More Than a Tweet
I have always tried to be as transparent with you guys as possible, letting you in on the process of making (and not making) Community. So maybe my silence on the issue of a hypothetical sixth season seems frustrating. I was thinking I could stay quiet because there’s too much to say and anything can become a headline because of the timing, and I am so very sick of clicking on my dumb fat name and seeing my dumb fat face in that dumb photo where I’m pointing at the camera and my hands are inexplicably tiny despite being closer to the camera.
But, I’m getting tweets from some anxious sounding fans, tweets that make me anxious because I feel like I’ve made THEM anxious with my silence, etc.
The general feel of my twitter feed is “well, what should we do, do you want us to petition/riot/negotiate/scream or do you want us to say goodbye and let it be done?” There’s also references to an article in an industry gossip blog, which I won’t click, indicating that everyone in the world BUT me wants to shop Community around. And probably featuring that ****ing weird tiny hand photo. Or the one where I’m snarling and my teeth are like corn kernels.
Let’s start with that, the idea that I don’t want this to continue. I don’t think I’m the guy that gets to say what happens at the more effective levels - my career would have a different shape if I were that guy. I’d fire everyone that fired me, give all of you a raise, let the audience pick which pilots go to series and keep shows running as long as their subscription revenue was a dollar over their budget. I am not Mister Shot Caller Guy. That guy went to a better school, didn’t drop out and has lizard blood.
I will confess, however, that when Sony called me on Friday with the news, there was brief discussion at the end of the call about the concept of the show living elsewhere, and I was definitely in the “eh” column. For a million reasons, some selfish, some creative, one logistic, five sexual, three racist (in a good way) and, oddly, nine isometric. I won’t bore you with them. I mean, of course I will bore you with them. Boring you is my job, my hobby and my passion. But it doesn’t matter right now WHY I’d be lukewarm or if my reasons would be valid, what matters is, I won’t be lukewarm. I’ll heat up. I said “eh” on a Friday afternoon, I will change it to a “sure, let’s talk” on Monday morning and Sony can do their thing. I’m not going to be the guy that recancels cancelled Community.
I’m scared to tell you how little a difference I think my enthusiasm will make. I know fandom, when it gets this deep for this long, becomes almost religious, including the urge to stone the less than faithful. But there are lots of reasons a Community resurrection could be difficult. So be prepared for that. Which brings us to the other thing, the first thing, that most of the anxious tweets are about:
What do we, the fans, do? How can we help? Whose dog can we kidnap? Should we eat at Subway? Does Obama know? Should I have this tattoo removed? Was that Abed in Captain America 2?
I honestly think you can totally sit back and relax for this chapter. I know you don’t feel relaxed but I mean you don’t have to worry that someone on this planet isn’t aware of this show’s value to its audience. There are actually astronauts on a space station right now saying “we get it, you love Community” in Chinese. You have done your thing.
If you want to know the God’s honest truth, part of my “eh” was coming from the unsettling thought of your passion for campaigns being once again exploited by this rather unfair, somewhat backward system, one that now treats you like it’s your responsibility to keep a show alive, like a corporation is doing you a favor by feeding you low grade opiate through a regulated tube. Like you owe them an apology when they can’t measure or monetize you to their satisfaction. You deserve better. I love you guys, and at its best, Community is me saying that over and over again, saying let’s get less mad at ourselves and each other and more mad at the inhuman systems that keep us down and divided. “Maybe it should have said less of that and more jokes.” Shut up, voice of my grade school principal that also coached and umpired softball because shrieking “steeeeeeerike” at children was his sole recourse to virility.
Anyway, I will not be standing in the way. I’m sorry to anyone that’s really taking this cancellation hard. I know how I felt when these ******s killed Max Headroom. But you sit back and treat yourself to some New Girl and Parks and Mindy and Brooklyn 99 and Eagleheart and Portlandia and have you seen Matt Berry’s Toast of London? It’s awesome. Also not to be selfish but maybe check out Rick and Morty. And let TV be the needy clown that it’s still very overpaid to be, and let the suits deal with the suits and see what possibilities exist. That’s the best we can do for now. Ninety seven episodes. Over eighty pretty good ones. Mission accomplished.
By the way, remember when you complained about that one episode? Bet it’s not looking so bad now, huh ass face? Just kidding, I know it sucked. I was going for something cooler and - whatever, I don’t need to explain myself to you. Marry softball if you love it so much. I’m gonna be special when I grow up!
Daniel Anastasia Harmon