Here’s NBC chairman Robert Greenblatt on the prospect of a sixth season of Community (and a seventh for Parks and Recreation, which is already pretty much a sure thing): “Parks and Rec and Community are great shows. They’re shows I know a lot of people in this room like. We do, too. We’ll have to look at how much comedy will be on the schedule in the fall and where it will land but I think both those shows are strong possibilities for returning.” And here’s Dan Harmon on the same subject: “The only thing weirder [than a renewal]…would be not getting a sixth season.”
There’s reason to be cautiously optimistic that tonight’s Community season finale isn’t a series finale, although it’s NBC, so who the heck knows when they’ll burn their entire programming block for a two-hour David Schwimmer variety show. But let’s assume that Community will fulfill its “promise” of six seasons and a movie — here are 10 reasons why that would be a very good thing.
1. How different would your perception of Community be if NBC hadn’t said “f*ck it” and renewed the sitcom for season five? It wouldn’t be “a great show”; it would be “a great show…that went off the rails in the fan fiction of a final season without its shaggy leader, Dan Harmon. I mean, really, Troy and Britta???” But he came back, Community returned to its expected level of excellence, and if tonight really is the last episode, then fans can safely say it went out on top. To quote Shirley, “That’s niceeeee,” but there’s no reason why “on top” can’t last for another 13 episodes. Plus, there’s a nice bit of symmetry if Community and Parks and Recreation, which probably has one more season in it, end at the same time. Then we’ll be free of NBC ONCE AND FOR ALL (except for Hannibal).
2. How many more showrunners can Dan Harmon lure into bit parts? Vince Gilligan and Mitch Hurwitz popped in as a video game host and Preston Koogler this season, so Harmon should work his magic on Matthew Weiner or Amy Sherman-Palladino or David Milch (OK, probably not David Milch).
3. Also, MORE KOOGLER.
4. Maybe it’d be a disservice to the wonderful “Geothermal Escapism,” but I’d still like to see Donald Glover return as Troy, maybe for Abed’s wedding to Rachel (oh yeah, have them get married).
5. Speaking of “Geothermal Escapism,” outside of that episode, Britta didn’t have as much material this year as she did in previous seasons. She’s not quite at Shirley-level screen time, but she’s nowhere near Abed, either. This could all change with the results of tonight’s marriage proposal (JEFF AND BRITTA GET A SPINOFF AND MOVE IN WITH APRIL AND ANDY AND CHAMPION?!?), but I’d enjoy seeing not only more Britta, but a version of Britta that’s less Buzzkill and more killing it.
6. Bill Murray is NBC Thursday night’s white whale. Parks and Recreation creator Michael Schur wants him to play Pawnee’s mayor, with no such luck, and Dan Harmon’s been trying to cast the Ghostbusters star since 2011. It’s unlikely Murray would make an appearance on Community, but maybe Community: The Movie? Here is how comedy nerds would react.
7. Jonathan Banks was a wonderful addition to the cast as Buzz Hickey, but by the time we got to know him, the season was almost done. More episodes means more Jim the Duck. Publishers are interested!
8. BEAR DOWN FOR MIDTERMS.
9. This is dumb sentimentality, but honestly, I’m not ready to say goodbye to these characters. I was after season four, because I didn’t like season four, but Community rebounded so beautifully this year that it HAS to go for a sixth season. We’re at the climax of the characters’ stories, not the conclusion. There’s something to be said about leaving things ambiguous (for instance, as much as I want Abed to be successful post-Greendale, I also don’t want a coda about him lucking into a TV writing gig), but resolution doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Think of this way: imagine if How I Met Your Mother had ended at the train station, with Present Ted talking to the Mother and Future Ted saying, “Kids, that’s how I met your mother.” No one dies, no one reunites with Robin — all we see is the beginning of a relationship we know is going to “make it.” It’s a show, not a tell. I want Community to pull off what How I Met couldn’t — something dark, funny, and emotional — and I don’t think they can in tonight’s finale alone.
Also, I’m REALLY not ready to bid adieu to Alison Brie.
10. And most importantly, more opportunities for Dean Pelton to go H.A.M.