Community hopes to maintain strong numbers after an abrupt hiatus
Community continues its return from hiatus tonight and all eyes will be on the ratings to see if this quirky little show can sustain its numbers from last week. In case you are unfamiliar with the show, it is a baffling masterpiece of network comedy set in a fictional community college named Greendale. It follows a study group populated by misfits who have come to Greendale for different reasons at different stages of life and each with his or her own brand of dysfunction. When NBC pulled the show from its Thursday night comedy block in order to make room for the return of 30 Rock, Community fans went apoplectic and nearly set the internet on fire. A few flash mobs and a flurry of tweets and re-tweets later, the show returned to the air with numbers which, for NBC, were huge.
Full disclosure: Community is easily one of my favorite shows. I love comedy, hate laugh tracks, and marvel at post-postmodern genre-pushing meta-humour. It’s as if series creator Dan Harmon had a picture of me on the wall when he dreamt this thing up. That said, the third season has been a bit uneven by the show’s standards, at times getting a bit sitcom-ish. However, this season has also struck some incredible highs, such as ‘Foosball and Nocturnal Vigilatism’ and the incredibly risky and brilliant ‘Remedial Chaos Theory’. (Why this episode failed to get nominated for a major award baffles me.)
Last week’s episode was not as great, but not by any means poor. It really felt like they had some business to clear up before moving forward. Shirley [Spoiler Alert] needed to get married and Pierce needed to drop the Hawthorne Wipes schtick before it got old. This is why tonight’s episode is so important. The show had all sorts of hype for its return, but it remains to be seen if that level of excitement can be sustained over the rest of the season. Here are the burning questions to ask as we follow our beloved Human Beings through to the end of semester:
1 – Will the fans continue to watch live, keeping the ratings up and assuring its renewal for next season?
2 – Will the show return to its genre-pushing ways or is it petering out creatively?
3 – Will new viewers, attracted by all the publicity, continue to watch after last week’s decent-but-not-great return?
4 – If Community continues to thrive, thanks largely to the power of social media, what does this mean for other low-rated critical darlings with devoted fans, such as Raising Hope?
Starting today, and for the rest of the season, I will be posting a recipe a week, every week, devoted to an iconic moment or line from the show, up until the day this show gets renewed for a fourth season. It’s a kind of culinary vigil for the love of Greendale and my favorite study group which does everything but study. The first installment pays homage to Abed’s nocturnal vigilatism. Just climb down a rope in your Batman suit and follow the link below.