Community seasons 3 and 4, should I skip them?

I said once before that I saw the premier for season 3 and wondered why it was so bad and heard about the Dan Harmon thing, should I jump to his return in season 5? 
darwinfeeshy
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Comments

  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    Dan Harmon wrote every season but 4. So 3 is included. 
  • It's been a while since I've seen them, but I watched the entire series.  There's a dip in form and some odd character moments, but IMO they're still watchable and funny at times...they definitely aren't so bad where I'd say that you should skip them.
    MurderbearTravis
  • MurderbearMurderbear Cold Spring, Ky
    Yeah, plus it makes the payoff so much better when he does return.
  • Yea definitely don't skip season 3 some of the best stuff is in there (Harmon still involved). Season 4 is a let down but don't skip it because there is some funny stuff in there and removing Harmon for a season and returning him the next is fascinating especially if you are thinking of podcasting on it.
    MurderbearTravis
  • edited August 2019
    Don't skip any of it! Even the lame stuff becomes another ongoing meta-joke. Plus, it's not a huge time commitment, you can binge it in a couple days if you push yourself, lol.

    Edit: Woof, I just looked at season 4 on IMDB, and yeah, there's not a lot to love there.
    MurderbearTravis
  • Garthgou81Garthgou81 Placerville, CA
    Nope. Season 4 feels off, and parts of Season 3 feel a bit forced. But it’s still great stuff. 
    MurderbearTravis
  • Ok I’ll continue with 3 :) 
    Travis
  • Yeah, I really liked season 3. Maybe not as much as 1 and 2, but it's definitely worth it. 4 made us flirt with the notion of jumping off, actually I think my wife did if I remember correctly, but I still think it was ultimately ok. I watched it and where I didn't LOVE it, I'm not mad at it.
  • Garthgou81Garthgou81 Placerville, CA
    I am not sure how many people stuck it out until the series finale, but man, what a way to end the series. Just a pitch perfect culmination of the series. The last 10 minutes always gets me a bit misty. (Below is the song used in the last couple of minutes of the finale. Its not a scene from the finale--Such an amazing song.)


  • Realised my next season was 4 and not 3, this show is still excellent but definitely different, damn this cast is phenomenal. Watching 403 
    darwinfeeshy
  • The fourth season to me feels like a bunch of different writers trying to ape Harmon's style and just kind of going through the motions.  Some of the over-arching plot threads are good enough, like Changnesia, that I kind of wish they'd just done their own thing and not tried so hard to hit all the quirky notes they felt they had to.  But I'm making a lot of assumptions.  Season 5 is back to form very quickly!
    darwinfeeshy
  • Garthgou81Garthgou81 Placerville, CA
    I didn't know where else to put this, so here you go. A live table read of an episode by our gang. Not the best of episodes, but it should be way fun. It'll be streets ahead. 

    https://www.slashfilm.com/community-reunion/
    bizmarkiefader
  • Three is one of the best seasons. W/o knowing the Dan Harmon backstory, I started noticed the changs in Season 4. I almost quit. 4 and 5 were slogs IMO. The writing may have gotten marginally better, but the shift in cast and production quality took the air out of it. It picked up on the back half of 6.
  • bizmarkiefaderbizmarkiefader San Francisco
    We're almost done with our rewatch of Community, probably finishing season 6 tonight. I skipped season 4 at the time with all the Dan Harmon drama so I never saw it and it's a huge drop in quality and even just basic production value and consistency. I do love that in the beginning of season 5 they say there was a gas leak last year and make a bunch of jabs at it.

    Overall though Community is my favorite sitcom. It perfectly rides the line between being cynical and self aware and still having a lot of heart and meaningful characters. It knows exactly what does and doesn't work about it and isn't afraid to go way off the rails if an idea is funny enough. I wonder how well it would have done it if it wasn't in that murderers row of a lineup with The Office, Parks and Rec, and 30 Rock.
    darwinfeeshy
  • edited May 8
    I just finished a rewatch of the whole series last week. Three is absolutely elite stuff. A few of the best episodes of the series.

