Joel McHale saying “f*ck network television” immediately became my favorite thing at Comic-Con so far this year. As they point out at over at The AV Club, the return of Community on the Internet isn’t necessarily death knell for network television. It’s just throwing a lot of shade towards it.
Dan Harmon and the cast of Community revealed a lot about the future of the show and its new home at Yahoo. It was a fun time, with many questions answered and others left dangling because nothing is written yet. I mean you have to give them a break, of course. The show almost ceased to exist and all.
Harmon admitted that he was initially of two minds about whether to continue the series, and that three hours before the cast’s options expired, he got a call from Sony TV to ask him whether he wanted to pursue a second life for the cult comedy with Yahoo. “Yahoo called me and they seemed really smart and cool,” he said. “I thought… ‘I cannot be the one to not do this.’” (via)
Thankfully the decision was made and we’re getting more Community. Legally, as they joked during the junket. We also got to know a bit more about the premiere of the next season, who will be showing up, and that the Greendale human being exists in real life:
Starting with the premiere, Deadline noted that any sort of return for Community wouldn’t be before Christmas 2014, and it won’t be in easy to binge format. The bad news there is that we are once again cheated out of prime holiday episodes from a series that has thrived on them. The good news is that Dan Harmon is fully in charge and the limits of NBC are no longer there. From Variety:
When asked whether the show would be different because of its new platform, Harmon offered, “My philosophy is, [let's] attempt to make the same show and let the lack of boundaries make themselves felt instead of saying, ‘we can make the episode 49 minutes long and say the F word the entire time.’” The creator said he doesn’t want to “take the wheels off” so that the show is unrecognizable from what fans fell in love with in the first place.
Harmon has yet to start writing the new season, so admitted he doesn’t “have any big, high-falutin’ plans.” He does know that the focus of “Community” will never be on a romantic pairing — something that the series leaned into during the Harmonless (and critically derided) fourth season. “It’s not necessarily just a workplace comedy… [but] centering the show on a relationship, to me, would be the beginning of the end.”
I could live with one gimmick episode, like a South Park “sh*t” episode deal, but I’m glad there is going to restraint. The fourth season should act as a cautionary tale on changing the juju of this show, not only for this show, but for future generations as well.
Elsewhere was the casting news, namely who is returning and who is available to return. The main cast is still around, especially McHale who is quoted as saying that “the only option was victory or suicide” regarding the show’s return:
Last season featured Jonathan Banks, who will likely not return thanks to his commitment to AMC’s “Better Call Saul,” but Harmon says he will soon sit down with the writers to discuss season six’s cast.
But who, if anyone, might occupy Pierce’s (Chevy Chase) seat in the study room now that Banks has exited? “It’s Benedict Cumberbatch,” McHale joked, drawing a round of enthusiastic screams from the crowd in Ballroom 20.
“It’s contractually possible for John Oliver to come back,” Harmon said of the British thesp’s recurring role as Professor Ian Duncan. “We’re not gonna tear him away from his amazing HBO show, but…”
“He does it once a week!” McHale pointed out. (via)
The status of Donald Glover is also up in the air, with any possible return possibly being saved for the much heralded movie:
“Troy’s out there somewhere — he may be in peril… that’s what movies are made of,” he teased, adding that instead of “The Search for Spock,” they might launch “The Search for Troy.” (via)
I don’t think I’ve ever wanted a movie based on a television show to happen as much as the possible Community movie. I could live without Arrested Development, but I need Community at this point. I think we should riot if it doesn’t happen. Raze the cities and see our enemies driven before us. This will be our anthem.