Fall TV Preview

Community Bosses Tease 'Emotional Messiness,' Possible Jeff/Britta Romance in Season 4

Jeff Britta Community Season 4The creative team behind Community may not know when its upcoming Season 4 will start, but it is certain that all Human Beings will want to see the various fates that await Greendale’s beloved duos (romantic, bromantic or otherwise).

Here, TVLine chats with the quirky NBC comedy’s new executive producers David Guarascio and Moses Port about what Senior Year has in store for the study group, including potential attractions new and old, the second coming of Chang, Annie’s life dilemma and much more.

TVLINE | Now that you’re settled in and well into production, how are you guys feeling about the new season?
DAVID GUARASCIO | So far, so good! We’re shooting our seventh episode this week, and we’re anxious to get to our premiere date. It’s been fun.

TVLINE | Were you able to start fresh-ish given that Season 3 wrapped things up to an extent?
GUARASCIO | We’re definitely not picking up [the season] like this is something new. Each season has stayed true to [it being] the first day in another year of college, so we just approached it that way. Some of the things that were maybe set in motion through last season — particularly in the last episode — we wanted to pull through into the season to keep the continuity as much as possible. It’s taking Troy and Britta having a relationship one step further; it’s Jeff continuing the pursuit of his father, which we get to in our Thanksgiving episode; and it’s Abed trying to deal with the notion of change in our senior year… So, we just mostly looked at it not as a new starting point, but as a point of continuation.

RELATED | Exclusive: Community Books Brie Larson For Season 4 — But Who Is She Playing?

TVLINE | Is there one overarching theme this year?
GUARASCIO | Part of it was connected to last year, which is, “OK, now that you’ve had to grow, how do you manage your life from what your learned?” So, that informs Season 4. But particularly the notion that takes place when you don’t necessarily have control over things — and that plays into the real-life universe of the show, with [creator] Dan [Harmon] leaving and us coming in. When you’re in the middle of college, there’s no beginning and there’s no end; you’re in a bit of a bubble, where the real world falls away. And then you get to the end toward your senior year — which some of our characters are in this year — and the reality of what comes next can be exciting at times and frightening at times, so that notion of change and everything must come to an end eventually — hopefully not too soon [Laughs] — plays into the overall theme this year.

TVLINE | You mentioned at Comic-Con that some, but not all, of the study group would graduate. Is that still the plan?
GUARASCIO | Yeah, but we’re holding the ending very close to our vest for now, as far as what we have planned. [Laughs] But Greendale is sort of the last member of the study group in that sense, so the campus will always be an important part of the show. We don’t want that to ever change.
MOSES PORT | Even though there’s a nod to the fact that life has to happen beyond school, we’ve realized that we can move slower and not push them out the door. [The Simpsons‘] Maggie Simpson should be college right now, but she’s in diapers still. [Laughs]
GUARASCIO | It’s not that we’re putting the brakes on moving them forward throughout their collegiate experience this year; we just think we can navigate it while keeping Greendale very much alive.

TVLINE | Let’s talk character arcs. How will Jeff finally meeting his estranged father impact him?
GUARASCIO | The absence of Jeff’s dad has been something that’s really informed who he is over many years, particularly the last few. So, the way that we’re approaching it is that it’s a big thing for him to meet his father, but maybe the real surprise is how it impacts him afterward. When you’ve been so defined by this relationship and now you’ve finally confronted it, there may be some ways that it changes him that are unexpected to him.

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TVLINE | Are there any developments on the Jeff/Annie front?
GUARASCIO | This is the year of change and [of] there being some maturity for everyone in the group, so in some ways the relationships get more complicated than they were before. Troy and Britta are taking a step forward as a couple, but one of the things that always kept Jeff and Britta apart is the fact that he’s a guy with all of these walls — maybe meeting his dad helps take some of those walls down? And what does that mean for Troy and Britta’s relationship? What does it mean possibly for Jeff and Britta? Of course, it’s also going to affect Jeff and Annie, too. So, it’s a little bit more of a complicated stew going on this year that we’ll see going forward.

