In 2009, a little sitcom known as Community arrived, and its wonderfully weird nature was embraced by fans all around the world (including yours truly). We couldn't get enough of Jeff, Britta, Annie, Shirley, Troy, Abed and Pierce –– and maybe even Chang –– as the unlikely study group who came together to face everything from paintball death matches, to epic, friendship-splitting pillow wars (I told you it was weird).
Unfortunately, something changed after Season 4. The show's quality started to wane, and its downward spiral into the darkest timeline continued. By Season 6, fans argued it was an unrecognizable shell of its previous self. But after Yahoo! dropped its Yahoo! Screen service (which produced Season 6), Community was no more, and its followers were left with a lingering question: What made the once great sitcom change so much? It's all that comedic genius Donald Glover's fault, as it turns out.
Exit Troy Barnes, Enter The Slump
#DonaldGlover burrowed his way into our hearts with his portrayal of Troy Barnes, the lovable, washed-out college football player with an irrational fear of mice and an unusual gift for plumbing. Sadly, Troy was written off the series in Season 5 to allow Glover to pursue other career opportunities. His departure was not only a hard blow for fans, but for the series as a whole.
The Hollywood Reporter published an extensive article on Glover and his meteoric rise to fame. In it, the man responsible for bringing Community and Rick and Morty to life, #DanHarmon –– who's still a close friend of the actor –– made a sad revelation: Troy's exist marked the end of Community:
"I needed to convince myself that Donald leaving wasn't the death of the show, but now that it’s all over, I think we can agree that it was."
Ok, excuse me for a second while I go cry in the corner. Glover contributed quite a bit to the show. In fact, if there's one person we have to thank for how hilarious Troy was, it's Glover himself. Turns out the actor often came up with his character's lines on the spot:
"Writers sit in a room for hours — and there are 10 of them and they all went to Harvard — and they argue endlessly about what jokes to end a scene on, but a good portion of the ending lines to scenes in 'Community' would be ones that Donald would just riff on the spot. I remember there was a transitional point where we literally started writing in the script, ‘And then Donald says something funny.'"
Troy was without a doubt one of the most entertaining characters in the series, and he was a central player in almost all of the major storylines. With that in mind, I can definitely see how the show's quality took a hard blow from his exit. Continuing the story without someone who had been so integral to the story for the past four years was a difficult endeavor.
Will Community See The Light Of Day Again?
Harmon's comments regarding the impact Glover's exit had on the series made me wonder: Is there a chance for Community to continue? The show's mantra was always "Six seasons and a movie." Season 6 came and went, but then Yahoo! Screen was dropped, which left us biting our nails while waiting to see what was next for our favorite characters. During a 2015 interview with TV Insider, Harmon was asked whether a seventh season was coming.
The creator stated that all of the cast members were already getting too big for TV, and they had some pretty crazy schedules, so he said a movie would be the best way to continue the story group's story. That was an optimistic response, but our dreams to see the show make its rightful leap to the big screen were (somewhat) dimmed by Annie herself, #AlisonBrie, who said this when asked whether a movie was indeed in the horizon:
"Ya know, I just saw Dan Harmon when he and I did an episode of 'Dr. Ken' together, and I tried to quiz him a little bit about it. And he was kind of like, 'Well you guys, your schedules are crazy, so I don't know.'"
Sadly, at least for now, it doesn't look like #Community will get to redeem itself in the eyes of fans anytime soon. But who knows? With enough demand from its audience, something may happen. I don't know about you, but I'd love to see a movie with the show's entire original cast –– yes, including Donald Glover.
What do you think about Dan Harmon's thoughts on the doom of Community? Would you like to see the show return? Let me know in the comments!