Community @ Comic-Con: New Bosses Promise They 'Won't Screw It Up!' Plus, Season 4 Scoop

CommunityMembers of Community‘s Greendale Gang hit the stage at Comic-Con Friday, and while scoop was a bit scarce — the cast had only just met new showrunners Moses Port and David Guarascio before the panel to talk Season 4 — Joel McHale & Co. were on fire and thus brought down the Human Being-filled house.

Read on for highlights from the panel discussion, which featured a promisingfirst look at the incoming EPs, details on graduation plans (hint: they’ve changed!) and much more.

HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL | Of course, the panel kicked off with an introduction to the aforementioned producers, and what they had to say really boosted our confidence in their plans. “It’s all gonna be OK,” Guarascio said to the crowd. “A couple months ago we were a lot like most of you, just huge fans of the show… Suddenly now we’re here, helping to keep it going. The only thing we care about is keeping it this weird, wonderful gem… and that’s not going to change.” Echoed Port: “It’s also not us coming in and taking it on by ourselves. It’s the best cast on television… What I mean to say is, we won’t screw it up. We promise.”

GRADUATION UPDATE | Though series creator/original showrunner Dan Harmon often said the gang would graduate in Season 4, that may no longer be the case. “There’s a way to be true to the show … where the series will keep going even if they’re not [in college] all at the same time,” Guarascio shared. “They’ve become this family that will still exist together without changing the dynamic of the show.”

RELATED | Eye on Emmy: Danny Pudi on the Art of Abed and Community‘s Award Hopes: ‘We’ll Never Give Up’

HOMIE DOES DEAN THIS | “It is, for a lot of the characters, their senior year,” Guarascio revealed. “That gives us the opportunity to explore some relationships — one of which might be the Dean and Jeff.”

CARTOONISH COMMUNITY | Think animated Community episodes went out the door with the innovative Harmon? Think again. “I think we should do a little in the first episode,” Guarascio put out there.

TEAM TRITTA | Will that Troy/Britta flirtation continue in Season 4? “The sparks may turn into a little bit of a fire,” Guarascio teased.

HOUSE HUNTERS AND A COMICAL ‘CON’ | In Season 4, “We’re going to get to see Pierce’s mansion [and] the twisted world in which he lives,” said Guarascio. “We are also going to get to go to an Inspector Spacetime convention…. Everyone [in the group] is going to go!”

RELATED | Community Roll Call: Chevy Chase Shall Return

DREAM DAD | If McHale has his way, a big-name star will play his father. “Eddie Murphy, everybody,” he joked. “Pluto Nash himself.”

SO BAD, IT’S GOOD | Will Britta continue to Britta things in Season 4? “Oh yeah,” Gillian Jacobs assured us.

BAG LADY | The other burning question on every fan’s mind: Will Shirley ever put down her purse? “I really think Shirley has the purse because I always have my purse,” Yvette Nicole Brown explained with a laugh. “I’m from the inner-city of Cleveland — you just don’t leave your purse!”

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Josh says:

    I’m not giving up hope. I still love this and it’s cast. I’ll still be there.

    One thing though, if they are going a convention for a spoof on doctor who, they need Doctor Who cast members! Karen Gillan already said she’d love to be on the show and they have certain Donna Noble on The Office. They can make this happen!

    • Ben says:

      Oh my god, that is such a great idea! I would love to see Karen Gillan, playing her own role, or, better, playing Amy Pond in the show. She could have a really weird-and-funny scene with Abed !
      That’s is SUCH a great idea ! Can you work on the show, please ?

    • Alan says:

      that may well be the greatest idea ever posted on a message board ever

    • #sixseasonsandamovie says:

      OH MY YES! This is… yes. Perhaps one of the male cast members from Doctor Who could play Jeff’s dad? Perhaps Christopher Eccleston? (for those who don’t know he played the ninth regeneration of the doctor)

  2. nickp91 says:

    I still love community

  3. Mal says:

    *Heart exploding* I’m glad the new show runners are already talking about the idea of another cartoon-y episode and were fans of the show before taking it over- hopefully it means they won’t screw it up and turn it into Scrubs: Med School!!

  4. natali says:

    what about Jeff and Annie ??? i hope they get finally together

  5. jess says:

    oh my if karen gillan and catherine tate guest stars, my head will probably explode. I’m excited for the new season, and who knows, maybe the move to Friday might increase viewership!

