As a fan who started loving the show from the pilot forward, it hurts me greatly to say this but it is the truth: Community’s run on NBC is over. News of the cancellation came online this past Friday and it was confirmed on Sunday. Fans have shown their love and devotion for the series through various social media outlets since the announcement, and have been constantly questioning whether or not the show could have a future either on Netflix or on another network. Community creator Dan Harmon has been largely quiet on the matter, but now he has finally broken his silence with a hilarious and heartfelt letter to the fans.
The post was delivered on the showrunner’s Tumblr page, and while I’m going to be breaking down its most important parts below, I would seriously highly recommend that you read the whole thing for yourself. It is a must-read for any Community fans, but also fascinating for any regular TV watcher.
It would seem that the main issue that Harmon wanted to address with the letter are the stories that have been floating around saying that he has no interest in continuing the show. First mentioning the fact that he doesn’t actually have the power to make the show go somewhere else, Harmon then revealed that when Sony informed him of the cancellation on Friday he was actually asked about the idea of moving the show somewhere else:
”… I was definitely in the “eh” column. For a million reasons, some selfish, some creative, one logistic, five sexual, three racist (in a good way) and, oddly, nine isometric. I won’t bore you with them. I mean, of course I will bore you with them. Boring you is my job, my hobby and my passion. But it doesn’t matter right now WHY I’d be lukewarm or if my reasons would be valid, what matters is, I won’t be lukewarm. I’ll heat up. I said “eh” on a Friday afternoon, I will change it to a “sure, let’s talk” on Monday morning and Sony can do their thing. I’m not going to be the guy that recancels cancelled Community.”
All of us have experienced mixed emotions about things we care about and have experienced change of hearts. This is Dan Harmon being human and we can’t really fault him for that. His other argument, however, is considerably more fascinating. According to Harmon, studios and networks have created a way to exploit shows with the most hardcore fanbases, making it so that any new developments with a cancelled cult show seems like a gift. Said the Community showrunner,
”… part of my “eh” was coming from the unsettling thought of your passion for campaigns being once again exploited by this rather unfair, somewhat backward system, one that now treats you like it’s your responsibility to keep a show alive, like a corporation is doing you a favor by feeding you low grade opiate through a regulated tube. Like you owe them an apology when they can’t measure or monetize you to their satisfaction. You deserve better.”
While you may feel rather helpless at this time and be upset with the fact that you really don’t know what to do, Harmon also assures you that he has heard and felt your passion. In fact, everyone has. “There are actually astronauts on a space station right now saying ‘We get it, you love Community” in Chinese,” Harmon writes. “You have done your thing.”
So where does this leave us? It seems that Community has an indefinite future in terms of moving somewhere other than NBC, but that can be seen as either good news or bad. And while it may be unpopular to say, maybe we should be happy with five seasons instead of six seasons and a movie. The show’s final episode really did wrap everything up in a bow, and even gave us an in-canon end for the series. You can rest easy knowing that Greendale Community College and all the people in it and the entire world around it was destroyed by an asteroid.