(Title courtesy of twitter)
Did you understand that? In all likelihood, you didn’t. Community, NBC’s critically-acclaimed comedy, is in a very scary position. When the mid-season line up was announced, there was a conspicuous absence of Community. NBC “vowed” that it’s not cancelled, only on hiatus so that 30 Rock may make its return following the birth of Tina Fey’s new baby. Oh, NBC. You are so sneaky! By making such an excuse, you’re really trying to get yourself off the hook. You look like you’re accommodating Tina Fey and her pregnancy, how kind! Additionally, most of the people who watch Community likely watch 30 Rock as well, as they are in the same category of critical darlings no one watches. Perhaps they were expecting us to accede Community’s “break” for 30 Rock’s return since, hey, we missed Liz Lemon too. Unfortunately for NBC, this is not the case. We are angry and are picking up our ‘Troy and Abed in the Morning’ mugs with hands shaking from the indignity. How could they possibly keep that godawful show Whitney and dismiss Community? How can we trust NBC after pushing Conan out of the Tonight Show and bringing back fucking Jay Leno? But perhaps our anger is misdirected. Maybe we should really be yelling at ourselves.
It comes down to ratings. NBC made this move because clearly, not enough people are watching Community. And whose fault is it that people aren’t watching? Sure, we can blame NBC for maybe not marketing Community hard enough or even blame the Emmy’s for not nominating Community for best comedy and instead, nominating Glee, which, I mean, I can’t even comprehend THAT indignity… But, I digress. We have to blame us. WE are not watching it. Let’s look at the numbers: the latest episode of Community captured 3 490 000 viewers. Now let’s compare that with Two and a Half Men: 14 707 000 viewers (according to Nielsen Ratings). With that in mind, the question is: why aren’t more people watching Community? My first answer is that, well, judging by Two and a Half Men’s numbers, people don’t want to have to think to laugh. We want to sit our asses down on the couch and be mindlessly entertained. To further this point, let me borrow some numbers from a recent article on LaineyGossip: the combined total of Blue Valentine and Drive, both starring the incomparably talented Ryan Gosling made barely more money than Friends with Benefits… Starring Justin Timberlake, the SINGER. (I highly recommend Blue Valentine and Drive, the former for its heartbreaking verisimilitude and the latter for its sparse intensity).
But, I can be totally offside. Maybe Community just isn’t your type of humour, you don’t understand the references, its too weird, you can’t identify with the characters, etc. There a multitude of possible reasons. But if one of them is that you just haven’t bothered, then let me yell at you now: take this “hiatus” and start from the first episode. Community is a show that is really about its characters and how they interact with each other. Understanding these characters, their personalities, goals, and weaknesses, is often what makes the show so funny. On top of that, there are so many clever pop culture references, satirical elements, and dialogue that is so witty you can watch the same episode again and find jokes you missed the first time because there are so many clever jokes packed in one episode. I admit that Community is a weird show. But its weird because the characters are each weird in their own way. And honestly, so are we. So please, take this “break” as an opportunity to catch up on what is arguably the best comedy on TV right now.
As I tweeted before, #occupyGreendale, its one of the only places where you can unabashedly be yourself.
above photo from http://community-tv.livejournal.com/