Community Season 4 provided cautious hope with all the new changes. So how did the show perform overall?
But where have you been and why write an overview of the season? Well, I did not have much time to watch and review all the episodes on a weekly basis.
So I thought it be better to write about the season as whole then try to review each episode on a weekly basis.
There are a few factors that need to be considered before critiquing the season.
First and foremost NBC fired Dan Harmon due to a few things: the networked wanted someone who would listen to them; the feud with Chevy Chase over Pierce’s character; as well production problems since Harmon had trouble staying on time. There are more reasons but these are the most salient and Dan Harmon’s opinion about the issue.
Third, NBC ordered a thirteen-episode season that affected the timeline and number of episodes in which Community had to air.
Finally, the best news is the show got renewed for season five. All we need is one more season and a movie!
A lot to consider, but what is the overall effect on the show?
Season 4 is arguably not the best season of the show. Due to the changes, the show suffered in multiple areas such as the story lines, character development, timeline issues and jokes.
One main change is the relationships put more into the forefront in some of the episodes. I know I have said that this show lacks it as a minor complaint… But the way relationships were portrayed overall made me thank Harmon for being a non-couple guy.
Troy and Britta did not really do much. Annie on the other hand made no sense given last season’s revelation that her and Jeff are not compatible.
However, the “Herstory of Dance” executed this idea well, mostly. Abed potentially found a new girlfriend. I like the chemistry and the acting by the guest star that showed improvement for Abed’s character.
For Pierce, the writers must have had a difficult time, as Chevy got little to no material. The double-whammy caused Chevy more frustration from the little material for Pierce, while the writers were unsure if Chevy would give it all. It is too bad since we have to see Pierce as a nice guy in a few episodes and he could have left on that note.
Material wise the season had trouble. This is due to two parts: the network and total episodes. NBC most likely forced the writers to the show more accepting to the general audience. Many times in episodes “Space Convention, Origins story, Introduction to Finality”, the writers addressed the issues of the watered down jokes. Yet this strayed from Community’s own identity for its pop-culture joke.
Character development was hit-or-miss. It was nice to see Jeff finally meet his dad and deal with leaving the study group that culminated in “Advanced Introduction to Finality.” Abed comes in a close second, who most notably in “Herstory” and has shown change from the smart but awkward guy with pop-culture references to being “normal” (if I can even say it). Chang fits into this category somewhat as he went from maniacal revenge plot to being a part of the group.
The limited number of episodes affected the show by creating less space for the writers to work. This affected the shows new executive producers.
You could tell the new executive produces, David Guarascio and Moses Port, needed more episodes to develop the show to their ideas. The season was more of a roller coaster with some less than stellar episodes to some that appeared to be terrible but hit the mark later on in “Intro to Knots” and “Basic Human Anatomy.”
Another problem arose with the timeline. Less episodes created a weird time jump throughout the show, most notably after the Christmas episode that Pierce pointed out. Another one is in the season finale when Britta mentions that Abed stopped mentioning the darkest timeline since the Christmas episode.
With the gap the audience had to accept some odd jumps and events in the timeline. Furthermore some story lines were not completed, such as City College’s evil plan for Greendale.
Thankfully season five will hopefully address these issues.
The changes were not always smooth as Community had some bad episodes as the new executive producers that mostly happened early on in season four.
The show really did well in the second half with a string of episodes from “Advanced Documentary Filming” to “Basic Human Anatomy.”
As for the ending, well, a lot of people on Twitter did not like it. After watching it twice, I agree that it appears to be the show’s “Jumped the Shark” moment.
However, because the show was made with the intention that season four was the last season (thankfully not). It should have been done better as it was just a greatest hits moment instead of Community’s style.
But it did the one thing some shows sometimes do not succeed in, closure. At the end we see Jeff graduate through a very oddball and retread of the “dark timeline” from last year’s “Chaos Theory.” The story took a while to comprehend until it appeared to go all sci-fi for the most part. It gave us closure to Jeff and the gang growing up, but Jeff still able to drop by with the gang.
A possibility is he will end up taking some more blow-off classes or becoming a professor so he can still be in the show without that awkwardness.
With the renewal comes some uncertainty, as there is rumblings that Harmon could return as the executive producer. Also, it will be seen as to how the show will address some plot-lines, like City College’s evil plan.
Community looks to be like Chuck, another show on NBC that survived due to the fan base and the poor ratings at NBC. I hope the show improves the story-lines and jokes for next season, with less holiday episodes so the timeline and materials do not suffer as much.
What did you think of the season 4 of Community? Leave your comments below.