5 Reasons why NBC’s ‘Community’ should be saved

Dear NBC Executives (& fans of good television):

What are you thinking?

Maybe something messed up in your P.R. office, but the NBC midseason schedule is clearly in error.

Community, usually slotted for Thursdays at 8, is missing.

What is, without question, the smartest comedy on network television has been “shelved” for the time being, to be replaced by the return of 30 Rock.

That’s nice.  And safe.  And predictable.

And wrong.

Here are more than just five of the best moments from Community, but five reasons why the show deserves to be saved:

5) It made rap smart again

Right from the beginning, Community was different.  At heart, it’s about the relationships between seven very different people in a community college study group, but the show is also an ongoing commentary on popular culture.

In case getting to know the quirky cast wasn’t enough for early converts, the second episode ended with perhaps the best, most absurd rap ever recorded, courtesy of Troy (Danny Glover) and Abed (Danny Pudi).

4) It’s educational

Taking place at the fictional Greendale Community College, Community is also about education.  Almost every episode’s title is the name of a course, like  “Contemporary American Poultry” or “The Science of Illusion,”  and reflects the content of each in quirky and fun ways.

Take, for example, “Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design.”

Where else can you learn about the ridiculousness of conspiracies, poke fun at the surprise twists in detective stories and have a good laugh?

With the price of higher education these days, why would you want to deny the world such a public service?

3) It’s another franchise waiting to happen

The story of Community begins and ends with the college experience.  Once those four years are finished (and to not finish the show two and a half years in would be too close to dropping out),  there are a few spinoff opportunities just waiting to happen.

Cheers begat Frasier.  All in the Family begat Archie Bunker’s Place.  Community could spawn…Troy and Abed in the Morning.

Or Troy and Abed in anything.  Why let a comedy gold mine get away?

2) It made Dungeons & Dragons cool

Fat Neil was a nerdy classmate of the study group that seemed bound for suicide.  Wanting to help him out (and make amends for giving him the name ‘Fat Neil’ in the first place), the study group decides to play a game of Neil’s favourite hobby: Dungeons and Dragons.

Never has a fantasy role-playing game outside the bedroom been more interesting.

Any television show capable of that deserves another shot.

1) It’s just damn funny

Community isn’t just about the evolving relationships of seven people in a study group, it’s a commentary on popular culture at large.  They quote movies like you quote movies in real life. They use Twitter on the show, and their hashtags start trending on Twitter (see #AnniesMove). 

More than any of that, the show pays homage to everything great in movies and entertainment.

For example, this little tribute to John Woo and Chow-Yun Fat from the episode “Modern Warfare.”

Or poking fun at rival TV show Glee.

Or reinventing the very idea of the clip show by making an episode full of brand new clips.

Community is one of the funniest, most interesting and most rewatchable television shows around.  If you executives at NBC cancel it, you’ll be villified like Fox was when it iced Firefly and Arrested Development.

You don’t want that, but I promise it’ll happen if you go from shelving to cancelling.  That would be dumb.

CBS is already kicking your ass with The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, CSI and more.  Smarten up, spread the word about the good show you have, move it to a better timeslot and promote the hell out of it.

The viewers will come.  And if you don’t take my word for it, check out David Cross’ NSFW rant to the powers-that-be  about what Arrested Development  really needed from its network, Fox, in 2006.

Do you think Community deserves to be saved?  What should the network do?

2 Replies to “5 Reasons why NBC’s ‘Community’ should be saved”

  1. Cancelling “Community” and picking up a remake of “The Munsters”. Probably says something about NBC, I’m just not sure what…

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