Community: ‘What If We Purged All the Weirdness From Our System?’

In a new trailer boosting Community‘s long-awaited return to the NBC schedule, Abed asks the ultimate question about his odd flower of a show: “What if we purged all the weirdness from our system?” It’s part of a plotline in which he and Troy “de-whimsy-fy” themselves (Troy: “I’m feeling more normal already!”) but it’s used here as a meta (of course) reference to the running complaint about Community: How is it that a show that possesses what appears to be fundamental, “sitcom-like” elements — attractive cast members with pronounced sexual chemistry, the familiar settings of schoolrooms and study groups and campus juice bars, Chevy Chase — can be so aggressively, unceasingly strange?

But creator Dan Harmon has always been in on the joke when it comes to his show’s distressingly low ratings, and it’d be hard to imagine that this latest brush with death would make him reconsider anything about Community‘s DNA. The funny thing is that it’s often the Community obsessives themselves (they’re the kind of people making their own Prometheus-style fan trailers) worrying that the object of their affection needs to normalize if it has any hopes of moving on beyond this to a fourth season. Look, that’s stupid. This is what’s going to happen: NBC’s total inability to create shows that people like to watch will continue to give Community chance after chance, until finally a bunch of people catch on and realize how brilliant it is. The show will then run for 15 years, slowly but surely developing into America’s collective, no. 1 favorite thing. It will appear on the cover of Time magazine, and will even feature guest runs from future space presidents. In its very last episode, it will be revealed that the entire run of the show was actually a fever dream Abed had on the night before the first day of school. And you guys were worried about cancellation!

Filed Under: Community, NBC, Television

Amos Barshad has written for New York Magazine, Spin, GQ, XXL, and the Arkansas Times. He is a staff writer for Grantland.

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