Friday, March 28, 2014

Re-Cap Paleyfest 2014: Community

From Left-to-Right: Michael Schneider (Moderator), Joel McHale, Jim Rash,
Yvette Brown, Danny Pudi, Gillan Jacobs, Dan Harmon, and Chris McKenna

On Wednesday, March 26th the cast and producers of Community arrived to the Dolby Theatre for their unprecedented fifth appearance at Paleyfest. 

The event opened with a clip from Pushing Daisies featuring Joel McHale as a temporarily revived victim.  The fans in the audience received two surprises that night: it opened with a screening of the Basic Story - the first part of the two-part season finale airing Thursday, April 10th - and closed with a clip of the upcoming G.I. Joe cartoon-themed episode (airing Thursday, April 3rd).

On Britta/Jeff and Relationships on Community in General

Like many shows, Community has its relationship fans.  The relationship between Britta and Jeff was alluded to during the opening of the panel (as a consequence to developments shown in the previewed episode Basic Story - no spoilers!).  But creator Dan Harmon was quick to point out something fans of the show should be well aware of: “If Community’s been adamant about anything, it’s that relationships mean nothing."

On Joel McHale's Role in Bringing Back Dan Harmon

The cast pointed to Joel McHale's leadership in advocating for Dan Harmon's return to the show and acting as mediator between him and Chris Messina.  Many of the actors - and a number of fans would likely agree - noted how Season Four was a lesser version of the show and how Harmon's absence was a significant reason why.  Actor Danny Pudi described how Harmon and Chris Messina are integral to providing his character Abed with his voice.

On Donald Glover's Departure

The cast spoke to the challenges of Donald Glover's departure and Harmon discussed how it was necessary to strike the right balance with bringing on new characters - specifically the kind of characters necessary and gender dynamics that would work on the show.  Referring to both Glover's exit and the Troy Barnes' storyline on the show, he stated

On Britta Perry's Character Growth in Season

Actress Gillian Jacobs referred to some of her character highlights this season - noting her instrumental role during the lava game. 

On Season Renewals - #sixseasonsandamovie

As fans of the show are aware, season renewals and Community have a precarious relationship at best.  While no official word is out yet, the cast seems hopeful for another season - and perhaps living up to the idea of "Six Seasons and a Movie" (a reference to an Abed Nadir line in Season 2 regarding a favorite show being cancelled). 
Harmon pointed out several times how challenging it was to understand "what" constituted which shows should be renewed. 

We close our last Paleyfest Re-Cap with hopes for a renewal and #SixSeasonsandaMovie (this writer is a long-time fan of Community).  We'll sign off with this clip of a "PSA" from Community's upcoming G.I. Joe episode - G.I. Jeff.

-Charity Tran, ExperienceLA Editor

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