Calm Down, Community Is Coming Back

After a hiatus of several months, NBC's Community will return to Thursday nights on NBC. Can something be called a "cult classic" while it's still airing? Fans of the show certainly think so. Community fans are hardcore.

When NBC announced the show was going on hiatus, there was fandom uproar. Look, I know how it is when a great show nears cancellation. Don't even get me started on the cancellation of Roswell. But something about the reactions from fans about the hiatus rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe organizing a flash mob seems too gimmicky and self-important to me.

Firstly, we all know that networks keep shows based on viewership (a.k.a. how much money the show will make the network) and not by actual quality. It's an unfortunate way to gauge success, but that's the reality. Community fans, not to mention Dan Harmon, went right to sour grapes. For one, questioning the validity of the Nielsen ratings. Joel McHale made reference to it on many episodes of The Soup. Fans cursed the network and expressed anger over the decision for the hiatus, even when there was no explicit mention of cancellation. It seemed to be a case of sour grapes.

I think the anger was misdirected: instead of expressing anger at the network, hardcore fans should have convinced more people to watch the show, thus keeping it on the air. Let's be real, a show that is incredibly self-referencing and full of quirky inside jokes is better suited for Adult Swim, not network television. A viewer may have decided to tune in one week, only to be treated to an episode done entirely in Claymation or an episode that takes the form of a bizarre documentary. It's not for the masses.

Am I saying that I don't like Community? No. Great television is often misunderstood by your average viewer. Community is better than most stuff out there and it would be a shame if it was canceled. I just think people jumped too quickly and aimed their anger at the wrong people.

Meanwhile, Parks and Recreation will go on a five-week hiatus to make room for Community's return. Who's up for a Meat Tornado eat-a-thon to protest?


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