There are not a lot of things to look forward to in life anymore. We all at one time or another find ourselves cooped up inside, unable to pay to go out and do anything on account of the economy and the endless spiral of self mutilation that is middle class, watching television for hours on end. In the past little while, maybe ten years or so, TV has really picked up its game, partly because its the trend but, also, and I mean this, probably a lot out of necessity.
Now, don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of shit shows out there. Just pick anything on TLC and you have a winner. Not everything on TV is quality but, there does seem to be a resurgence in television as a format. Now, this isn’t anything earth shattering as it has been this way for the last ten to twelve years. I kinda feel like the bump in quality began with the class of shows that came out at the same time as LOST. That class looked a little bit like this: Grey’s Anatomy, LOST, HOUSE MD,and a few others I’ll not mention here. We saw a huge resurgence of drama and, years later, saw a resurgence in comedy as well. Shows like 30 Rock, The Big Bang Theory, The Office, and Community. TV just got better.
And with that, I want to focus on one show in particular and that show is Community. Community debuted three seasons ago and has been a fan favorite since the beginning. Community features an ensemble cast that includes Allison Brie, Donald Glover, Joel McHale, Danny Pudi, and Chevy Chase. To boot, the supporting cast is Jim Rash and Dr. Ken Jeong. That is more comedy than you should be able to fit into one box.
If all that isn’t enough, the writing is superb. Each episode is crafted to be funny, intelligent, and rewatchable. That’s a big deal for me. I like to be able to go back and rewatch an entire season of something without feeling like its gone stale. Being able to rewatch a show and get a brand new perspective while watching it or even catch something completely different is such a magical thing for me and something I look for in a show. With Community, I find this to be the case. I can sit down and watch it over and over again without it feeling old or stale.
Some of the best comedies have been on NBC. I won’t dispute that or even argue it.Seinfield, Friends, Scrubs,etc, are all shows that NBC brought forth and, for a long time, they were the only game in town. In today’s market though, they do not have the monopoly they once had. Matter of fact, NBC is rated worse and worse each year as their programming begins to drop off. I am a firm watcher of the network and, for the most part, love their Thursday comedy lineup. My problem with it is my problem with a lot of what has happened to tv and film over the last ten years. Smart programming gets replaced with less intelligent, safer programming, plain and simple.It’s the way of the world now though, there are tiny advances made to put intelligent things back into the marketplace.
I recently listened to an interview with Yvette Nichole Brown on the Sam Roberts Show (found on the Opie and Anthony channel, Siruis/XM 105) where Brown more or less said why the show was shelved. She claims that they more or less knew that the show was going to be put on hiatus because there were essentially 6 shows for 4 slots. Whitney, Parks and Rec, Up All Night, 30 Rock, The Office, and Community. Whitney moved to Wednesday night and Community got shelved for a while. Out of all of those shows, it did have the lowest Nielsen ratings.
The problem with that though is that Nielsen ratings typically use families to test and rate shows. Community and shows like it are typically viewed by college students or single people in their twenties. By and large, viewers of shows such as this are viewed by “non traditional” viewers. That is why ratings are so hard to calculate for shows such as this one. Thankfully, the viewers of this show, and shows like it, stood up and had their voices heard. I honestly wonder if anyone at NBC knew how well the show was doing before the hiatus.
When the news of the hiatus first hit, a lot of people compared Community to Arrested Development. I really like both shows and consider them to be some of the best shows ever to be put onto television. The reasons they were taken off the air is the same. Viewership couldn’t really be tested due to the antiquated way we look at ratings. Same thing with Family Guy early on though, I wish they had left Family Guydead and buried. Its resurrection spawned so much Seth McFarlane that shows had to be cancelled or moved to make room for its expansion. If you know which show was put into jeopardy, I think my hostility towards the Griffin family may stand explained.
On a side note, many equate Arrested Development to Community in terms of demo and genre. They are the same caliber just not the same type of shows though, I strongly recommend both.
Well, the fans have spoken and Community will be returning March 15, 2012 at 8pm. Be sure to watch it and, if you can, write to Nielsen and tell them to figure it out how to measure ratings better so that this doesn’t happen again.