Really, I should not be surprised…I should just be happy that NBC did not shelve Community sooner. Really, they have everything going against it.
Quirky characters. Mind you, not the Hollywood Quirky. The show plpays with stereotypes and enjoys flipping them on their head. Troy, for example, was a high school jock, yet he and Abed are tremendous geeks. Shirley is a likeable (yet highly judgemental) Christian.
They poke sacred cows. One of my favorite moments was in the recent episode where the study group helps Annie move. Shirley and Britta are driving a load of Annie’s stuff to her new place. Britta goes off on Shirley about how Atheists can be good people as well. To prove her point she picks up a hitchhiker (against Shirley’s protests). What happens next is a series of reversals that go in favor of Shirley and back to Britta until they reach a point of common agreement.
The show skirts sentimentality and message without becoming a massive sugar shock. The characters get opportunities to learn lessons-only to learn the wrong lesson. This can make the characters unlikeable for some, but I appreciate the human obliviousness the characters exhibit.
They indulge in bizarre film references and revel in geeky subculture. That episode heavily advertised as a Pulp Fiction tribute? Surprise…they pulled a fast one on us. It was a tribute to a movie…but not Pulp Fiction. The animated Christmas episode played fast, loose and ridiculous. They did an episode that took place in six alternate universes on the same night. Their anti-drug episode both sent up “very special episodes” and yet managed to communicate a positive message.
It is kind of sad that the more I like a show, the more I expect it to fail. I was surprised when Community got a second season (as I was when Happy Endings got picked up for a second season). The fact that we got three seasons should be sort of satisfying…right? And gee, we still have Whitney? Amiright?
I seriously hope NBC does not end Community, but the fact that they feel the best plan is to shelve it for awhile seems like a bad sign.