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Entertainment Geekly: 'Community' survives. Television dies?

Entertainment Geekly is a weekly column that examines pop culture through a geek lens and simultaneously examines contemporary geek culture through a pop lens. So many lenses!

If you’re a human being, you probably don’t watch Community. The show’s audience is engaged, empowered, and one-sixth the size of the audience accidentally watching whatever’s on after The Big Bang Theory. And I know why you don’t watch. Even by the standards of low- rated cause-célèbre wonder shows, Community is hard to like. The lead characters are pricks, lunatics, deluded mock-intellectuals, and self-important gasbags. The most likable character on the show would be the most annoying person you have ever met.

So Community’s brilliance testifies to the full commitment of the actors, the writers, the directors, and mad-genius showrunner Dan Harmon. And the fact that Community lasted five seasons on NBC testifies to to the postapocalyptic state of television in general. READ FULL STORY

The agony and the ecstasy of getting more 'Community'

Here’s to some more time in a dreamCommunity was picked up by Yahoo Screen yesterday, rescued from cancellation after its original home, NBC, declined to give it a sixth season. Dan Harmon is back and so is the cast, whose contracts were set to expire Monday night.

Yahoo’s 13-episode order puts the show that much closer to fulfilling its fans’ perpetually hashtagged mantra—#sixseasonsandamovie, a quote from Abed’s season-two love of NBC’s now-cancelled The Cape. But even as it’s time to pull out the old hashtag (and invent new ones—#sevenseasonsandasearchengine, anyone?), Community‘s renewal reanimates the painful something that makes Abed’s original line funny: the absurdity of being a diehard fan, of loving something blindly and too much.

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Seth MacFarlane will match donations in 'Reading Rainbow' Kickstarter

Yesterday, LeVar Burton announced in a video on the Reading Rainbow Kickstarter website that Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane has promised to match up to $1 million in donations made to the campaign during its final five days. MacFarlane’s donation will allow more underfunded classrooms to have access to the new Reading Rainbow web series free of charge.

The Associated Press reports that MacFarlane made the promise after hearing that the campaign needed to raise at least $5 million. The campaign has already raised over $4 million and has five days to reach its $5 million fundraising goal. According to the Kickstarter campaign site, if the $5 million fundraising goal is reached, the Reading Rainbow web series will be given to approximately 7,500 classrooms free of charge. MacFarlane’s added donation of $1 million would bring that number up to approximately 12,500.

The Kickstarter campaign ends on July 2 at 3 p.m. ET. MacFarlane’s offer will remain in effect until that time.

Donald Glover and Danny Pudi talk 'Community,' video games, and a 'Community' video game

On Tuesday, Donald Glover and Danny Pudi were hanging out inside of the Ubisoft Booth at video game mega-convention E3. EW asked them questions about video games – and also inquired about the current status of a certain canceled NBC sitcom.

This is what happened. READ FULL STORY

'Community' coming back? Hulu should revive these shows, too

Remember the days when network cancelations felt absolutely irreversible? I’m sure networks do. But a world with Kickstarter, Netflix, Hulu, social media, and all things interactive, cancelation has morphed from a death knell to a possible new beginning.

As Veronica Mars fans know, if you want more of your favorite story, it’s not impossible to get your wish — and in their case, they helped to make the revival happen. The latest example: Community getting canceled, only to be in talks for a Hulu pickup. If Community ends up getting its #sixseasons, could Hulu become TV’s newest superhero? And if so, which other shows would we like to see it rescue? READ FULL STORY

Dan Harmon writes letter to 'Community' fans: 'You can totally sit back and relax'

The major broadcast networks are deep in the trenches of upfronts week, rebuilding their fall lineups for the future. But some people remain trapped in the past — specifically last week, when NBC finally canceled Community after five seasons of almost canceling Community. READ FULL STORY

How the final season of 'Community' destroyed and rebuilt itself, over and over again: A visual analysis

