The Return Of Community: Once More With Harmon.

View attachment 2922 Tonight marks the return of the beloved NBC sitcom Community. It also happens to be the return of Dan Harmon, the showrunner for seasons one through three. While it hasn’t always been a ratings success by NBC standards, it does have a loyal fan base that is anxiously awaiting the return of their favorite study group.

The character of Abed proclaimed that the fateful NBC show The Cape would last for “Six seasons and a movie!” and thus created the battle cry of Community fans against the evil heads of the network. That seemed highly doubtful after NBC fired Harmon at the end of Season 3, before hiring on two new show runners to helm the fourth season, one that didn’t falter in its less than ideal ratings, although it was a critical disaster.

Dan Harmon has admitted to being all manner of four letter words including longer ones like genius. He had a public feud with Chevy Chase, who eventually left the show, less than savory opinions of Bob Greenblatt, the head of NBC, and been an all around difficulty to work with. Through all of that, though, star Joel McHale had nothing but good things to say and eventually headed the campaign to bring Harmon back if there would be any hope of continuing the show as it was envisioned.

Now that he is back, Harmon is back to his neurotic self and worked long hours sleeping in the office trying to write, edit, and return some semblance of his vision to the show. His vision, in this case, involves bringing back the study group after months of being away from their community college. Joel McHale’s character Jeff has left to become a lawyer, with the fates of the others not yet known. Without the tools to survive in the real world, though, they have found themselves back at the school.

The episode tonight is special. It follows the gang returning, but also serves as a “second pilot” of sorts that can allow viewers to watch the show from the first time without being entirely lost. Being titled “Repilot” seems to reflect that effort.

The entire fifth season will be a pleasure to new and old fans alike if the guest stars are anything to go off of. A new Dungeons and Dragons episode features David Cross, Jonathan Banks and Vince Gilligan of Breaking Bad will be featured, John Oliver returns as Ian Duncan, and the creator of Arrested Development, Mitch Hurwitz, even makes an appearance in addition to directing an episode. With such big names attached, it might be a sign that NBC is having a change of heart about the show that they formerly moved around mid season in the famous television “kiss of death.”

No matter how you feel about community colleges, useless liberal arts degrees, television lawyers, Chevy Chase, Dungeons and Dragons, or any of the other complicated, but lovable, aspects of Community, this is a chance to give it a second try. It might be the last try, so we can only hope Harmon and the cast make it count.