Pop-Ed: Our Community Eulogy

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Members of Pop-Break’s “Study Group” Lauren Stern and Daniel Cohen, who reviewed NBC’s Community for the past two seasons have taken the time to compose themselves and their thoughts on one of their most beloved sitcoms being cancelled a few weeks ago. To read all of Pop-Break’s Community coverage through the years, click here.

Daniel Cohen: It’s with a heavy heart that I write my eulogy on Community, easily one of the best comedies on television the last five years. Even though the show has been canceled, I’d actually like to thank NBC. If this was Fox, Community never would have gotten to the paintball episode in season one, the storyline that made Community famous, and a cult phenomenon. I am absolutely shocked this show stayed on the air for five seasons. There was no doubt in my mind it was going to get canceled after the first year, so every season after that was a blessing to me. I truly believed we would scrounge out one more season, but it was never meant to be. I’m grateful for the episodes we did get, and will watch all of them on DVD for decades to come.

Photo Credit: Justin Lubin/NBC
Photo Credit: Justin Lubin/NBC

To be perfectly honest though, and I know this is going to make me very unpopular – the show had run its course. Did I want to see another season? Absolutely. But there was a part of me that read the cancellation and said, “You know what. It was time.” The first three seasons of Community were all A+ comedic achievements. The third year in particular was a flawless season of television, and where Community truly hit its zany high point. The fourth season was a train wreck, which is being kind. You don’t take the creator/showrunner and kick him off his own show, especially with something like Community, where the comedy is very, very specific.

Dan Harmon was brought back for this fifth, and now final season. While the show certainly recovered, it still never hit those high notes that the first three seasons did. Troy left. Pierce died. And while it seemed like Chevy Chase was a pain in the ass to work with, he really did add something to that show. My favorite Community episode of all time is probably “Advanced Dungeons & Dragons,” and Pierce was a crucial part to that episode. The show never quite got its mojo back.

Photo Credit: Starburns Industries/NBC
Photo Credit: Starburns Industries/NBC

Will Community get revived on Netflix, Hulu, Video On Demand, some random YouTube channel, or a media outlet we don’t even know yet? I don’t know. I’m sure at some point, the cast will come together and do something. We’ll see Community again in some fashion, even if it’s just for five minutes. At this point, I just want to remember the good times, and salute this show for doing something that was truly original, and actually executing it.

Here’s to you Jeff. Britta. Abed. Troy. Shirley. Annie. Pierce. Chang. Dean Pelton. Starburns. Leonard. Garrett. Fat Neal. Hickey. Vicki. Magnitude. Professor Duncan. Quendra with a QU. Here’s to video game episodes. Paintball. Pillow forts. G.I. Joe. Alternate timelines. The Dreamatorium. College courses in Who’s the Boss and Nicolas Cage. And most important of all, here’s to you Dan Harmon. I certainly look forward to your next venture.

So, for one last time: “POP! POP!”

Photo Credit: Chris Haston/NBC
Photo Credit: Chris Haston/NBC

Lauren Stern: My initial reaction to the news of Community being canceled was shock. I really thought it would survive to see a sixth season. I know it sounds naive given that Community was on the chopping block every year, but NBC was promoting the Six Seasons and a Movie hashtag actively. I can’t even fathom why they would do that without actually going through with six seasons and a movie. It just doesn’t make any sense.

But, whatever. It’s their loss. Season 5 was incredible, a huge step up from the disaster that was Season 4. But I guess it’s better off this way that the sixth season and movie go to a place where it is more appreciated. That’s if Harmon even lets it happen in the first place. I’m just glad that the last episode was a meta dedication to the channel being so wishy washy all these years. The fact that there were barely any loose ends was an even bigger plus.

Photo by: Charles Christopher/NBC
Photo by: Charles Christopher/NBC

I know Harmon and co. is still very unsure about whether or not the show will continue but I hope it does. In fact, I kind of hope it comes back like Arrested Development: a few years down the road and on Netflix. Arrested Development really blew up this way, and I’m willing to bet Community will too. I would want nothing more than to see that happen. Until that day comes, I will continue to watch the show in syndication on Comedy Central and post gifs of Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas Special during the holidays. Just like the spirit of Christmas, Community will never ever die.

Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.