I just realized what tomorrow is.
“I’m not big on planning ahead, but I have one unmovable appointment May 23, 2013. I have a table for one at Morty’s steak house. Where I will celebrate becoming a lawyer again, Which can only happen if I take a full load.”
- Jeff Winger, Season 1 Episode 24
In hindsight, that’s not quite how it panned out. But if anyone still wants to meet at Morty’s, I’ll save you a seat.
Community gets renewed for a 5th season
Jeff Winger may have graduated last night, but that doesn’t mean we’ve seen the last of the study group. According to The Hollywood Reporter,
The beleaguered cult favorite will continue on for a fifth season, NBC announced Friday. The news comes a day after the Thursday comedy wrapped its fourth season, even year-over-year with a 1.3 rating in the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic and tying American Idol among adults 18-34.
But…let’s be honest for a second. Regardless of what side of the fence you’re on, it’s undeniable that the show has chang’d without The Russo’s, Chris McKenna and, of course, Dan Harmon. I know it, you know it, AV Club won’t stop talking about it. Still, we had a few laughs. Right? I mean who didn’t love the body-switching episode penned by our Oscar-winning dean? (though if we really are being honest, the manic fanboy in me was secretly dying for Rash to sneak in some sort of Dean Dangerous reference. But then again, like Community, time travel is really hard to write about).
So maybe another season could be just what we need. Maybe with a little more time, the show could find it’s legs again and return to the fantastic program it once was. However, now with Season 5 on the way, not only will Pierce Hawthorne be leaving the doors of Greendale forever, but so will writer Megan Ganz.
So here’s my question I pose to you, my fellow human beings: …do we still really want six seasons and a movie?
Posted by Andy Young, so you can happily tweet his ear off about this.
My 5 Favorite Comedies at SXSW
When you see 23 films in a span of seven days, they tend to sometimes blend together. But at SXSW last week, among 13 really impressive comedies, there were 5 that have really stuck with me and I can’t wait until other comedy fans get to check them out. Be sure to see these as they (hopefully) get a release over the next year or two:
5. Reality Show – Adam Rifkin
Based on the popular web/Showtime series, Reality Show was a clever and interesting portrayal of a director trying to make reality television ‘real’, and what happens when you try to play God with your subjects.
4. Much Ado About Nothing – Joss Whedon
Successfully combines the wit of Shakespeare’s original play with Joss Whedon’s trademark comedy and powerhouse of talented players (Nathan Fillion as Dogberry? Sorry Michael Keaton, his was better). Also yes, the film was shot in Joss Whedon’s house. Don’t be weird about it.
3. Zero Charisma – Katie Graham & Andrew Matthews
Big Fan for tabletop gamers. Sam Edison crushes as a passionate, narcissistic gamer whose world is turned upside-down when a Miles, a hipster ‘nerd’, joins his weekly RPG night and slowly steals thunder.
2. Don Jon – Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Fantastic first film from JGL. Bold direction, a sharp script, and a unique ensemble cast makes a witty character study of a guy that looks like he’s fresh out of Jersey Shore who attempts to have a meaningful, long-term relationship.
And my favorite comedy of SXSW was…
And We’re Back: Community’s Season Premiere
The date is October 19th. Well, in spirit it is. Nearly four months after its originally planned series premiere, fans of NBC’s Community were finally able to catch up with the Greendale Seven. With issues ranging from the forced departure of creator and show runner Dan Harmon to a dramatic resignation of Chevy Chase (who has been more consistent in his role behind the scenes as the show’s metaphorical thorn in the side than in his performance as Pierce Hawthorne) to countless scheduling changes, it seemed as if Season Four would never actually air. But the show, as tough as its cult-like following, persevered through every obstacle and finally made it to its own premiere.
The first episode of the season—“History 101”—has received mixed reviews, but these varied feelings seemed to be based more on expectation rather than the actual quality of the episode. Many fans seem to be disappointed in it, simply because no episode could measure up to the expectations they had time to build up during the long hiatus. Others took the opposite approach—they had waited so long that any episode with the Greendale Seven would satisfy their craving. Yet another group watched from a cynical perspective watching for every little mistake and blaming it all on the absence of Dan Harmon, forgetting that Dan Harmon was never the only person involved in constructing Community.
With all that being said, it was a solid episode. The episode felt a bit rushed at times, but that is completely understandable and forgivable when one considers the fact that the writers will most likely have to cram two semesters (and quite possibly finish the show) into just thirteen episodes. The main function of the first episode of each season is to set the premise for the future episodes of the season as well as to explain to the audience what happened in the time that has passed since the last episode. Considering the complicated Season Three finale and the packed nature Season Four is bound to have, there was a lot to fit into a twenty-two minute episode. The writers did as well as anyone could ask for under these circumstances.
The episode sets the audience up to see quite a bit of character development this season—especially from Jeff. We start to see Jeff doing things for others and showing more of an emotional connection to his classmates, all while preparing to move on into the “real world”. Jeff’s desire to move on past Greendale but not leave his friends and loved ones shows how much Jeff has grown since we first met him, and makes him seem like a very realistic character.
Britta and Troy’s relationship continues to grow, but the existence of their relationship alone is proof of character growth. At the beginning of the series, Troy would have been much too immature for Britta and Britta would have been too self-involved to date Troy, but now we see them meet in the middle and try their hand at a real relationship with each other.
Annie and Shirley have come down with a case of “senioritis” and want to start pulling senior pranks. These two characters, both naïve throughout the history of the show, attempting to pull pranks is laughable. Their idea of a joke is to make someone believe their stapler moved, but the sheer fact that they are doing something (relatively) risqué is a sign that they are not the same Annie and Shirley from their early days at Greendale.
Abed’s “happy place” is a main focal point of the episode. When he becomes stressed, he goes into his imagination to find a world where his subconscious desires for the study group to stay together are seen through the façade of two different TV shows. One is a sitcom that is filmed in front of a live studio audience—no doubt poking fun at the laugh track laden genre that all too often beats Community in ratings—where he imagines a scenario in which the study group must repeat the last three years due to an error with their academic records. The other is a cartoon where each member of the study group is a baby, where the theme emphasized is that they can play together forever.
As always, the show does a wonderful job tying in its plot with a unique and innovative way of moving the show forward. This episode, Abed’s “happy place” was used as a device to further the plot, and previous episodes have included Claymation and 8bit story arcs. These are Community’s trademarks and whether the Nielsen ratings show it or not, people all over the country are tuning in because they know Community is ahead of its time. For now, the future of Community is still relatively unclear but there is one thing this week’s premiere made clear: Community is back and won’t go down without a fight.