Can Dan Harmon save ‘Community’?
The drama behind the scenes on beleaguered NBC sitcom “Community” was always nearly as compelling as the jokes onscreen. Perenially low-rated, “Community” faced cancellation every year for its five seasons. Now the scrappy little show that could finally can’t: NBC gave it the ax last week.
The show’s obsessive fans won’t give up at such a minor setback, however. Fans have already begun petitioning production company Sony to shop “Community” to other networks. But the plan won’t work unless the most important fan of all, creator/showrunner Dan Harmon, is onboard, and he sounds decidedly unenthused.
“[W]hen Sony called me on Friday with the news, there was brief discussion at the end of the call about the concept of the show living elsewhere, and I was definitely in the ‘eh’ column,” he writes on his blog. “For a million reasons, some selfish, some creative, one logistic, five sexual, three racist (in a good way) and, oddly, nine isometric.”
Seriously though, whence Harmon’s “eh”? Apparently, he’s starting to feel like Kickstarter culture is placing an unfair burden on fans. “If you want to know the God’s honest truth, 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,” Harmon writes.
Harmon says his enthusiasm will probably return next week, but he thinks that neither his nor fans’ gumption will make much of a difference this time. I hope it does — I’d love to see a “Community” episode centered around fan campaigns. “Introduction to Crowdfunding,” perhaps?