community suffers from what a lot of shows that come before it suffer from. After a while, your setting might become difficult to explain. How long could the kids be on Saved by the Bell? Eventually they had to have the College Years. How many years can the kids on Glee be in high school? Until they get their AARP cards? No. They have to have convoluted reasons why the stars are still on the show despite not being in the main setting the show is actually revolving around.
The same is true for Community. How long are these people supposed to be in community college? Jeff is supposedly working his way back to being a lawyer (if you don’t watch, don’t ask. It would take way to long to explain how community college will and does make this possible for him).
Trying to explain why the characters are still all together in community college is one problem on this show but really, the worst problem is that every character suffered from massive Flanderization. The characters are not even characters any more. They are caricatures of the single most identifying trait about the character. Jeff is sarcastic and has gotten to be so sarcastic that he’s just a dick. Britta is an uber liberal character to the point she isn’t a real person. Shirley’s condescending voice has gotten to be so annoying that she is unbearable any time she is on screen and Annie is just the epitome of the pretty ditzy girl. None of the characters are relate-able in any way. Gone is the charm that was evident in the early seasons. Now they are just pumping out scripts and filling in the spaces with the blocks of their once endearing characters.
I don’t blame Yahoo! for taking a shot on Community. There is a hard core following that will no doubt watch the show and Yahoo! needs something to make a splash with their streaming TV offerings. They are getting smoked by Netflix to the point where I bet you didn’t even know that Yahoo! had streaming TV. None of the other networks wanted anything to do with Community so the two landing on each other is fitting. This is what it looks like when one drowning person tries to save another drowning person. They will both drown together.