Movie Reviews

Community Season 4 Was Cursed From The Start (Even With Harmon)

Community season 4 was the first season without showrunner Dan Harmon, but even if he was involved, it was still doomed from the very beginning. Although Community‘s quality does fluctuate across its six seasons, season 4 is often considered to be the worst, with its derivative storylines and poorly written characters making it stand out from the rest of the show. Many claim that the decline in Community season 4’s quality is due to Harmon’s firing. However, the show’s downfall was set in stone regardless.

Community follows the antics of a dysfunctional study group at Greendale Community College, with each episode following the wacky antics that occur on the bizarre campus. While Community‘s first 3 seasons were met with critical acclaim, showrunner Dan Harmon was actually fired before season 4, leading to the season being the show’s worst by far. Season 4 was so bad that Community referred to it as the “gas leak” year, humorously explaining why everyone was acting out of character and making the events of the season non-canonical. However, season 4 had fundamental problems that even Harmon couldn’t fix.

Related: Every Community Easter Egg In Rick & Morty

Although Community was critically loved, it didn’t receive the best ratings, with it airing on NBS alongside the ultra-popular sitcom, The Office. Because of this, the network decided to cut down on Community for season 4, making some significant changes to the series. The biggest of these was cutting the episode count for Community season 4. While Community seasons 1 through 3 each had 22-25 episodes, Community season 4 only had 13. While this was just the first sign of what was to come, having less episodes was a hurdle that even Dan Harmon couldn’t clear.

Community season 4’s episode count essentially broke the show. Having less episodes made the series feel more rushed, with the show’s cleverness and attention to detail being taken away in favor of producing a new season as soon as possible. On top of that, previous Community seasons had fairly complex overarching storylines, with the Chang storyline being a highlight of Community season 3. Only having 13 episodes meant less time for story and character development, which is what led to many of the show’s characters becoming caricatures of themselves in season 4.

Only having 13 episodes was a fundamental problem that even Dan Harmon couldn’t have fixed. Dan Harmon and several others left Community after season 3, including producers Neil Goldman and Garret Donovan, Star-Burns actor Dino Stamatopoulos, directors Joe and Anthony Russo, and several other writers and key creative figures. While the show’s main actors were still there, the creative team that made Community what it had been was completely gutted. Even if Dan Harmon was back, Community season 4 would still have felt the loss of these cast members.

On top of the episode count and the cast member changes, Dan Harmon also couldn’t have fixed one big problem with Community season 4: Chevy Chase. Chevy Chase played Pierce Hawthorne, and according to his co-stars, he was notoriously difficult to work with. Chevy Chase seemingly created a rift in the cast that could be felt in the show, and Community season 4 was where it was at its worst. Season 4 is where Chevy Chase infamously reportedly used a racial slur, leading to him leaving the series in season 5. Even if Dan Harmon was still around, Community season 4’s litany of problems cursed the season from the very beginning.

More: The Community Movie’s Missing Show Elements Are Actually A Good Thing

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