    Four is lesser for sure. And there are probably no actual amazing episodes in that whole (shorter) season. But it's not like horrible television or anything. The main problem is less about the actual quality episode to episode and more about the lack of anything GREAT. That makes it feel off after you get used to the cadence of the first three seasons, which offer something super high level every few hours of runtime.

    There are definitely better individual episodes in five and six. But the bigger drag on the show's falloff is the ongoing loss of Troy, Shirley, Pierce. Even though I like Keith David and elevation in screen time for The Dean, you just lose a lot of the magic when the familiars are gone.

    That said, it's one of the best shows ever made to me and I still enjoy 4/5/6. It's more like how Season 5 of The Wire is "bad." Compared to the average TV comedy of the past two decades, they are still good stuff. Just can't match the early highs and that is deflating as a viewer.
    bizmarkiefaderdarwinfeeshyrkcrawf
  • Never fucking Skip community!! That’s something UNFORGIVABLE 
    Murderbear
  • bizmarkiefaderbizmarkiefader San Francisco
    wadejared said:
    Four is lesser for sure. And there are probably no actual amazing episodes in that whole (shorter) season. But it's not like horrible television or anything. The main problem is less about the actual quality episode to episode and more about the lack of anything GREAT. That makes it feel off after you get used to the cadence of the first three seasons, which offer something super high level every few hours of runtime.


    Yea it's still very watchable, it's just very jarring in the context of how great the rest of the series is. It feels much more like a regular sitcom and coasts off of how well the characters were built up and then starts pulling big moves you'd see in other shows that Community had specifically avoided (Jeff's dad, Troy/Britta, etc). One of the best things about the show is it's self awareness and so much of that is lost in S4. Rewatching it now I forgot how fast they move through the initial Jeff and Britta will they wont they situation that other sitcoms would use as the driving force of the show and then use it as a running joke. They even get a wedding episode when they hijack Shirleys wedding in S3 and it works perfectly.
    darwinfeeshy
  • wadejared said:
    Four is lesser for sure. And there are probably no actual amazing episodes in that whole (shorter) season. But it's not like horrible television or anything. The main problem is less about the actual quality episode to episode and more about the lack of anything GREAT. That makes it feel off after you get used to the cadence of the first three seasons, which offer something super high level every few hours of runtime.


    Yea it's still very watchable, it's just very jarring in the context of how great the rest of the series is. It feels much more like a regular sitcom and coasts off of how well the characters were built up and then starts pulling big moves you'd see in other shows that Community had specifically avoided (Jeff's dad, Troy/Britta, etc). One of the best things about the show is it's self awareness and so much of that is lost in S4. Rewatching it now I forgot how fast they move through the initial Jeff and Britta will they wont they situation that other sitcoms would use as the driving force of the show and then use it as a running joke. They even get a wedding episode when they hijack Shirleys wedding in S3 and it works perfectly.
    Sure. But taken all together, it isn't like five and six are masterworks either. And honestly even the bulk of season one is mostly just replacement-level episodes that are good not great. All the Vaughn and Slater stuff is mostly forgettable if ... fine. I would probably say Contemporary American Poultry is when Community first hits God Tier level.

    Ultimately, to me, there is a like a 50ish-episode run from around there through the end of season three that is basically as good as any sitcom ever. And the rest is all mostly the same and lesser but still good.

    Season four to me doesn't feel materially different from everything else in that lower tier really. And it feels like the behind-the-scenes knowledge has influenced the view of season four more than the actual episode quality warrants.
  • The problem with community is that it becomes clear that the writers end up hating the characters. It's still pretty funny from start to finish, but the way they portray, say, Britta in s1 and later seasons is completely different.
  • Garthgou81Garthgou81 Placerville, CA
    The problem with community is that it becomes clear that the writers end up hating the characters. It's still pretty funny from start to finish, but the way they portray, say, Britta in s1 and later seasons is completely different.
    Same thing with Troy. He is a jock in the beginning that is too cool for school. But ends up playing "The Floor is Lava" by his last episode.

    Season 4 is not nearly as bad as everyone thinks it is, but it is like the writers are doing their best Dan Harmon impression, and quirky doesn't come off as naturally as it does with Harmon at the helm. 

