To fans of the show, Community was a brilliant sitcom like no other. While it didn’t capture the attention of a mass audience, the show had a definite cult following, with fans still using references from its unique episodes still to this day. (This is the darkest timeline, is it not?)
While showrunner Dan Harmon’s brainchild was never intended to be for everyone, fans hope that like so many underrated sitcoms before it, that Community will take on new life now that it’s streaming on Netflix.
‘Community’ was a truly inventive show
Emily Nussbaum, Pulitzer Prize-winning reviewer for the New Yorker, once described the show as “a series so geeked-out and self-referential that it practically turned the notion of the sitcom inside-out.”
The plotline of Community was simple enough: Jeff Winger (Joel McHale) needs to complete his undergrad studies in order to get back to his life as a high-powered lawyer and chooses Greendale Community College hoping to find an easy way out of his self-made predicament. What he finds instead is a ragtag group of study buddies that become like a family.
The show took on a life of its own far beyond the initial setup, however, and though Winger was poised to be the protagonist, the stronger personalities of the show won out — and there were a lot of them. In comedic writing terms, Winger would be considered the “normal” character at the center of a sea of eccentrics.
Abed Nadir (Dan Pudi) and Troy Barnes (Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino) may have been the fan favorites, while Dean Pelton (Jim Rash) and Chang (Ken Jeong) were by far the wackiest, but each and every character had their own delightful quirks. These oddball characters and their bizarre adventures bent the sitcom genre in a way that made the show simultaneously delightful to fans and yet unpalatable to less adventurous viewers.
New fans are discovering ‘Community’ now that it’s on Netflix
While all six seasons of Community were on Hulu, and remain there due to a non-exclusivity agreement, Netflix viewers got to start binging the show on April 1st. Many new viewers are wondering why they never watched the show before, while die-hard fans are practically chanting “one of us, one of us” with each new convert.
One new fan tweeted: “‘Community’ on Netflix is the series I didn’t know I needed,” to which someone replied, “better late than never.”
Some fans haven’t watched it since it originally aired, and agree that it definitely holds up. “I already watched Community once. But now I’m rewatching it cause it’s on Netflix and.. it’s just as good as the first time, I’m laughing my ass off,” one fan tweeted.
Fans are hoping ‘Community’ will add ‘and a movie’ to its six seasons
“Six seasons and a movie” was a phrase first uttered by Abed way back in season two of Community, in reference to Abed’s fixation of the day, the show The Cape (which never made it two a second season). When Community was nearing its own cancellation several seasons later, the utterance started to be seen as a sort of prophecy, and fans wished for it to come true. Though the show ended back in 2015, fans now have new hope and are bringing the rallying cry back.
“Community is the number 10 most watched thing in the U.S. on @Netflix, so can we get that #andamovie now? #sixseasonsandamovie,” one fan tweeted.
The move wouldn’t be unprecedented. Netflix has brought cult classics and under-viewed sitcoms back for additional episodes before. They did two seasons (a sequel and a prequel) for the 2003 oddball camp movie comedy Wet Hot American Summer, and another ‘center of eccentrics’ show, Arrested Development also saw new life on the platform as well.
Fans may not just be shouting into the wind this time either. McHale recently told Variety: “I would say there’s a better chance than there’s ever been. … For a long time I was like, ‘never gonna happen.’ And now I think with the renewed interest, and I know the cast is interested, that it could happen.”