COMMUNITY-SAVE-GREENDALE.jpg

So Community is canceled, whatever that means. The NBC comedy spent five seasons on the brink, and so in a weird way, it’s always felt canceled. Its continued existence was a curiosity, a glitch in the matrix, a referendum on NBC’s inability to reclaim its mojo; a miracle, really. On The Bubble, Barely Renewed, Reduced Order, No Premiere Date, Declining Ratings: These are phrases that loom large in the Community myth. There was turmoil behind the scenes. Dan Harmon, the show’s combination Showrunner-Mascot-God-Devil, was fired after season 3; original star Chevy Chase was already an absent figure before he left the show at the end of season 4; Harmon returned just in time to see Donald Glover depart. READ FULL STORY

'Nashville' joins proud tradition of unorthodox clip shows: 5 more that stand out

So it’s come to this: A Nashville clip show.

Kinda. On Wednesday, instead of another soapy installment of country-fried drama, ABC will air an hourlong “On the Record Music Special” — during which Nashville cast members will “take the stage to perform show favorites then sit down in the Bluebird Café for acoustic performances and an intimate look at the songwriting process with the songwriters themselves.”

In other words, this is Nashville‘s spin on one of television’s oldest, most reliable hole-pluggers and money-savers: the clip show. Like clip shows of old, this one will be centered on previously-seen material (every song to be performed has already appeared on Nashville); unlike, say, that episode of Friends where Ross and Rachel contemplate their relationship on the even of his wedding to Emily, the Nashville special won’t simply intersperse a few new scenes with a bunch of old ones and call it a day. Which got me thinking: Which other series have found ways to invigorate the clip show formula, adhering to its basic rules while presenting something innovative and exciting? The five best answers I could come up with:

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'Community' react: Spoiler alert!

Anyone who’s ever waded into the murky debate surrounding our nation’s increasingly heated spoiler-alert culture, rest assured: This week’s Community feels you.

Titled “Analysis of Cork-Based Networking,” the episode partially revolves around a battle between Abed and Britta, with the latter trying to spoil Game of Thrones Bloodlines of Conquest – a fantasy book series turned TV show — for the former, who watches the series but hasn’t read the tomes. This war escalates to the point at which Abed soundproofs his ears and effectively goes deaf. That, in turn, leads him to fall for an actually deaf fellow student, whom he promptly begin to romance.

But alas, treachery is afoot! In sinister, Lannister-like fashion, Britta has actually recruited the deaf student as a pawn in their sick little game. The yellow-haired wench uses the mercenary to lure the enemy into a false sense of security — and then, boom, Abed’s new love interest suddenly spoils the BoC saga’s ending via sign language, which he learned in order to better woo her. Zounds! It’s all so diabolical, Cersei herself would be proud of Britta. (Side note: If she’s Cersei, then Jeff is totally Jaime, right? Discuss amongst yourselves.)

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'Community' react: Bon Troyage

Well, we all knew this was going to happen. The writing’s been on the wall for a while now, even if we didn’t want to read it. That’s right, sad as it is, it’s finally Troy’s last d—

But wait, the floor is lava! To put off the pain of saying goodbye to his best friend, Abed turns this week’s episode, “Geothermal Escapism,” into a schoolwide game of hot lava, with a prize worth $50,000 reserved for the winner. And thus commences Community‘s Water Lava World, a bleak, post-apocalyptic landscape where Mad Maxian gangs roam the halls — the Chair Walkers, Chang and his Locker Boyz (I’m assuming it’s with a z), the Floor Striders (who once had a truce with the Locker Boyz), the citizens of Shirley Island, Prof. Hickey — and everyone is one misstep away from lava death.

It’s a fun game for sure, and a fitting way to send off Troy, whose tenure at Greendale has included epically scaled activities such as zombie attacks, blanket forts, and, of course, paintball matches. But to Abed, it’s no game at all. The floor really is lava to him, because his mind can’t handle the pain of Troy’s imminent departure, and what was once a nifty diversion transforms into a touching goodbye between two best friends. READ FULL STORY

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