[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he term ‘cult favorite’ gets thrown around a lot lately. That expression is usually reserved for movies or TV shows that became popular years after their initial release, but it seems as if programs are getting that nametag even before they have premiered their first episode now. It’s all well and good for a show to be called that, but sometimes the cult favoritism will blind people to the actual content of the show. And with the internet and fan boy culture reaching fever pitch, cult shows can live past their original expiration dates. Just look at “Arrested Development” and “Twin Peaks.”
“Community” falls right into this newly branded category of cult favorite. It was cancelled, un-cancelled, cancelled again and then brought back to life by Yahoo, which is touting “Community” as its first piece of original programming. The show is now in its sixth season, which is crazy considering how weird and niche it is, and seems to be content with just going through the motions.
A few cast members have left over the past few years, but Joel McHale’s Jeff, Gillian Jacob’s Britta, Alison Brie’s Annie, Danny Pudi’s Abed, Jim Rash’s Dean Pelton and Ken Jeong’s Ben Chang are back for the new season. In order to fill the void of some past regulars, Paget Brewster as an insurance adjuster and Keith David as a former computer genius were enlisted to the show. “Community” has never had too many over-arching season storylines and the funnier episodes are ones about the characters, but through the first two episodes, there seems to be a creative spark missing. Sure, the episodes are fine but it seems to be content with going through the motions.
With cult shows, fans tend to give these programs a pass because they loved the earlier seasons, but this may do more harm than good. Just look at season 4 of “Arrested Development.” Enough time has passed so we can just agree it was a train wreck, right?
“Community” was such a breakthrough show when it premiered and matured into one of the best comedies of the past few years, so it is disappointing to see the current results. I am rooting for it to succeed over the course of the season though and hope it can get back to its earlier prowess.