Confirmed: this is the darkest timeline
I wish they had ended it at season three. Four was a travesty, and five was basically what's wrong with every show when it realizes it's popular and has popular characters that exhibit very specific two-dimensional qualities.
When Community was great, it was so so so great though.
I liked it more than you, it seems. I hope they find a spot on hulu, netflix, itunes, etc.
Even when Community was at its best, Chevy Chase was its short suit. Or, more specific, Pierce. Seeing him in promos for that era of the show now, I'm surprised that I was able to keep watching it at all...but the rest was sooo good.
Community is one of those shows that stayed around well past its freshness date because network execs liked it....which is a negative way of saying something very nice. The show NEVER earned the ratings that warranted the life the network gave it. Goodness knows I jump on them for keeping crappy shows on too long, or canceling good ones, or killing potentially good ones before they get a chance to find their feet....but the fact is that most of these guys (almost ALL of them are guys) like TV a whole lot. They WANT good shows to survive.
NBC of all people. My favorite example is Cheers, which finished absolutely dead last in the ratings its first season. It came in 212th place or whatever. Not a single show had fewer viewers....but NBC liked it, and kept it around anyway. If the worst we can say about Community is, the network greenlit a weird-ass show like that, generally gave the creator free rein, kept it on longer than ratings warranted, acknowledged that they let it run off the rails, ate humble pie to bring the creator back in hopes of restoring it to its former glory, and in the process, probably gave the show a couple of seasons longer on the air than was called for -- that's pretty cool. I think they deserve all the credit in the world for giving it the old college try, so to speak.
But yeah, I started mourning the loss of Community a couple of years ago.
And from the way that article sounded, this is not likely the end. It may actually give them the opportunity to put the drama behind them and turn a new corner. What the show might really need is a fresh place to play around in. OR it could be like the Netflix revival of Arrested Development, great nostalgia with some great moments but largely leaves you back missing the greatness of once was.
Since this is the darkest timeline, I will also take this opportunity to offer my condolences to the end of Raising Hope and Surviving Jack and the impending end to Parks and Rec....
Since they'll never have #sixseasonsandamovie, I hope Harmon at least goes to kickstarter or independent financiers and they make a (basically) direct to Internet movie like Veronica Mars did recently. Because if a cult show that I've never seen one second of or even know what it's about like VM can get a movie, then surely one that was just as culty but actually had a visible audience can do the same. #fiveseasonsandamovie
It probably won't get picked up for another season, I read somewhere, because I guess it has exclusive hulu internet syndication rights or something, so Netflix and Amazon won't have the opportunity to purchase it. And has Hulu made any (good) original programming? Not that I've ever heard of.
But yeah, Community was interesting in its first season, borderline groundbreaking in its second, consistently good in its third, somewhat bland in the bastardized fourth, and then consistently good again in the fifth. It will be missed. I assume parks and rec has one more season in it before they call it off (though, last season's finale felt a lot like a series finale), and then the only reason I have to watch NBC at all will be to fast forward through SNL looking for the good jokes. NBC makes me sad.
[Scott Roberts] " I assume parks and rec has one more season in it before they call it off"
It has already been announced that next season will be the finale.
A Community movie would be really tough. Their antics are suited so well for television that I think their formula would be really hard to translate into 90 minutes.
[Scott Roberts] " Because if a cult show that I've never seen one second of or even know what it's about like VM can get a movie, then surely one that was just as culty but actually had a visible audience can do the same."
The difference is that the people who watched Veronica Mars were insane for it. Absolutely insane. People who weren't part of something like this or Firefly or a handful of others (X-Files is in there, Twin Peaks, a couple of others) can't even begin to imagine the passion. It burns with a light that can be seen from outer space.
It was the fastest Kickstarter to reach $1 million, which it did in 4 hours. The producers met their $2 million goal in 12 hours. They stopped at $5.7 million, with nearly 100,000 backers -- the most of any Kickstarter campaign.
If there's even one person who feels like that about Community, I'd be shocked. I get why people like Community -- I did -- but I don't get the sense of any real passion from its audience.
Hulu or Netflix only make sense if there are INCREMENTAL dollars to be made. That is, House of Cards has already paid for itself because of the subscriptions that they can identify as tied to the opportunity to watch that show.
How many people will pay NEW money to watch new Community stories? Close enough to zero that it would require a business model that doesn't exist yet. How many subscriptions to Netflix will go one more month to watch a Community movie? Same answer.