  6. ssquared says:

    Am I the only person who finds this incredibly disheartening? It’s not only the lack of Harmon – something about the producers feels utterly forced and fake. I genuinely hope I’m proved wrong come Fall and we all get that weird, sweet bubble of funny and brilliance that is Community every week

  7. Meg says:

    I know I’m probably in the minority here, but I’m actually looking forward to having new show runners. As much as I love most of the past Community episodes, there were also more than a few each season that were just way too weird and out of the box for me. One that comes to mind is the video game episode. I did not enjoy it at all and to me, it just seemed like they were trying too hard to be innovative. I know all shows have good and bad episodes, but Community has really been more like “when it rains, it pours” in both a good and bad sense. I would like to see the new guys bring a little more consistency (unless it’s consistently bad!).
    p.s. YES to Karen Gillan, haha. She’s awesome.

    • davey says:

      “weird and out of the box” is what Community does best – why would you even watch this show not wanting to see weird and out fo the box? THAT’S just weird.

      • Meg says:

        Oh no, don’t get me wrong, I love most of the episodes (I think I’ve seen my favorites at least 15 times each), so it’s not like I’m going to stop watching, I just think the bad episodes are realllly bad and I’d rather have more amazing episodes. So, I’m trying to be optimistic and I’m hoping the new show runners will eliminate the bad all together. Really, my comment was trying to focus on the potential good that new show runners could bring rather than the bad that everyone else seems to think is inevitable.

    • 1up says:

      So basically, you want a more bland, predictable, by-the-numbers kind of show? Then maybe you should just tune in to CBS instead.
      As viewers, shouldn’t we want comedy that pushes against the walls, tries new things, takes risks? That’s how the format grows and evolves, isn’t it?

    • James says:

      Well i thought The video game episode was one of the shows best ever, but the only episode i didn’t really like was the Whole Greendale-Hospital plot with Annie and Abed, it was good but it wasn’t very fun.

      But honestly this is not the show for people who like normal sitcoms. Wich is why its my favorite comedy :)

      • Britta Unfiltered says:

        It makes me sad there is someone out there who didn’t like Digital Estate Planning. I think that is one of my favorite episodes too. And my favorite comedy. Like….ever.

  8. Angela says:

    This is reassuring. Everyone seems clearly aware of what makes this show special, and I like that. I too remain optimistic. Some of these new ideas sound interesting as well.
    And again, I am so jealous of anyone who got to attend this in person.

  9. Harper says:

    Everything sounds good. But no mention of Jeff/Annie???

    • Oliver says:

      They pretty much resolved Jeff and Annie in Virtual Systems Analysis.

      • Britta Unfiltered says:

        I disagree with that comment, but I’m curious what you saw in that episode that makes you think that. I might have to watch the episode with a new perspective if you’ve got something interesting to say about it.

  10. James says:

    I would like to see a whole episode done in “multi cam sitcom” form complete with a studio Audiance, just as a spoof of 90’s sitcoms.

    • Oliver says:

      There was a video from the writers room on twitter where the whiteboard mentioned Abed making a multi-cam sitcom, so expect to see that early next season.

      I would like to see an episode based around silent movies, where a virus goes around that means none of the characters can talk, and it develops from there.

      I’d like more episodes in the style of season 1 or 2, where an episode starts normal and slowly becomes crazy and outlandish, as well as some interesting angles on mundane things (Co-operative Calligraphy, Mixology Certification) rather than outright spoofs and homages.

      Season 3 went a bit crazy in parts, and the show become a bit too clever.

    • Cris says:

      They had that brief, almost unnoticed laugh track when Abed was taking the Who’s The Boss class. I was hoping that ep would homage 90’s sitcoms after I heard the laugh track but it didn’t go there. So I like the idea.

  11. Juan says:

    If they were true fans, they would have promised not to Britta Season 4.

  12. Oliver says:

    If anyone writing Community happens to read this, a few bits of unsolicited advice:

    Please, please, please don’t get wrapped up in fan-service (less Inspector Spacetime, please). The worst shows are ones that stagnate; they end up constantly repeating themselves rather than letting the show evolve and introducing new ideas. If you have cool new ideas, people will love them as much as the old ones.

