“Community” returned to NBC Feb. 7 in its fourth season premiere with new show runners and a new feeling.
Dan Harmon, the creator and previous show runner of “Community,” announced last year that he was abruptly fired. It has since been reported that he will stay on as a consulting producer. He was replaced with David Guarascio and Moses Port, who have previously worked for shows like “Just Shoot Me” and “Happy Endings.”
The fourth season premiere marked the first episode under new creative direction, and fans may leave feeling relief that the show is finally back on the air after about an eight month break and hesitation because the show may not live up to its legacy.
The first episode was full of pop culture references, idiosyncratic situations, characters bouncing off one another and a monologue by Jeff Winger (Joel McHale), all of which makes “Community” great.
But I refrain from giving this episode a five star review because the main factor that makes the show outstanding was missing: Dan Harmon.
Harmon always had the ability to make this sitcom so much more than a sitcom — making it meta, if you will. Now, with NBC pushing to find more general sitcoms for its new lineups, and new executive producers holding the reigns, I fear “Community” might change and become merely a shadow of what it used to be.
The first episode rang true to “Community” lovers and opened up its season with many interesting questions. Will Britta and Troy actually be in a relationship? Will this truly be their last year in community college? Will the Dean and Jeff become almost roommates and then best friends? And what in the world is Changnesia?
In summary, I can’t be more excited that my favorite Thursday night show is back, and I’ll always defend it to anyone who says the show doesn’t make sense. I hope, even with new producers, that “Community” goes “streets ahead” and that Jeff was wrong when he said, “Like an ice cream cone melting in the sun, we can’t last forever.”