But why should “Community” have earned a save — even after making it through five seasons on NBC — when other programs did not? There are several answers, ranging from the vagaries of television decision-making to the basic issue of quality.
The result is that hating on the show is really not the best option.
Fan fervor counts for something
All you have to do is look at Twitter to know that “Community” fans are kind of passionate about their show. While this doesn’t translate into traditional ratings, that fervor is a huge deal to production companies like Sony and to Internet TV hopefuls like Yahoo.
There’s a reason why it was “Community” and not “The Crazy Ones” that got shopped all over the broadcasting world.
Internal dedication is a big deal
One of the main reasons why “Community” is coming back is that almost everyone involved wants to return. The entire Season 5 main cast is in for Season 6. Creator Dan Harmon and writers like Chris McKenna are in. You don’t get that kind of dedication on most shows.
How rare is that? Take the case of the immortal “Two and a Half Men.” Two (or maybe one and a half) of that show’s original three stars have left under a cloud of controversy. They’re never coming back, and you don’t get the impression that their show misses them. Creator Chuck Lorre is off creating 18 other comedies and has little time for the one that made him huge.
If that were the case for “Community,” it would indeed be very, very dead right now.
It’s a really good show
One commonality between most people who call for the cancellation of any show is that they usually aren’t fans of that program. It makes sense — why ask for a show you love to get canceled? The problem with this, however, is that those who don’t like a show also don’t watch it. When the issue of cancellation comes up, those non-fans start to talk about how the show wasn’t very good anyway.
They would be wrong about “Community.” It’s an excellent program.
The jokes aren’t for everyone. Sometimes, there are missteps (and I’m not just talking about Season 4 here). If you don’t like self-referential humor, there isn’t much chance of you liking “Community.” That’s fair.
But none of these things mean the show is bad. “Community” is actually an excellent program. Incredible writing, massive creativity and an impressive cast all keep this show among the best TV has to offer. It’s not for everyone, but that doesn’t mean this is a bad comedy.
‘Fair’ isn’t a word that applies to TV
Even if “Community” were terrible, that wouldn’t preclude it from a Season 6. All you have to do is look at a list of long-running comedies to know this is true. Similarly, just because other great comedies have been canceled — and they have — it doesn’t mean “Community” should be too.
It’s not fair that “Community” is getting a sixth chance. But since when has “fair” mattered to television? Was it fair for “Arrested Development” to get a Season 4 when “Happy Endings” didn’t get any sort of reprieve? Is it fair that the incredible “Trophy Wife” didn’t even make it to Season 2 while “Rules of Engagement” stayed on the air for roughly 10 million seasons?
Nope. That’s TV for you. It is an inherently unfair medium. You just have to hope that sometimes, the unfairness favors what you love.