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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Possible Reasons Why "Community" Doesn't Feel Right

So far, my TV criticism has consisted mostly of snarky comments my wife and I make while sitting on the sofa watching Hulu. But I do read other critics and most of them said the new season of Community feels flat. After watching the first new episode of Season 4 the other night, I think I can pinpoint two reasons:

1) I'm really, really tired of the Dean in women's clothing.  Yes, I know, that's what he's always done, but that doesn't make me less tired of it.

2)  Abed is too autistic.  Again, that's always been a part of his character, but towards the end of last season, and throughout the new episode ("History 101"), it seems Abed's main function has been to disappear into his fantasy world while being sheltered by the other characters.  Despite his tendency to see everything in terms of TV, Abed has always been a smart, working member of the group.  Now he's the damaged one that everyone else is watching over.  Not nearly as interesting.

All long-running shows have a tendency to get lazy as they go on, and it usually hurts.  One quick example comes to mind: Kirstie Alley was whip-smart when she joined Cheers, only to become a whimpering neurotic by the time the show ended. 

So maybe I shouldn't be surprised.  It's just sad, because Community was always good for a parody or twist that was fun and entertaining. The Dean wore a dress, but he was in the show for two seconds. And Abed used TV tropes to cope with life, but he never used to escape into them to avoid it.

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