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Community: The Complete Fourth Season


On DVD: 
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
More Changes on the Horizon

It was recently announced that actor Donald Glover (Troy on the show) will not be a full-time character for season five and will only appear in a handful of episodes.

Season 4 was a tumultuous time for Community fans.   Series creator and showrunner Dan Harmon was unceremoniously fired by NBC following Season 3.  New episodes didn't debut until February 2013 after NBC delayed the premiere by four months.  Series regular Chevy Chase, who should credit the show for the revival of his career, decided to abandon the show after clashes with producers and outbursts on the set.  The end certainly seemed to be near and many accepted that this would be the final season.

For readers that haven’t checked out the show, Community follows a group of Greendale Community College students who regularly meet in the library as part of a study group.  Series regulars include Jeff (Joel McHale, The Soup) - the womanizing ex-lawyer, Britta (Gillian Jacobs, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone) - the activist always trying to fit in, Abed (Danny Pudi, Road Trip: Beer Pong) - the film student always making pop culture references, Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown, Drake & Josh), - the religious mother who also runs a sandwich stand in the cafeteria, Annie (Alison Brie, Mad Men) - the constant over-achiever, Troy (Donald Glover aka rapper Childish Gambino) - the former high-school football star, and Pierce (Chevy Chase, National Lampoon's Vacation) - the bigoted millionaire.  Also appearing on the show are the cross-dressing Dean of Greendale (Jim Rash, Reno 911) and the downright crazy Chang (Ken Jeong, The Hangover).

As a program that likes to do special episodes around the holidays, watching Season 4 of Community was a bitter pill to swallow for most fans.  NBC wasn’t exactly doing them any favors airing Thanksgiving and Christmas themed episodes in March and April.  In fact, it seemed like NBC was putting the show on forced life support for the sole purpose of ending at four seasons and obtaining syndication (Community will hit syndication this fall).  Truth be told, it wasn’t just the lack of network support that would be a disappointment.  Without Harmon, the show lacked heart and direction.  Every single episode of this season was a spoof on pop culture from a competition in the style of The Hunger Games to an origin story ripped from Unbreakable.  While entertaining, Community was treading water.  Season 4 will mostly be remembered for the “Intro to Felt Surrogacy” episode where the show turns into a Muppet parody including musical numbers and a fun appearance from Jason Alexander.

Various members of the cast and crew provide commentary on all 13 episodes.  Also among the special features are a montage of outtakes, deleted scenes, and short features on the Comic Con and Muppet themed episodes.  Shockingly, NBC announced that not only would Community be renewed for a fifth season, but Dan Harmon would be back as show runner.  Don’t try to think about it too much – you’ll hurt your brain.  While Season 4 doesn’t exactly live up to the standards of previous seasons, fans of the program will love some of the spoof episodes and probably want to check out Pierce’s exit.  Just keep in mind - a half-hearted season of Community is still better than half of the sitcoms currently on television.

Cody Endres
Review by Cody Endres
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