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, that ending montage in the series finale has brought me to tears. It's a really lovely way to end the show. And I can't listen to Lord Huron's "Ends of the Earth" without thinking of that show. That finale doesn't get nearly enough love.  
    wadejaredMurderbearjoepinetree
  • Garthgou81Garthgou81 Placerville, CA
    Did anyone catch the table read that the crew did yesterday? If not, here you go. It's really fun. 


  • bizmarkiefaderbizmarkiefader San Francisco
    It was a shame Walton Goggins wasn't there but Pedro was a perfect replacement and it was very funny watching him try and get out every line about the sperm canister
  • SunjesterSunjester Bay Area, CA
    Maybe I'm in the (giant) minority here, but does it start getting better after the first few episodes (Season 1)? I was excited to see it was available on Netflix, but my wife and I started watching and there was nary a laugh to be had after 3 episodes.
  • Sunjester said:
    Maybe I'm in the (giant) minority here, but does it start getting better after the first few episodes (Season 1)? I was excited to see it was available on Netflix, but my wife and I started watching and there was nary a laugh to be had after 3 episodes.

    In my opinion the show was immediately great from the beginning, but in your situation I would still advise you to watch a few more episodes, to at least get a better feel on the characters. I think that once you get to know each character, you will start enjoying the humor a lot more.
  • bizmarkiefaderbizmarkiefader San Francisco
    Sunjester said:
    Maybe I'm in the (giant) minority here, but does it start getting better after the first few episodes (Season 1)? I was excited to see it was available on Netflix, but my wife and I started watching and there was nary a laugh to be had after 3 episodes.

    It's a pretty specific brand of humor and it clicked with me immediately, if you don't find it funny at all I can't think of anything it's going to do differently to change your mind.
  • Garthgou81Garthgou81 Placerville, CA
    Sunjester said:
    Maybe I'm in the (giant) minority here, but does it start getting better after the first few episodes (Season 1)? I was excited to see it was available on Netflix, but my wife and I started watching and there was nary a laugh to be had after 3 episodes.
    I would give it a bit longer. It is pretty cookie-cutter, sit-com fair at the beginning. It didn't blow my hair back until it started getting a bit quirkier. Like most shows, it takes a bit to find its footing, at least for me. I still think Season 2 is my favorite. It almost went a little bit too bizarre in Season 3. 
  • Teresa from ConcordTeresa from Concord Concord, California
    Sunjester said:
    Maybe I'm in the (giant) minority here, but does it start getting better after the first few episodes (Season 1)? I was excited to see it was available on Netflix, but my wife and I started watching and there was nary a laugh to be had after 3 episodes.
    I also wondered if I was in the minority. I tried both this show and Harmon’s podcast and did not like either. For me it was too similar to listening to junior high boys at the back of the school bus. The “jokes” are flat as are the characters. 
  • Yeah, having just rewatched this, my take is:
    season 1: starts out as a standard sitcom, plays it pretty straight, but by the end of season 1 some of the better quirks of the show start to come in
    season 2: best season by far, the quirkiness and the humor are top notch
    season 3: it becomes clear that Harmon started to hate his characters. Still some pretty great episodes (chaos theory) but the end of S3 and the whole Chang thing is the worst part of the series in my opinion
    season 4: only season without Harmon, starts out all over the place, some pretty bad single episodes, but by the second half it hits its stride again
    seasons 5 and 6: very similar to season 3.

    So if you start out in season 1 and didn't like it because it was too conventional, wait a bit. If it was already too weird, then bail out.
  • bizmarkiefaderbizmarkiefader San Francisco
    I really don't understand why people think Community hates its characters so much. A lot of them have real flaws and they do shitty things but that's how people are. It has a more honest relationship with the characters than just about any other sitcom I can think of and that's part of what makes it so special.
  • Because the characters went from being quirky "real" people to irredeemable terrible people. It was still funny and it was still a great show, but I don't know how anyone can compare season 1 and 2 Britta, Troy and Chang (to cite the most extreme examples) to season 3 and beyond. Britta and Troy become just complete morons, for example.
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