Community is unlike any other show on television. It’s smart, condescending, sometimes uneven, and mostly hilarious. It’s a show that’s managed to flip the bird at nearly every TV trope you can think of and yet, hasn’t found a fan base outside of its devoted (internet savvy) cult following.
Dan Harmon must have realised that Community doesn’t stand a chance at being renewed beyond its current season because a lot of the recent episodes seem like an all-out assault on everything audiences are comfortable with. There are way too many inside jokes, winks at the show’s audience (see below) and off-the-wall commentary on our obsession with mediocre and easily digestible pop-culture. Add to that, the fact that Community has become considerably darker than when it started out and you have a show that’s actually trying out new things. What’s not to love about it?
This week’s ‘Visual Systems Analysis‘, like last year’s ‘Critical Film Studies’ (an homage to ‘My Dinner with Andre’ disguised as an homage to ‘Pulp Fiction’), is one of Community’s most entertaining and nuanced episodes. It may seem like an incoherent, sentimental, wildly self-obsessed mess but to anyone following the show, it was nothing short of brilliant.
Community might not be around for much longer. Give it a Chang while it’s still on.