Community: Ethics of Television Euthanasia 101

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Ok, so the television show Community has been picked up by Yahoo for a sixth season. While I’m sure there are masses of Community fans out there rejoicing, I for one am a little saddened by the news. I need to make clear that I absolutely love the first two seasons of Community, and to a lesser extent the third, in my opinion that’s where it started to go down hill. It was the Christmas special that sealed it for me, what I loved about the season two episode, Paradigms of Human Memory was how they didn’t devote an entire episode to doing a musical, but glossed or skipped over episodes that have now become sit-com clichés. However low and behold, come season three we have the gang all signing and dancing. The forth season (the gas leak year) was a shambles due to Dan Harmon being fired and while he returned for the fifth, for me it just didn’t reach the same heights of season one and two; with perhaps the only standout episode being Cooperative Polygraphy.

Community is a show that keep messing with my heart, always giving me a false sense of hope. For example as I’ve said I found season three lacking, but the season finally filled me with hope, it’s an awesome episode, and made me feel positive about next season, I felt that the show was back on form. Then, low and behold a few days after it airs Dan Harmon gets fired, (which was a blow to the gut, for while I’ve never met him I have read his blog and have come to respect him, he’s not a man who seems unafraid to admit when he’s wrong, that he’s an actual fallible human being capable of making mistakes. It’s something you don’t see that often anymore and it’s a quality I like in a person. Let’s not forget he’s also a pretty awesome writer) but even that wasn’t enough to dissuade me and I decided it was only fair to give the new show runners a shot. I don’t like being overly critical other peoples work, so all I shall say is that after season four, I decided that for me Community really ended after three seasons, and I was happy with this, I made my peace with it, I was thankful for the three good season that Dan Harmon and the team had given us. Then… joyous news, Dan Harmon was coming back! I started reading a bit about his plans, and it sounded great, he was rebooting the show, going back to basics. He had me convinced. Maybe I had just hyped it up to much in my head, perhaps my expectation were just too high, but as I’ve said, for me it just didn’t reach the same heights as seasons one and two. When NBC cancelled the show, sadly I wasn’t that surprised, I knew that it’s rating had always been low and frankly was surprised it made to season five. I accepted Community was gone. Nope, first Hulu are interested, then they’re not and now Yahoo is going to stream it for the sixth. Who knows maybe it’ll be back on form, maybe Dan Harmon will be let loose to do as he pleases. I’ll still watch, right up until the bitter end out my love of the first two seasons.

My one biggest criticism of American television is that their shows rarely get to end when it’s time, (and there are notable exceptions to this) the networks keep them going until they’re a shadow of their former selves. It’s for this reason I beg, please just let Community die with some dignity. Don’t let it get so shit that I choose to stop watching, and please for the love of god stop playing with my heart.

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