Veronica Mars required Kickstarter money because the original production entities had dissolved. This was the quintessential Kickstarter project: plucky people with an idea but not enough money to implement it hoped to find an audience who'd not just pay to see the finished project, but who would contribute to the thing getting made at all.
So, if you're not going to pay for a month of Netflix or Hulu to watch the finished Community movie, how much will you pay to get it made at all?
Since we're talking about Veronica Mars, though, this will be my opportunity to say again, that by ignoring programming made for a young adult audience, you're missing some of the best work being done anywhere. This was certainly the case with Hunger Games (written for teens, published by Scholastic Press) and the idea that the best TV may be better than the best movies 100% applies to YA TV as well.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer awaits. I keep repping Vampire Diaries -- as did Roger Ebert; this was one of his favorite shows -- and I swear that Arrow is second only to Sleepy Hollow in kicky fun for me this season.
Veronica Mars exists outside the supernatural/comic realm altogether. Its roots are in Southern California noir, class conflict, violence, political corruption (which eventually drives her father the sheriff out of office) and the loss of innocence. The show begins with Veronica investigating her best friend's murder, and her own rape. (She was drugged at a rich kids party.)
To give you some idea of what you missed, and why there was a phalanx of fans demanding more Veronica, here are some quotes I found with a couple of quick clicks:
LA Weekly: "in this smart, engaging series about a former popular girl turned crime-solving high school outcast, the hard-boiled dialogue comes from its teen protagonist's mouth in a way that stabs any potential cutesiness in the heart with an ice pick."
Chicago Sun Times: said that "Wholesome is out; gritty reality is in. The show never soft-pedals the timeless, fundamental truth that high school is hell."
The Boston Phoenix: "a character study masquerading as a high-school drama".
The Village Voice:"sharp noir tinged with class resentment."
PopMatters "With intrigue, drama, and humor, Veronica Mars is also a lesson book for the disenfranchised. Few TV series aim so high; even fewer succeed so well." (I like that quote.)
Joss Whedon: "Best. Show. Ever. Seriously, I've never gotten more wrapped up in a show I wasn't making, and maybe even more than those [...] These guys know what they're doing on a level that intimidates me."
Kevin Smith, who guest starred in the episode "Driver Ed": "hands-down, the best show on television right now, and proof that TV can be far better than cinema."
Stephen King: "Pure nitro. Why is Veronica Mars so good? It bears little resemblance to life as I know it, but I can't take my eyes off the damn thing."
Newsday: "Best show of the season? Call me crazy, but it's a loopy-twisted-serpentine whodunit revolving around a whip-smart teenage girl. What's not to like? Only that networks always cancel deliciously offbeat gems like this."
Boston Globe: "It's an extraordinarily appealing series, one that's so much more than its easy label as a teen private-eye series."
Variety: "The smartest teen-oriented drama since "Freaks and Geeks."
CNN: "The real beauty of the show was never in Veronica's search or the cases she cracked along the way; it was in her total embrace of her outsider status and her refusal to be treated differently because of it."
That quote came in their article, 'Veronica Mars': Five ways the show made its mark on TV.
One of the things I admire about creator Rob Thomas is when they told him it was gonna be canceled, so maybe he could take a few episodes to wrap up, he told them to stick it. The show ended with Veronica a pariah and her father (a single parent) in disgrace. Yeah, Veronica was known for being plucky, but this show was hard as nails.
THAT's how you build a fanbase that's so passionate that they will DEMAND a movie. You play for keeps every single episode. Even when you miss the mark (and VM sometimes did, especially in a slightly wobbly third season), you give fans a sense that you CARE that you got it wrong, and that you're going to do everything you can to make sure it doesn't happen again. You show a commitment that's equal to your most passionate fans, and WORTHY of them.
Canceling Community, meh. The real story was that the network kept it on as long as they did, and it's a good story.
Canceling Veronica Mars? That villainy would not stand. Would NOT, sir.
With that, the sermon endeth.
Also, people keep citing Arrested Development as a reason for Community to find a home on Netflix. I think that could have been true after season four of Community. At this point, a lot of the most devoted fans have lost interest and the show lost its appeal. People that love it really love it, but there aren't enough maybe. Whereas Arrested Development had a really solid run and died while it was still mostly on top, with its self-awareness playing to the benefit of the show unlike Community. The show also gained a lot of momentum on video. That could happen with Community, I'm not sure.
And Arrested Development's lukewarm critical reception of the new season could put Netflix off from buying into cult hits.