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Can community films remain relevant and entertaining in 2022?

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community, Dan Harmon’s cult-classic sitcom, about seven students bonding in a university study group, never leaves the hearts and minds of fans and creators. After a tumultuous production that managed to survive for six seasons, the film was teased in season two and became the rallying cry of the show’s avid audience. Came back). Somehow, the show went on for six seasons, making the film almost prophetic given its tenacity through low ratings, a revolving door of talent, and threats of cancellation. provided the latest information.

“It has a synopsis,” Harmon told Newsweek. “There’s a product that’s been assembled and launched for the world, and I think that’s the real deal.” And while it’s a good sign that the cast also confirmed their desire to be involved (during a virtual reunion in 2020), they’re not planning on doing any other acting gigs. , especially staying busy with the show’s breakouts Donald Glover and Alison Brie.

But even with a star-studded movie, it’s possible, especially eight years from now. communitya show that started 13 years ago and ended 7 years ago, Want to feel relevant again?

The community feels like a time capsule of its time

A character’s age is one obvious pain point. Even the show, which took place at a community college that specializes in adult education (a fictional Greendale set in Colorado), was mostly — Jeff Winger (Joel McHale), Britta Perry (Gillian Jacobs), Shirley Bennett (Yvette Nicole Brown), and Abed Nadir (Danny Pudi) were in their thirties or older when the show ended, while Pierce Hawthorne (Chevy Chase) died during the show’s run. Even on the air, the show struggled to come up with a reason to keep them in school. Yet there was always a “save Greendale” plot or another to get them back around the den table. No doubt the writer could invent another plot.

The bigger problem is community It’s too productive of its time to exist harmoniously or logically outside of its time. my neighbor seinfeld almost immediately felt hopelessly outdated, mash, from 20 years ago, seems to be a classic. This is probably due to the lack of real-world touchstones. mash Although it almost seems to take place in another universe, my neighbor seinfeld The smell of mid-90s fashion, trends and sensibilities.

Similarly, community Embody the hope and change of the Obama era. The show ends with a warm sense of inclusiveness. It unabashedly unites its characters around diversity and is shot through with a liberal penchant for self-criticism. I was. community It could blossom in our current (or future) environment — or Harmon made it very specific, especially given the prejudice against nihilism he exhibits on his current show. If you can imbue it with sensibility, rick and morty.

That reference is both timeless and obsolete

community episodes,

Harmon is famous for his references.Like Season 2, it can be a classic community The episode “Critical Film Studies” pays tribute to pulp fiction When Dinner with André (I challenge anyone to find that specific mashups elsewhere). The movies and shows he references often stand the test of time, leading to references that land across generations, like the Season 6 episode. rick and morty“Rick: A Mort Well Lived” die hard (Ironically, the joke in the episode is that 17 is too young to have heard of it.)

But while Harmon’s show embraces the classics, the writing is also very modern, like season one’s throwaway jokes. R&M In the episode “Closing Rick-Kind’s Rick-counters”, Rick sacrifices the band Mumford and Sons to create a the meantime rick and mortya classic of its time and sure to be enjoyed by posterity, the Mumford and Sons joke already seems outdated.

community Likewise, it contains a lot of mostly outdated references and plot points, especially when it comes to technology. The characters are constantly using “cutting-edge” technology that seems to have died out by the early 2010s. Facebook, smart phones, Blackberry, early apps, text his message mode and more. Much of this technology is fairly recent, but it has evolved exponentially, making the show’s attempt to seize the moment feel even more dated.

Stories and characters bring fans back

Community cast outside Greendale

then why community is such an indelible product of its time, so dated in some ways, but why is it so rewatchable and easy to come back to? is. The stories are told in a wide variety of genres and styles, and watching them over weeks or months, or being completely engrossed in them, doesn’t feel like a parade of copies.

Some examples of the great stylistic variation between episodes include: goodfellas Homage, “Modern American Poultry.” “Intermediate documentary filmmaking” in mockumentary format.Bottle Episode “Joint Calligraphy” Brilliant Law and order A parody of Jeff and Annie Edison (Bree) trying to uncover the identity of the “crack-butt thief”, “Basic Inter-Butt Nummology”. We speculate that the fake clip show “Human Memory Paradigm” inspired his fake R&M clip show “Morty’s Mind Blowers”.