    Please explicitly focus on making the show more grounded and less cartoonish than it became towards the end of S3, both in terms of characters and plot. I want more plots which evolve organically into wacky areas like S1/S2. I’m explicitly mentioning this as shows often decay into a parody of themselves (Scrubs, Simpsons) as they run out of ideas and wackiness leads to more wackiness and Community was heading in that direction. You have a good opportunity to course-correct and fix the worst excesses.

    Please remember that Community isn’t just a string of homages and not every episode needs to be a concept episode. Clever takes on old ideas are great: everyone loves Debate 109, Co-operative Calligraphy and Mixology Certification. Hell, even Advanced Dungeons & Dragons is a clever take on a mundane idea. You might hear more about Modern Warfare, Remedial Chaos Theory, Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas and Paradigms of Human Memory, but not every episode should be like them. Ultimately, what sets Community apart is that it plays with tropes and the audiences expectations, not because it does homages and concept episodes.

    Please move the focus away from the obvious couples (Annie/Jeff, Britta/Troy, Troy/Abed). The show isn’t a relationship sitcom, and they are all becoming annoying stagnated parodies of themselves by the end of S3. More Jerley, Troyley, Trannie, Jierce, Brittie etc please. Oh, and more groups scenes, especially around the table which was woefully underused in the latter half of S3.

    Figure out something to do with Chang, please. The show has always struggled with what to do with him after S1. A genuinely good Chang arc would be a merciful relief.

    Oh, and please no cut-away gags, voice-over narrations, graphics or breaking the fourth wall (without a damn good reason). Yes, they make writing easier, but the Community format is vitally important and is what makes it unique. Remember that everyone loathed the wacky cartoon gags in Urban Matrimony and the Sandwich Arts and Contemporary Impressionists.

    I know that all seems really obvious, but I really worry Community being screwed up without Harmon/Goldman/Donovan/Russos. Even Harmon’s batting average stood about a half to two-thirds (despite some truly exceptional episodes), and I think it’s really, really easy to screw up Community even with the best of intentions.

    • Britta Unfiltered says:

      I can’t agree with many of those comments, and I hope the writers don’t cater the episodes to please your opinion. You obviously feel like your thoughts on the show are pretty important. I personally thought the 3rd season was its best season.

  13. Hank says:

    I don’t give a crap about inspector spacetime, i liked it better when Abed focused on a broad range of pop culture. And not just one show

    • Kasper F. Nielsen says:

      hear hear

    • Cris says:

      Agreed. Not sure I like the idea of more Inspector Spacetime. I felt like at the end of season 3 Troy had realized he needed to grow up and getting rid of their dreamatorium was the result. Inspector Spacetime seemed to be a part of that arc, and it will be hard to bring it back and keep the progress from season 3. I’m afraid it’s just going to be fan service and not fit into the character development that we saw from Troy and Abed..

  14. Ben 11 says:

    The awkward Harmonness is gone. I hope it dies a quick death.

  15. HearMe says:

    It’s funny how some comments want the show to be more normal and less innovative, when what makes it unique is just the fact that is completely out of the ordinary. I only wish it goes even crazier and as weird as possible. Forget attracting more viewers , give us another season of complete awesomeness, it’s always been a show for few , it’s too clever for the bigger tv audience.

    • Cris says:

      I agree with you about the show not needing to be less weird, but I also agree with the idea that there’s room for improvement. In my opinion, it’s not the wackiness that’s the down side. The concept episodes were almost all good. It’s the non-wacky episodes that were the shortcoming. The non-concept plots tended to be a little lack-luster. Since it’s not realistic to have only concept episodes, I think the show would have been well-served by bringing in someone who could have taken control of those episodes and left Dan Harmon to have full rein on the types of episodes he does best.

  16. Britta Unfiltered says:

    Aww, did they really say “screw it up” and not “britta it”? That bums me out. If they didn’t say, “We won’t britta it,” then I have some serious doubts they were ever fans of this show.

    • Cris says:

      I’ve watched every episode live since the pilot, listened to every DVD commentary, and watched each ep at least a dozen times each. In short, I’m a fan and would never say “Britta it”, because I think that’s one of the few really dumb/lame jokes on the show. I kind of came to terms with other fans wanting to use it directed toward NBC during the hiatus, but I would be happy to never hear that term again. I’m very relieved they didn’t use it.

  17. Raksha says:

    I will watch it. I love Harmon to death. But I’ll still watch it.