Comedy legend Chevy Chase recently gave an interview you can read here in which he was surprisingly honest about his feelings towards his current show Community. Without giving too much away, because it is quite an interesting interview, Chevy says the direction this particular season has taken is pretty out there, and that in his eyes, this season has “gone way south.”
Now there’s nothing wrong with a star expressing their honest opinions on their series, though from the looks of things in the industry, such honestly is frowned upon by higher ups as it’s bad for business. However, it has been revealed that there has been a bit of a conflict between Chevy and series creator Dan Harmon leading to Chevy walking off set and culminating in Chevy leaving a pretty NSFW voicemail on Harmon’s phone which you can listen to here. In the voicemail Chevy essentially call Harmon’s writing horrible among other more colorful words. Now while most will focus on what Chevy said about Harmon, all I can think about is what Chevy said about the show, and honestly, I think he’s right.
As a grateful fan, I at first opted to just smile and appreciate having the show back instead of pointing out the many new flaws. However, seeing that Chevy Chase himself feels the same I do I think it’s time for fans to admit it. The honest truth is that ever since the started of this season I feel like the essence of Community has been fading and honestly it’s for one very clear reason, everyone at Greendale Community College is now in on the joke. The reason Community was funny in the first place was that no matter what was going on around them, the study group was merely that, a study group. There was no magic in the study room table, no dreamatorium, no evil air conditioning Vice Dean, no stupid shameless one liner heavy Changs. These people used to be normal. Well not normal, but at least relatable. Think about it, every character is now a poorly written fan fiction version of themselves. Factor in the new animated thought bubbles and sight gags and it’s quite clear that this show has caught a terminal case of the “Simpsons sickness.”
For those not in the know with the “Simpsons sickness,” The Simpsons was at one point the best and most innovative show on television. The Simpsons of the present so poorly made that many of the new episodes don’t even have a proper conclusion. Dissertations have been written on why the show has had such a rough fall from grace, but once again, the answer is very clear. The Simpsons lost it’s genius once the powers that be started seeing the Simpsons as cartoons instead of people. Unfortunately, the same can now be said for the population at Greendale. Jeff was funny because he was an douche who wanted no part of Greendale’s hijinx yet participated because he cared for his friends which made him a good person and character. Jeff isn’t funny as a wannabe patriarch narcissist, who’s only good for one liners and pithy dialogue. Troy and Abed were great because Troy was a naive jock who is now having the time of his life with a kid who in high school he would have never given the time of day and Abed was a weird kid who at the end of the day knew he was weird, but would rather live in his world than ours which made him cool. Troy and Abed aren’t great as two borderline insane man-children living in their own little world randomly picking spots to be inconsistently wise.
These characters used to have lives and real problems. Now, the Dean seizures on the crowded hallway floor in a homoerotic lust overload because Jeff wears aviators. Sorry if this is kind of harsh, but the truth is hardly ever anything but. Community is a good shows that still has potential to be a great show. Maybe if the same fans who fought for it’s survival put the same effort towards preserving its quality, stars like Chevy Chase wouldn’t have to walk off the set.