Community Season 4 DVD Review
Season four of Community was the first without series creator, Dan Harmon. It was also the last before he was re-hired, and for good reason. Later dubbed the “gas-leak year”, the fourth season of Community reeks of the attempt to understand Harmon’s subtle, neo-realistic humour, but unfortunately fails — turning Community into that regular, cookie cut, off the conveyor belt American sitcom.
While some of the episodes were amusing in their own way, such as ‘Alternative History of the German Invasion’, most of them followed a similar structure. Likewise, the characters descend into their base element — for those of us who could appreciate Britta for what she was at the beginning of the show (a naive, passionate political anarchist with surprising insight into people’s emotions and thought processes), it is a bit disappointing to see her boiled down into the stereotypical, dumb blonde, used as a regular punch-line for the group.
There is a very subtle change in production as well, so the traditional Community “feel” is gone. Characters are portrayed as perfect, which diverts completely from the original aim of the show, where they were depicted as realistic individuals. Not to mention, only three out of thirteen episodes actually focuses on the goings-on of the school. The rest was placed largely off-campus, and dealt with personal issues of the group, as opposed to being set in classes where the class itself allowed the characters to reach small internal epiphanies on their own.
All in all, season four carried itself well but could not measure to Community‘s previous triumphs. It veers heavily away from what fans watch the show for.