Can a showrunner leaving a TV show ruin a Saturday? I mean it’s JUST a TV show! And Saturday’s are a valuable commodity. You can’t just go ruining them left and right.
I won’t go so far as to say that Dan Harmon getting, in essence, fired from “Community,” my television obsession, ruined my Saturday… but it was a shock to my system this morning.
It was even more of a shock to my system when I read this Tumblr post. Because Harmon is so darn honest. I appreciate honesty. Let’s go ahead and be honest with him – we won’t get a straight answer from Sony on this, ever. Maybe in a documentary on television that airs on PBS 40 years from now. Maybe…
But Harmon is so frank, so funny and so… hurt. I don’t know Harmon as a showrunner very well. I’m not a showrunner guy and I tend to avoid showrunner interviews. If you put Dan Harmon and Stephen Moffat in a room I probably wouldn’t be able to tell you which was which. (Until they spoke, at which point I would say Moffat was “the Britishy one!” I’m an idiot.)
That said, I know Harmon’s work. I know that episode’s I love most could only have been pushed through by Harmon and those writers who are (or were) loyal to him. I know that a post I read a little further down on his Tumblr helped in some way to get me over my “writer’s block” (which doesn’t exist) and get me writing. Granted it’s about him and his show, but it’s a start. Write about what makes you passionate…
I’ll just say this. I know NBC and Sony think that episode’s like the one that was thrown away at 8 pm this past Thursday, where the Greendale Seven run around for the whole episode as 8-bit avatars in a racist video game, do nothing for them. These Harmon-heav episodes don’t bring in new viewers. They only appease old ones who expect “Community” to keep going higher over the top for them.
Well, that may be true for some. My first Community episode? The season 1 finale, which I caught randomly. A “normal” epsidoe which NBC promoted heavily and which featured not just a love triangle but like a love nonagon. Wasn’t interested. Just some NBC show with the guy from “The Soup.”
The next episode I caught? “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas.” Weird. Sad. Laugh-out-loud funny. Hard to follow. Heavy on pop psychology. Referencing “Lost.” Animated in stop motion. It was utterly Harmonic. And I fell in love.
It I hadn’t seen that episode, hadn’t fallen in love with “Commnunity” yes, it’s likely that “Journey to the Center of Hawkethorne,” and not the other episodes that aired Thursday night, that would have been what got me caught in Community’s web.
I’m sure the new guys will run a perfectly funny, competent ship. I’ll still watch. Saturday’s not ruined, and neither is “Community.” But I won’t hide my disspoinment either. Sony wants to get its show to syndication, yay, but it seems blind to what will make people want to watch the show in syndication 10 years down the line. Which, to be fair, is probably not something they’re all that concerned about. As long as they can sell it.