But the different genres and story types are never just a gimmick. They’re always in the service of highlighting flawed characters, not necessarily good people, or even good people. Jeff Winger is a headstrong guy who pretends to be a shallow nihilist who can’t hide how deeply he cares. It’s a classic character type, and I don’t think McHale playing a straight man has gotten enough credit over the years to ground the show well (a difficult cast to stand out, but still). The actor, who plays a time lawyer and a full-time manipulator, had to give many speeches and landed them all. And it’s easy to see why the other characters are looking to Jeff for leadership.

Community's Pierce Hawthorne

Jeff and the others have an uneasy relationship with Pierce Hawthorne, a hostile tycoon played by Chase. Pierce isn’t the show’s villain (whom Ken Jeong plays as the deranged lunatic Ben Chang), but the study group’s resentment of him is a reality between Chase and the other actors behind it. It seems to reflect some of the dynamics of the scene.

Given his reputation, there’s no question that Chase was frustrated with his castmates. But while he’s played lead for nearly his entire career and was by far the most famous ensemble when the show started, he’s been mugging (more than usual) and trying to take over the scene. It seems not. He takes the sitcom staple of the adorable jerk who tries too hard (think another NBC classic, John Larroquette. night coat), but someone the group accepts despite his many shortcomings.

The group also takes some time to warm up to Abed Nadir (Danny Pudi), an autistic character of Palestinian/Polish descent who ultimately became the show’s centerpiece. The performance provides a calm center where hijinks, shenanigans, and emotional turmoil can rage. In fact, Abed sometimes takes on the role of documentary filmmaker, almost anthropologically detaching him. friends observe.

As with the famous characters he evokes, Abed’s relationship moments are deeply satisfying for viewers. The way he is represented, especially through his friendship with Troy Burns (Glover), is also satisfying. Troy starts out as a typical jock in season one, but eventually lets his guard down and lets his inner nerd out. As one, he has done important work to challenge and subvert stereotypes about black and Arab men.

One of the best “Family Found” shows

community trojans and gangs

The acceptance of Pierce and Abed as members of the gang was, despite their unsounding aggression, community It’s one of the most influential shows ever about found families, a tried and true format that binds lonely people from different backgrounds together while making sure they’re always together. . It is a fantasy of unconditional love and acceptance, suggesting that we can find our kindred spirits rather than clinging to those who may not understand our innate specialness. It is especially empowering because it is community It can feel very soothing (the show helped them get through their two soul-shredding splits over the past decade).

As the show went through the quintessential “whether they or not” with various characters over the years, it also offered the romantic wish fulfillment that is a staple of sitcoms. community Never shying away from sexy fantasies, he often fetishized his star’s body. He often takes off his shirt and sometimes even his pants.Dean Craig Pelton (Jim Rush) and Troy both show off their fit bodies, while Britta and Annie wear tight sweaters for the show a lot of cleavage.

Britta and Annie's German Outfit - Community

It’s hard to say how well this will hold up in today’s cultural environment, and despite its progressive sensibility, the show is sometimes problematic. many About gay jokes. Yes, they’re usually used to skewer Pierce as an out-of-touch bigot, but they’re still there for easy laughs. It might feel a little more balanced if it weren’t for the veil (in one of the few bad episodes, “Basic Rocket Science”, he has a map highlighting truck stops). and park bathrooms). The term “slut” is also thrown around, especially Britta, who is both highly sexual and at the same time too punching bag for the other characters due to her promiscuity (among other reasons).

Given all this, community Fulfilling the self-proclaimed mission of closing out with a film that doesn’t feel completely past its sell-out date? One possible point of comparison for television is that Veronica Marsanother fan-obsessed show with a warm cast and self-contained universe that aired years ago community premiere. Created from his fan-driven Kickstarter campaign, his 2014 film was satisfying for fans (myself included), but it didn’t quite capture the original magic of the show.probably community It doesn’t matter so much that a movie is made if revisiting the original can continue to bring a lot of benefits to those who find family in it.

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