BY KAYLEE BREWSTER
Fans held their breath when “Community” was canceled. They wanted the show to be picked by someone else. Anyone else.
Yahoo answered the call, and “Community” was back. Creator Dan Harmon was back. Everything was OK.
Or was it?
Season six of “Community” feels like something is missing, or at least not quite right. It’s like drinking a knock-off brand of Dr. Pepper — it’s just fine until the aftertaste kicks in, and then it’s very, very wrong.
The characters are all there. Well, except for Pierce (Chevy Chase), Troy (Donald Glover) and Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown). The remaining characters, Jeff (Joel McHale), Annie (Alison Brie) Abed (Danny Pudi) and Britta (Gillian Jacobs) are still themselves, which is comforting. But it’s not enough.
What made the show work was the characters and the stories. The characters had personalities that often clashed or cooperated with others. Although they are too exaggerated to be real people, they were believable.
Now, it’s more of a repeat of some old character jokes, Annie being perfectly organized, Britta being crazy and rebellious, Jeff reluctantly helping to save Greendale — again. It’s all been said and done before.
The original “Community” made people watch because they never knew what the writers were going to do next. Whether it was a paintball war, a movie spoof or an animated episode, there were always surprises. Now, it’s becoming the worst word in film and television: predictable. Only time will tell whether the creative well has run dry or if they’re saving the best for last.
It’s also clear that Yahoo has some issues it needs to work out before it can compete with the big dogs of streaming, like Netflix and Hulu. So far I have not been able to watch an episode without the ads or the show freezing or glitching in some fashion, both on my computer and iPad. If I didn’t care about the show so much I would have given up.
There are moments that work in “Community,” times where the show feels like itself. But they don’t happen often enough.
I hope “Community” can again become the creative, unique and hilarious show it once was. Perhaps the fact that trying to watch “Community” ends up taking more time than the show itself is affecting my judgement.
I still believe we can save Greendale. But as it stands right now, it’s only a sad reminder of what it was.
“Community” can be watched (you’ll have to try three times) on screen.yahoo.com/community/ . New episodes are released Tuesdays.
Brewster can be reached at (208) 848-2238 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.