The word I’m hearing all over the web is that NBC’s planned midseason hiatus for Community is merely a way for the network to see if the ratings will go up while the show is out of the way. As if to say, if the ratings do go up, maybe the hiatus will go on indefinitely—proving once again that television networks care nothing about quality, and that they’ll show you pooping dogs all day long if the vast majority of the viewers liked watching that.
I believe that Community is the best comedy show on television at the moment. But as often happens with good, innovative comedy, it tends to be largely ignored by the wider public. See The Comeback, back in 2005, with a brilliant Lisa Kudrow, which not only was penalized by being a cable show, but also by being relegated to HBO’s summer schedule. See also The Office, when it first came to America, which was saved only thanks to sales in the iTunes Store.
I won’t even start listing all of Community’s merits and reasons why I think it’s such a brilliant show—more “modern” than Modern Family, less (yet somehow more) friendly than Friends, with a deeper insight on television than The Office or even 30 Rock—but what I’ll say is that if we want Community to stay, we need to show we care.
Here’s what I will do: since don’t currently own the first season, I’ll immediately buy it on iTunes. Season two is already accessible through my Apple TV. And although I’ve been watching the third season on Hulu (which is an inadequate compromise between the needs of the advertisers and those of the viewers, and does very little to challenge the old broadcasting model), I’ll also invest in the whole package. Hopefully, if NBC decides to ax it, the last episodes will still be flowing through iTunes.
Let’s show we care, let’s buy Community episodes and seasons, let’s show that first-run broadcasts cannot be the only index of a show’s popularity. The recent news that Netflix has ordered a whole new season of Arrested Development is a clear indication of the changing times.