TVLINE | Will Annie have her own journey this season?
GUARASCIO | Annie, in her controlling nature, has a very clear outline for her own future, and now that she’s getting that much closer to it, she may make a discovery that what she had mapped out for herself isn’t quite as gratifying as she thought it was going to be. We could see her make some big shifts in what she’s planning for herself… How’s that for vague? [Laughs]

TVLINE | Britta really came into her own last year. Can we expect more of the same from the psych major?
GUARASCIO | She definitely feels like she has found herself with her focus on psychology, so we do continue that this year and bring her deeper into it. The thing about Britta is that her passion, when she’s really focused on something, can be intense and she gets teased a lot by everyone in the group for digging in as deep as she does. But we’re going to see some real positive effects of it this year. Britta’s really entwined with Jeff’s journey toward meeting his dad and figuring out those issues, which is an emotionally complicated thing to get into with a friend… It’s an interesting time to go through everything with Jeff while she’s actually dating Troy.
PORT | There’s a lot of emotional messiness that makes it the perfect time for Britta to be interested in psychology.

TVLINE | What is Pierce’s path this season?
GUARASCIO | What’s interesting about Pierce is that while everyone is thinking about the change of ending college and then the next step in their lives, Pierce’s next big change is… much more final. [Laughs] So, in that sense, his is an existential crisis where he’s facing something much darker and deeper.

RELATED | Community Exclusive: Giancarlo Esposito’s Back!

TVLINE | Quick — describe his bound-to-be-unique mansion.
PORT | It’s like a tomb from the ’80s. It’s like, is it a disaster area or is it art from the ’80s? [Laughs] It’s just a weird crossover that fits perfectly.
GUARASCIO | If Anne Rice and David Lee Roth had a baby and then they ate it and then they threw it up… [Laughs]

TVLINE | Are Troy and Abed still the best friends we know and love? And are there plans to introduce a romantic interest for the Cougar Town fiend?
GUARASCIO | Abed and Troy’s relationship faces some new obstacles because they’re both growing and maturing — particularly Troy, as is represented by his relationship with Britta. But in some ways, Troy and Abed will always be the most stable relationship to the show and a window into what’s possible in this world when two people just really care about each other. Abed really is the person who created the world of Community in bringing the study group together in the pilot. So, it weighs on him more than anyone that this actually might be ending in a way that he can’t control. That will force him to think about — in very baby steps — maybe going through some changes of his own. And that may be reflected somewhat in a relationship with someone outside the group.

TVLINE | If need be, will the season’s 13th episode also work as a fitting series ender?
GUARASCIO | Whatever last episode we air this year, we want to be satisfying as a season ender and series ender. We’ll hear about more episodes before we shoot 13, so if we do get some more, we can plan for it. Let’s say we have a finale in mind now, and we find out soon enough if we get to make more; we can then slot them in and just move those over a little bit. The trick will be finding a way that it feels like we’re organically building toward the end. It’s a little tricky, but it’s the situation.

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. Alex says:

    I wash my hands of this show if we end up with Jeff and Britta. I can’t think of a worse ending than that. I’d rather have no couples than that gross pairing.

    • Reese says:

      Exactly!!! Hate Jeff/Britta so much! These new showrunners ship J/B and theyre letting their personal preference ruin the show. Nice job.

  2. GC says:

    Confused by this. Jeff & Britta? They ended ages ago and seen no romantic/sexual tension from them, even when they were supposedly having sex. And if Britta is with Troy what happens? She just dumps Troy and gets with Jeff? That’s cruel. Poor Troy & Annie being used like stepping stones so ‘we’re both so messed up we belong together’ Jeff & Britta can live happily ever after? Worse thing I’ve read for this season. Dreading season 4 now.

  3. Sunaya says:

    I love Jeff and Britta together! I think they have great chemistry. I always felt Jeff was more like Annie’s older brother or dad! maybe thats why i didnt like them together.
    but Jeff went out of his way to create a study group just to be with britta. its like we’ve come through a cycle and he’s back to her. i really enjoy their banter and hope they do end up together. and troy and annie.
    I cant wait to see abed and troy! and WHO IS JEFF’S DAD!!?? i need to know!!
    and why didnt they mention anything about Shirley!?

  4. karen says:

    i loved the jeff and annie build up for the past 3 years and thought that finally there would be a couple on a tv show that wasnt intended from the get go…something that happened organically based on real chemistry instead of a fake “attraction” that is pre written into the characters…i really hope they do not go back to jeff and britta

    i kind of think that with all of the jeff and annie build up and with jeff admitting his feelings in season 3 (2nd epi) and with teh picture of her in his heart and the text messages etc. that the fact that jeff and annie havent really consummated anything yet is a good sign…if they had already slept together i would be more worried that the writers would show that they realized it wouldnt work out or something but the way it is now it would be hard to properly end jeff and annie if they never address it..so right now it seems to me as if either more spoilers will come out that they address it and decide that they dont belong together or they revisit jeff and britta and end that relationship and then move on to jeff and annie

    the thing with britta and jeff that is the hardest to explain away even with the whole “walls up” argument is that they were friends and they really cared about each other and slept together but still it didnt seem that it was enough for either of them…hence jeff slowly developing feelings for annie and britta for troy…
    (if that makes any sense at all)

  5. izzels says:

    I like Annie and Jeff, but even when it’s Annie and Abed or Jeff and Britta, I’d still wanted the show to go on.
    I really like Community, just because they have great stories and actors! It’s not all about relationships, eventhough I do like them mixed in the episodes.
    So why stop it? Too little viewers?

