Shows to Binge Watch: “Community”

“Six seasons and a movie.”

The rallying cry of a great television show that came so close to its goal.

After five seasons of bated breath, much-loved “Community” has been cancelled by NBC to much outcry from the internet. The troubles of the show have been well documented before such as Chevy Chase’s vocal disdain for the show, Donald Glover’s abrupt departure during this most recent season, and show creator Dan Harmon’s dismal and rehiring before and after season four; combined with low viewer ratings it’s no wonder that the show has been in doubt these past five years but against all odds it has lasted longer than anyone would have thought. In this age of Netflix and Hulu the chances for revival are slim but persistent so while fans wait for good news right now would be a great chance to visit or maybe even revisit the campus of Greendale Community College.

“Community” is a show that rewards loyal viewers with long-running jokes and characters that you can relate to, along the same lines of “Arrested Development” or “The Office” but “Community” is a different beast with its nerdy, endearing heart on its sleeve; you can’t help but be drawn into the study group as its cast of characters genuinely feel like people you would know. As a show about a band of misfits “Community” owes a lot of its DNA to “The Breakfast Club” and “Community” does indeed proudly declare its influence; “The Breakfast Club” is in fact a big part of the very first episode. The characters, from narcissistic Jeff Winger to the walking dictionary of pop culture Abed Nadir, are people that you can easily care about  as you watch the study group grow. Over the course of five seasons the study group evolves from a collection of strangers to an eccentric family unit that experiences losses and adventures together although the group rarely accomplishes anything academic. Episodes can center around anything from Dungeons and Dragons or alternate universes to Ken Burns documentaries and high-concept paintball battles but through all the chaos the show never loses its human center. Characters wrestle with depression, loneliness, and above all, growing up; even more far-fetched episodes like the one centered around Dungeons and Dragons can tackle themes like bullying and suicide. This is what separates “Community” from other pop cultural driven shows, like say “The Simpsons” or even “Arrested Development”, because for all of its self-awareness and quirks it never loses its human heart and that might be the best reason to visit Greendale Community College.


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