We give an enormous amount of crap to NBC for its treatment of “Community” and the way it is often promoted the show, and perhaps the crap is deserved. But on the other hand, this is a show that has no business being on NBC or any other network, for that matter, and yet it’s been renewed for a fourth season. If you stop and consider it, and compare it to any other show on network television — even “edgier” fare like “Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt. 23” or “Happy Endings” or even “30 Rock” — it’s clear as day that “Community” is not like the rest. It’s a show that goes on manic, obscure half-hour genre riffs with inside jokes piled on top of inside jokes. This season alone, there was an Apocalypse Now episode, an episode built around a fake show (“Inspector Spacetime”) based on a niche geek show (“Doctor Who”), and a clip show that used fake clips essentially to make more inside jokes. Alison Brie’s boobs? That’s universal, that’s been the draw for some, but “Community” is not a mainstream show. It wouldn’t even be popular on cable. It’d be a mid-rated Adult Swim show that dorks would get together in their college dorms to talk about over Tastykakes and joints.
So while it’s fun to hate on NBC for almost canceling “Community” three seasons in a row, they should get a little credit for keeping it alive. The Friday time-slot next year does seem more appropriate, but I do worry that without next day GIFcaps and reviews (who is going to do those on a Saturday?) the buzz may eventually fade. It is up to the audience to keep the fires lit next season, to keep the tumblr accounts going, to keep producing fan art, and to keep generating interest in what’s already a dismally-rated show. There’s still an opportunity for six seasons and a movie, but it’ll be up to the Internet to keep the pressure on NBC to renew. After all, there were at least 12 shows with, sometimes significantly, higher ratings than “Community” that were cancelled this year. Those include:
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