Episode 13 - Advanced Introduction to Finality
14 May 2013
This was entirely in keeping with the rest of this season. The new show runners took one of the more out there elements of Dan Harmon's mind (the darkest timeline) and used it to tell a story that was essentially "aww look how much Jeff has grown." If you discount the crazy sci-fi this is pretty much the finale I would have imagined back when I saw the pilot. With one important exception - it was only Jeff graduating. In this crazy world where NBC kept Community without its creator the show has now been renewed for a fifth season. I suppose that's fair enough given that the rest of the gang have at least another semester to go but it does seem odd that it's going to continue, particularly with Jeff off campus. Whoever runs Community the show has never seemed keen to show us the outside lives of these characters so I sort of assume that Jeff gets a job on campus somehow.
As for the rest of the episode. It was fine. The show is perfectly harmless entertainment at this point. It's always fun watching the pieces move in crazy ways round the board but there were no laughs to be had. I did smile at Annie's comment that "no one sleeps with Jeff, not even me" which I took to be a dig at Harmon's counterproductive attitude to romance. I also appreciated the we "found a way to make paintball cool again" line which sadly rather summed up the show's dependence on gimmicks once characterisation had become such a confused mess.
I'm putting this same warning on all the comedies I cover, I may not be back next season. I don't think many people come here to see me slag off Community and my time is so short that I'm not sure what value I'm adding. I really did think it had the potential to be a great show towards the end of season one. But by mid-season two when everyone else was raving about it I felt Dan Harmon had revealed a complete misunderstanding of how to develop characters and relationships. He was always good at science fiction or meta stories being blended into a believable reality but without characters to believe in I lost interest in the show. It still seems such a bizarre decision to keep the show but get rid of Dan Harmon. It's one of those moments that defines NBC's years of mismanagement. If this is the last you hear from me then I wish all those who work on the show the very best with their next projects because there is serious talent in front of and behind the camera that should benefit Hollywood for years to come.
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