Saturday, May 19, 2012

Essential Reading & Quick Thoughts on the Community Situation

Rumblings had been around for a while, but news officially broke last night that creator Dan Harmon will not be running Community next season. Josef Adalian has a good writeup at Vulture of the situation. It's important to remember that both sides in this have their own motivations, and neither should be necessarily taken as gospel, but for what it's worth, here's Harmon's side. To sum up, he says that he was fired, by which he means that his contract (which ended after the just-finished third season) was up and he did not receive any communication from NBC or Sony before reading the press release that announced that his replacements (Moses Port and David Guarascio, of Aliens in America and Happy Endings) had been hired. You should read Alan Sepinwall's analysis as well.

My quick thoughts:
1. Ugh. NO ONE should hear about losing their job via press release.
2. As a Community fan, I'm extremely sad that Harmon's very distinctive voice will be gone from the show, and that the show we love will inevitably change, probably drastically.
3. As someone who follows TV news and reads Harmon's Tumblr and tweets, I have no trouble believing that he's not necessarily the easiest person to work with, especially as a manager. And while it's easy for us on the outside to say "He's such a good writer that that shouldn't matter," that's just not true. One person cannot make a TV show all alone, so managerial skills, interpersonal dynamics, etc. are completely valid concerns.
4. I know everyone's upset about this, but it's not Moses and Guarascio's fault, so please, please don't direct your vitriol at them.
5. Community as we know it is gone. That's clear. But that doesn't necessarily mean that the new Community will be bad. Just different. It's too early to say.

So, yes, I'm sad. But I'm not ready to write the show off. I'll reserve judgment, follow it to Fridays, and give it a chance. And I'll really look forward to seeing what Dan Harmon does next.

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