So, after the firing of creator Dan Harmon and the mass exodus of creative talent that followed, not to mention the months and months of delays, Community finally aired in 2013, showing a grand total of 13 episodes.
The characters we all know and love are still there and so is Greendale, but everything is a bit different. It seems to have lost that spark that made it so special.
The comedy is a bit broader, a bit more obvious, the references a bit more on the nose. Everything seems a bit flat. All the elements of Community are there, they just don’t fit together as well any more.
As well as trying to make the show more accessible there is also a lot of pandering to fans, a lot of whom were obviously uneasy about the behind the scenes changes. In 13 episodes there are episodes with puppets, alternate timelines and paintball, as well as plenty of not so sublet references to previous events. The whole thing seems like the guys in charge are trying to tell the fans they are fans too, but that is the problem. The whole thing feels like fan fiction, like what they do isn’t really Community, isn’t canon.
It also saw Chevy Chase finally leave the show, which was a surprise to absolutely no-one. He has never like the work or the comedy and it is more surprising he made it nearly 4 entire seasons before quitting.
Still the show has been renewed for a fifth season and there is click bait that Dan Harmon might return, but I don’t personally see that ever happening. Their time spent at Greendale may have come to an end, but the show will continue. For many of the most dedicated fans however, the show actually ended with season 3.
They might get it right with season 5, but nothing in this season suggests it is going in the right direction.