If you spend any time on the Internet (what a great opening to this post, which is being written on a blog that exclusively exists on the Internet; we’re already off to a great start, let’s see where else this sentence takes us), you know that Dan Harmon, the creator of the television program “Community,” was fired from the show last year and has been rehired for the show’s upcoming fifth season. (Okay, so I guess the sentence ended up in a rather pedestrian information dump sort of place. That happens.)
You might be wondering why he was rehired, since he is the exact same person and he is returning to a very low-rated show. Josef Adalian, as he is wont to do, explains a little of Sony’s logic in this useful post. I’m not going to excerpt from it at length or even really explain much of what it says here because quite frankly that would dissuade you from even clicking the link, and you should click the link since Adalian did the reporting and wrote the story and I am merely referencing it (and, let’s be honest, if you care at all about the issue involved you already clicked the link, so excerpting it also seems pointless).
I will say that “Community,” as it existed through its first three seasons, was a wonderful supernova of a show, a bizarre and perfect little gem that was not for everyone but was, for people who felt a connection with the material (at least as much connection as you can feel with a TV show), a special, bizarro kind of perfect. The fourth season was, as many have said, a pale imitation, the televised version of going to a restaurant where you have a favorite sandwich only your regular person isn’t there and the new person uses the same bread and the same ingredients but everything just tastes a little off. (Good metaphor, very robust and relatable.) The episodes were neither good nor bad, but they were so slight that I keep forgetting I still may have one or two episodes left on my DVR. The fifth season may or may not reclaim what made the show, at its peak, such a marvel. But at least now it is imbued with a promise that wasn’t there before.