NBC is Stupid
NBC has released its new schedule, and they've pulled Community from their lineup... Because of low ratings... Wait, everything on NBC has low ratings! And they are keeping Whitney on the air. Score one for unintelligent multi camera laugh track sitcoms, am I right?!?!
Though, I kind of understand it. If network television audiences most desperately crave the empty calories of things like Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men, of course they will throw away the lush, healthy alternative in Community.
It's not officially canceled, and they will eventually play the rest of season 3, but I'm sure this isn't a good sign for season 4. I wish Community could go to a network that would appreciate it, like FX, where it could do what it wants and make everyone happy. I know it's a fantasy and a 0% chance of happening, but I mean, an FX comedy block of Always Sunny leading into Community...? That seems almost too perfect.
Instead, they give life to Whitney Cummings like a television executive lost a horrible bet somewhere, and they move a Christina Applegate "isn't parenting HARD? (sad trumpet noise)" show with terrible ratings into one of the Thursday night time slots.
Much like Arrested Development, I think Community is just too smart for network TV audiences. "HEY DARLENE! GET IN HERE! THIS NERDY FELLAH IS HAVING TROUBLE WITH GIRLS AGAIN! HOHOHOHO HE JUST SAID BAZINGA! I LOVE CATCHPHRASES!"
Community is going on hiatus, to make room for 30 Rock to come back in. I have loved Community since episode one, it had some really groundbreaking episodes, and the NBC Thursday night comedy block is the one time in the whole week where our family parks on the couch for the whole night. Then again, I was one of the few people who liked the actor chemistry on the cancelled "Outsourced", so what do I know.
Outsourced was alright, but I struggled to see it developing into something great. It fell into a few too many standard sitcom traps. It was better than a multi camera laugh track sitcom, but didn't have the writing quality of Community or the really strong characters/acting of, say, a Parks & Rec caliber show. I'd take Outsourced over Whitney any day of the week, though.
I would say Whitney the actress has a good camera presence and some personal magnetism, but the show is utterly formulaic, the cast, forgettable, and the material is lame. There is zero new ground being broken here. Now, sometimes, that's okay, I mean, you can get away with using a standard trope, IF there novelty and excellence in the execution of the thing. But there again, there is nothing different or superior about it. It is a competently shot and edited show, with workmanlike plots. It has nothing you haven't seen since Lucy or The Honeymooners. And it isn't going to progress to anything. That's why there is no point to it. Frankly, it's a puzzling non-fit in a Thursday schedule that is full of quirky, truly different shows. It is probably very cheap to produce, is all I can figure.
What I would like is to take a show like that, and subvert it dramatically, to really give an audience's expectations some whiplash, yet pretend nothing out of the ordinary is going on.
Last Week's "Community" once again set the bar for beign smart and funny at the same time, with a parody of Apocalypse Now/Heart Of Darnkess. I'm sure a lot of the references went over the heads of the 15-year-olds. Us older folks were left nearly micturating in our drawers.
Yeah that was a really great episode, a continued example of why Community is such a landmark sitcom in the scheme of network television (also, good extended use of the Dean for once). It was an examination of doing something completely different and meaningful for your vision (albeit, kind of insane), then when it gets shown to the people in charge, all they want is more of the "wacky Asian guy". A brilliant metaphor for how NBC and basically all the network TV studios operate. And a good representation of what Community is going through. Dan Harmon provides us with the Chaos Theory episode, and NBC would rather air Whitney Cummings making played-out relationship jokes on a sitcom that could have aired in 2001 and been just as played out. Stick with the crap that gets the most ratings, I guess.
I don't even understand how rating work fully. Is it still Nielson boxes/surveys? Don't they realize that the audience for something like Community probably doesn't participate in that stuff? Isn't there some way for Comcast and Direct TV to just have the raw information of what channels are being watched by their customers at this or that time? Or what's being DVR'd? Or maybe it's not that simple...?
The only good thing about Community ending is that if given the opportunity for a definitive series finale, it will be the most meta 22 minutes of programming in the history of television. I mean, we all expected that to happen, but maybe not just after the 3rd season. Six seasons and a movie!
Dan Harmon has been appealing to a higher power, it seems: