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Community Season 5 Wish List

Community Season 4

Community fans around the world recently rejoiced upon hearing the news that Dan Harmon would be returning as showrunner and executive producer for Season 5, after being entirely absent from the show for the whole of Season 4- the show’s most maligned and divisive season. Personally, I enjoyed the majority of it, especially the second half, but fully understand where the criticisms come from.

Long-time fans were also ecstatic to learn that fan-favorite writer Chris McKenna (writer of such all-time classics as “Paradigms of Human Memory” and “Remedial Chaos Theory”) will be brought on as another executive producer, after he, too, departed at the end of Season 3.

Obviously, Community fans have a lot to look forward to with the wonderfully pop culture-infested mind of Harmon back in tow to steer this parking lot ship out of the rocky waters of Season 4. Here is one fan’s wish list of what he wants to see in Season 5…

City College Payoff

Most people probably thought Dean Spreck and the oddly-militaristic students of City College after Season 2’s phenomenal all-out, two-part paintball war was won by Greendale. And yet, at the tail end of Season 4, there they were, orchestrating Chang in a plot to take over the school. Even when Chang quits at the end of “Heroic Origins,” City College still seems in it to win it, bringing with them what appears to be… a giant mechanical spider. Most people expected this plot to be paid off in the finale, only to find a dreadful timelines cross-over episode instead.

Needless to say, we kind of need to wrap some things up here, if only to coincide with that old writer’s adage “Never introduce a giant mechanical spider you don’t intend to payoff later.” And Dean Spreck has always made a great rival for Dean Pelton, which is a great cause for conflict and especially good if they want to try…

Deepening Dean Pelton

Community - Season 4

No, that is not a Community-based porn I’ve been concocting. It’s a true desire I have as a viewer. Oscar winner Jim Rash became a series regular with his own spot in the opening credits at the beginning of Season 3, and was doing fantastic work for the show long before that. One of the absolute highlights of that cartoonish, but still brilliant season was the Pelton-centric Heart of Darkness parody episode “Documentary Filmmaking: Redux.” After that, and especially when it was announced that Rash would be writing an episode himself, I expected another great piece of the enigma, wrapped in a riddle, dressed in a female nurse’s outfit that is Dean Pelton to come into the light.

It did not.

Instead, Pelton spent most of Season 4 dressed in the aforementioned nurse’s outfits, and the episode Rash wrote didn’t feature much of him beyond him believing that he and Jeff had switched bodies (which was hilarious, although not very revealing). Besides maybe Chang, Dean Pelton is the character that so easily bridges into a parody of himself, so adding some depth or at least another full episode around the guy would do wonders to keep him from going too far, despite Rash’s wonderful performance.

I’ve talked about Chang a couple times now, so I suppose it’s about time we talked about…

Keeping Chang Where He Is

Changnesia

Chang is in the Study Group now. Really, he is. It was pretty much official when Abed and Chang walked away together at the end of “Heroic Origins” and solidified during Jeff’s vision of Chang during his awful fantasy in “Advanced Introduction to Finality.” He’s in the group now. And he’s also fixed.

One of the things Season 4 did very, very right was fixing its problem characters and making them sympathetic again, Chang and Pierce to be specific. The Napoleonic, murderous Chang is now behind us and we can now have a happier Chang that serves as a substitute for Pierce in the Study Group. This was a development that should have been made when that was his whole character arc in Season 2, so it would only serve to satisfy us if it happened now. Chang fighting his naturally evil urges and trying to love these people could make for great conflict and would be something I would love to watch happen once the Senor takes Pierce’s place on the Troy end of the table.

And the closer we can get to Season 1 Chang, the better, because that was easily his finest hour. And since we’re talking about things that went on during Season 1…

Jeff and Annie, Dammit

Community

It’s not even that I think these two will make a particularly good couple. I’m just sick of putting up with their “Will They/ Won’t They” nonsense, because everyone knows that all of these “Will They/ Won’t Theys” end with “They will.” In the midst of Season 4, Jeff and Annie had a couples costume, went on a ski trip together, and made allusions to how often Annie comes over and plays house. They’re a couple already and should just get together already. This is something that has been teased since the ninth episode of the damn show, so let’s see this paid off already.

But this complain is only a small part of a bigger issue…

Give Annie Something To Do

Annie Red Dress Finale Community Darkest Timeline

If you go back to the Season 3 finale “Introduction to Finality,” Annie is the only character without an arc or even a good joke. She spends the whole time sitting in the courtroom not talking. She has no arc, no story, no nothing. And this was going to very likely be the last episode of the show ever. Troy would have gone out defeating the Air Conditioner Repair School; Abed finally intersected with the Darkest Timeline; Jeff gave a startling speech; Shirley got her sandwich shop; Britta became a true therapizer; Annie sat in a chair and watched.

I know that it’s hard to find anything for Ms. Edison to do besides be a good grade in a tight sweater, but it’s kind of the job of the writers to give that tight sweater something really awesome to do. Alison Brie seems to be very adept at character work, as evidenced by her worthy effort in the Season 4 finale and truly great work in “A Fistful of Paintballs.” It’d be fun to see Annie play genre again, in another of the show’s many fabled concept episodes. Like this one…

A “His Story/ Their Story” Episode

For those of you not super-acclimated with the Scrubs mythos, I am referring here to one of those episodes of a long-running TV show that tries to look at things from another character’s perspective. Buffy fans might call it a “Xander episode.” These episodes tend to be a hoot on other shows, and the Community writers always seem to find interesting ways to take episodes like these (“Cooperative Calligraphy” being a prime example) and turn them on their head. Plus, Community has a wealth of interesting characters to do latch on to, whether they big bigger plays like Dean Pelton or Senor Chang, or smaller players like Leonard or Garrett. Please, God, can we have a Leonard-centric episode? Now that I have said it, I really think it’s all that I’ve ever wanted. For another episode idea…

The Long-Fabled Back to the Future Episode

Fans of Community’s behind the scenes antics will know that Donald Glover has long fought for the show to do a full-on Back to the Future episode. I have to say that this is something that I also want to see. Of all the movies from the 80’s that I think are grossly overrated, Back to the Future is not among them. It’s a classic and damn near a perfect film. That score will get you going ever time. I have no idea how this episode might be accomplished, but I also never thought I’d see a body-switching episode that wasn’t terrible. Good luck, Harmon.

The Return of Professors Duncan and Professorson

Professor Ian Duncan Community

I know that Professor Professorson is not his real name, but he will always be a Professorberg in my heart.

This is probably the most personal item on this list, but the thing I want from this show more than anything is the return of Professor Ian Duncan. His routines have always been fantastic and he is easily the best part of Community’s pilot. He was a joy in his numerous appearances and it would not be amiss to bring him back again. Plus, as a Psychology professor, that means he would be teaching Britta, and that sounds like absolute Heaven to a Britta die hard like myself. You can tell by how heavily he was used early on that he was also mean to be used far more than he is or ever was, so his return would be a wonderful return to form.

As far as Professor Professorson goes, he (and Kevin Corrigan’s dry delivery) bring big laughs in the otherwise lackluster “Competitive Wine Tasting” that stands as the only poor episode in all of Season 2. That’s reason enough to see him come back to Greendale. Think of the possibilities. And finally…

No. More. Spacetime.

Inspector Spacetime Convention Community

The joke is dead. It was funny for a while, but now it is gone. Inspector Spacetime came about during my freshman year of college, when everyone around me was obsessed with Doctor Who. Over the years, I’ve been impressed with how Community has deepened the Spacetime mythos and added more and more details to this fictional show, far out-matching many shows that actually exist. But after the convention episode, (and I don’t want to be a Minerva about this) it’s about time we hung up the bowler hat forever. Season 4 did a really good job of laying off the Spacetime after that, only giving passing references and shout-outs.

The truth of the matter is that Abed would watch more than one show, so let him become obsessed with something else for a while. Farwell, sweet Inspector.

Chekhov’s Gunman is a film and television blog moderated by Kevin Lanigan, a future writer of movies and TV and current creator of Life, the Universe, and Everything. Subscribe or follow above for all of our content, including weekly Mexican Standoffs, full coverage of Community, movies, and lots of TV, and some Good Stuff.

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8 thoughts on “Community Season 5 Wish List

  1. Believe it or not, I didn’t know Inspector Spacetime was an actual thing in real life. I thought it was just a Community-created obvious parody of Doctor Who.

    I’m totally with you on Duncan/Professorson returning. Kevin Corrigan’s delivery of every one of his lines in Conspiracy Theories and Interior Design is easily one of my favorite moments in the entire series thus far.

    The one thing I’m looking for in season 5 is simply this: Greendale. By that, I mean the study group getting back to actually hanging out, taking weird classes, and partying as hard as Subway’s morality clause allows like they were in the first two seasons and should have been doing throughout season 4. Of course, that’s going to be made more difficult with the fact that Jeff is graduated, so I expect either some retcon or writing-themselves-out-of-a-corner. They might have just alleviated that problem by writing the season finales as if there wasn’t the possibility of them being the last episode ever, because it seems since season 3, they’ve felt the need to tie everything up in a nice, neat bow at the end.

    • I agree with all of this, especially that last paragraph. I want to see them take funny classes again and hang out and have a good scene around the Study Table for the first time in forever. They certainly shouldn’t go all the way back to the Season 1 way of doing things, but there’s certainly something comforting about it that is sorely missed.

  2. Conventions of Space and Time was an awful, awful episode, and Inspector Spacetime overuse complaint is really one of the only things I agree with the I-hated-Community-before-it-was-cool people who despise post-hiatus season 3. That said, I seem to remember Neil Gaiman wanting to write an episode (he withdrew his offer after Dan Harmon was fired), and Karen Gillan wanting to have a guest spot.

    If either one of those things needs Inspector Spacetime to work out, I’d gladly watch it one more time. (On the other hand, I miss Cougar Town. And I would also be absurdly happy if Abed got into Orphan Black.)

    • I had never heard the Gaiman thing, but that would be fantastic if he stopped by. I don’t know if Gaiman needs to work in the sci-fi/ fantasy realm, but if he does, I’d give a Spacetime return a chance. Maybe. Although, there are plenty of other mines to drill in that regard. I could see the Dreamatorium being an absolute playground for Gaiman.

      I think it actually would have been really interesting if it was a Cougar Town convention instead. The thing that always gets me is that Abed must watch more than one show, yet all we hear about is Spacetime. Find a second reference, Community.

      • Gaiman and the Dreamatorium would be a match made in heaven, as far as I’m concerned. I think they/he could work to expand the Dreamatorium’s use, too, since so far we’ve mostly only seen Inspector Spacetime role playing. I will say, though, that while I thought the Spacetime stuff was overused in Season 3, it didn’t blunt the emotional impact of, say, Virtual Systems Analysis, and it wasn’t until Conventions of Space and Time that I was really ready to KILL IT WITH FIRE.

        I’d love to see more Cougar Town, too, partially because they were so good at integrating it into regular episodes (and Critical Film Studies) without going overboard, and partially because I only recently began to watch it, and can confirm its brilliance.

        ..And seriously. I don’t watch nearly as much TV as Abed seems to, but I’m very into at least four shows right now (five if Agents of Shield turns out as good as I expect). You’re right: Harmon and team need to expand his horizons.

      • I agree, that “Conventions of Space and Time” pushed over the line something that I didn’t really have a problem with before. I was actually really enjoying for a while the way they fleshed out the Spacetime mythos, both about the show and about the stuff behind the scenes. But now it’s time for everyone to move on and hope that AGENTS OF SHIELD is as good as we all hope.

      • I just don’t know. I mean, looking back on it I have very little non-positive thoughts towards Spacetime during season 3: Regional Holiday Music and Virtual Systems Analysis are, I think, the two episodes which used Spacetime the most, and both are high on my FAVORITE COMMUNITY EPISODES EVER list. (Curriculum Unavailable had a cold open involving Abed-as-Inspector, too, and I think that episode is one of the funniest the show has ever produced). Focusing an entire episode on it was just a little too much for me, though I think it’s likely it would have reached some kind of saturation point by now anyway.

        ..Also, agreed about the professors. I love, love, love, love, love John Oliver, and Kevin Corrigan’s delivery never fails to make me laugh.

        (And Agents of SHIELD. I keep forgetting it’s an acronym, but I’m EXTREMELY excited. Refusing to put dots between letters, though.)

      • Dots between letters only serve to make things very difficult to type. And nobody wants that. No matter what the case, I think Spacetime is done now and Abed should become obsessed with a fake superhero show or a children’s cartoon, or some other pop culture parody. Just a less saturated one. #OccupCougarTown

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