By Nancy Asmus
After near misses with series cancelation, the NBC comedy “Community” is back from the entertainment chopping block. Hopefully, the show continues to create laughs through parody and the loveable misfits at Glendale Community College.
When “Community” was put on indefinite hiatus at the end of last season, it created an uprising among loyal fans – including some Brookhaven College students. Fortunately, the show saw a surge in popularity after NBC struck a deal with website Hulu, according to The New York Times.
Student Zul Mohamed said he is a fan of the show and can identify with the characters and their situation.“It’s a good reflection of community college,” Mohamed said. “The show displays a multicultural learning environment.”
The new Hulu arrangement increased and widened the fan base and helped bridge the gap between the original audience and new viewers by giving new audiences the chance to catch up with early episodes online.
The show’s creator, Dan Harmon, told The New York Times the team was able to be reach the most coveted demographic. “These very smart, upwardly mobile, college-age kids just don’t watch TV anymore,” Harmon said.
During its first two seasons, “Community” developed an ardent, cult-like following due to the show’s abundant use of movie and pop-culture references, meta-jokes and quirky and relatable characters.
The characters find common ground and ultimately friendship through a Spanish study group at fictional Glendale Community College. Within the humor and exaggerated stereotypes lies a poignant message about loyalty and belonging without laugh tracks, predictability or sappy moral high ground.
Harmon modeled the show after real-life events after taking a Spanish class at a community college, according to The New York Times. He became friends with people in his study group, despite initial judgments and hesitations.
Each character – Jeff, the good-looking wise guy; Annie, the over-achiever; Troy, the former high school star quarterback; Abed, the unemotional TV-obsessed nerd; Britta, the anarchist; Shirley, the middle-aged divorcee; Pierce, the geriatric not-ready-to-be forgotten senior; and Señor Chang, the Asian over-the-top Spanish professor – come from different backgrounds and bring past successes and failures to Glendale.
In spite of their pasts and personality hazards, the group connects and changes for the better in each episode.
Vickie Deford, administrative assistant, said she enjoys the show and appreciates the diversity and differences found in the characters. “Quirky is an asset,” Deford said of the show’s attitude. “Quirky makes the world go ‘round.”
“Community” recently won Hulu’s annual “Best in Show” award in which fans vote to select the best series on TV. The show beat “The Walking Dead,” “30 Rock,” “Parks and Recreation,” “New Girl” and “Modern Family,” according to www.hulu.com.