At long last, Community returns to NBC’s Thursday night lineup this week. For steadfast Community fans, this seemingly never-ending hiatus has been quite stressful. At the close of last season, the network fired series creator and executive producer Dan Harmon. This came after several very public spats with Chevy Chase.
In addition to the firing of Harmon, fans finally received news of the show’s renewal for a fourth season – with fewer shows. Although I was relieved about the renewal, I’m still not convinced that the decision was exactly “streets ahead” on NBC’s part. The fourth season order gave the series just enough to eek into syndication (84 episodes instead of the typical 88), which became official with Comedy Central’s announcement that our favorite Greendale bunch will begin airing on the network this fall.
In the midst of Harmon’s firing and reduced episode renewal order, executive producers Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan left NBC for a new production deal at Fox. After production began on the new season, the network announced that it decided to “mutually” part ways with Chevy Chase. When it rains, it pours.
Despite what appears to be NBC’s repeated effort to “Britta” the show, Community is back and I’m thrilled. With the preseason drama out of the way (hopefully for good), I now present my official Community season 4 wish list.
I’m referring to the monkey on the left, not the chest of the actress (Alison Brie) on the right. Like Homer Simpson, I’m a sucker for a monkey in a show. It should come as no surprise, that I’ve been a fan of Annie’s Boobs since the monkey first appeared on Community in Contemporary American Poultry. Since joining the show, Annie’s Boobs has been part of many great scenes – including the revelation that the monkey was behind the theft of Annie’s pens. The image of Annie’s Boobs striking an almost bare, greased up Chang on the head with a spoon is among my favorites on the show. I can confirm that we will see Annie’s Boobs in at least one episode this season and that Britta will be on the receiving end of the monkey’s penchant for hitting people on the head. Can’t wait!
Ever since he portrayed Dean Big Brother Almighty in Spike Lee’s School Daze, I’ve been a firm believer that a little Giancarlo Esposito makes everything better. Whether it’s his stint on Breaking Bad or his introduction as Pierce’s half-brother on Community, he’s proven to make a great show even better. With Pierce’s departure already confirmed, I wouldn’t mind if his half-brother showed up again to play a role in his exit story or to face off in a rematch of “Journey to the Center of Hawkthorne” with Abed.
Much to Jeff and Abed’s relief, every episode of Community cannot be a bottle episode; although Advanced Dungeons and Dragons is unquestionably one of my favorite episodes of the entire series. On occasion, the gang breaks off into random pairings and I’ve particularly enjoyed those that have been both random and unexpected. For example, I loved the tale of Tinkletown and Big Cheddar in which we learned that Jeff and Shirley shared a pre-Greendale past. I also loved the painfully awkward pairing of Jeff and the Dean, which gave us one of my favorite moments of the entire series. This one . . .
Whether it’s a zombie outbreak brought on by sketchy, military mystery meat against the backdrop of Abba (and the Dean’s voice memos) or listening to the group share their personally created spooky tales, I like how Community does Halloween. I can’t wait to see what the gang has in store this season.
It wouldn’t be Community if it wasn’t meta. Throw in a montage of the Dean entering the study room in various costumes and I’m a happy camper.
And with that, my wish list is complete. Well, almost complete. I’m still holding out hope for six seasons and a movie, like many Community fans. If nothing else, I’m hoping that NBC will let fans know in advance when the show is in its final season and give it a proper send off like Chuck and 30 Rock.
What is on your season 4 wish list? Sound off below!