The good news: Dan Harmon is probably coming back to Community! The bad news, possibly: Dan Harmon is probably coming back to Community. Will this move revive NBC’s crazy college-based show — or could it spell certain doom? Here’s how two EW writers see things.
DARREN FRANICH: I really enjoyed the first three seasons of Community. The show wasn’t perfect by any means, but what I liked about it was the total go-for-broke spirit, the sense that every episode took a concept that could’ve been gimmicky — Law & Order spoof! Spaghetti western! Alternate-universe chaos theory! — and then rapaciously attacked it from every angle
I credit that spirit entirely to Dan Harmon, who is by all accounts an insane person who pours everything of himself into his work and desperately wants to make great television. When Harmon was fired from his post as showrunner, he immediately became a sanctified Great Man Of Television, because everyone loves a martyr.
But martyrs are boring. I was worried that Harmon would spend his post-Community career playing the martyr — which, much as I love him, is basically what Conan O’Brien did post-Tonight Show. Without Harmon, Community was pretty boring too: Even when it was funny, it never felt insane the way that old Community could.