  6. Em says:

    I’ll still watch because I love this show with all my heart but taking it in the love triangle direction makes me nervous. I love J/B as FRIENDS and I’m seriously disappointed that they’re revisiting them as a pairing. Adding romance to them is a big mistake. They never had any chemistry and when Jeff was trying to sleep with her it marred the rest of the show.

  7. Eloise says:

    This is ridiculous. I love this show. I will never not love this show. I personally HATE the shipping of Jeff and Annie (it’s weird and gross), but that still wouldn’t make me stop watching this show. I thought real Community fans would be in it for Six Seasons and a Movie, but I guess not. Because of all the over dramatic assholes, this show is not going to end up coming back. YOU GUYS DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT’S GOING TO REALLY HAPPEN! Stop bitching about it, and get over yourselves. This news is not ruining my favorite show, these comments are.

    • K says:

      These comments are just initial reactions of J/A fans who are disappointed that their ship is being ruined. You may think it is weird and gross and to each his own, but fans of that pairing have been waiting 3 years for some progress only to be told it’s all in Annie’s head and they’re bringing back a pairing that never really worked in the first place. It’s disheartening if that happens and you’re invested in it. But believe me everyone here who said they won’t be tuning in definitely will be because we’re such a small fandom who loves the show. These were just instant overreactions but there’s no need to be so nasty.

  8. K says:

    Don’t like romantic J/B and makes me angry about the build up we’ve had with J/A and T/B but I’ll always watch because I love this show so much!

  9. DH says:

    Jeff and Britta are disgusting together. If I want to watch a couple with a brother-sister vibe making out, I’ll tune into Game of Thrones. At least on that show the couple has chemistry.

    Thankfully the J/B “spoiler” in this article, isn’t. So I have hope that the new showrunners are smart enough to tease J/B without actually going there.

  10. abbey says:

    It has been engrained, embedded and established in the Community universe that as a couple, Jeff and Britta DO NOT WORK. The characters in the show don’t like it and the majority of the fans don’t like it. Dan Hammond saw that so he dropped the whole thing mid-way through season 1. Everyone knows- the actors, the former director and most of the Community fandom knows that the central ships within the study group are Jeff and Annie and Troy and Britta. We know this because it has blatantly been said over the past three seasons. There has been so much work and character development, all building to ultimately bring those pairings together.
    The Jeff and Britta romance well and truly died in season two and there is too much evidence to support that Jeff and Annie are one of the major ships of the show.

  11. I love Jeff and Britta together! I hope they end up together. And I love Annie and Abed too. I don´t understand the Annie and Jeff relationship. I don´t think they are made for each other.

  12. izzels says:

    Just one last thing: Am I the only one who wants to see Annie’s parents on the show?

  13. Kat says:

    I love Jeff and Britta! I don’t understand why people think they apparently have no chemistry. Everybody in Study Group has great chemistry with each other. Personally, J/A grosses me out because of the whole schoolgirl vibe I get from it. It’s not the chemistry that’s the problem, it’s the character.

  14. i think he is misleading people to make them watch the show to see if this does happen i mean in 13 episodes how can troy and britta have a relationship and jeff and britta i think it will remain a quality show i can not wait for it to be back

  15. Jan says:

    I don’t know why a lot of people here seem to think there is gonna be Jeff/Britta this season. They clearly say Britta and Troy will get together. Britta is helping Jeff (IMO as a friend) with his search for his father.

  16. ana says:

    jeff and annie <3

  17. Sook says:

    Please Jeff/Annie, not Jeff/Britta. I love Britta but she should pair with Troy. And I just love Jeff and Annie together!!

  18. Elle says:

    Sorry Troy and Britta just don’t make sense. I really can’t stand it and can’t figure out how the writers even thought it was a good idea. I honestly enjoyed the show before I knew there were even “couples”/shippers.

    If I had to choose though I would say Jeff and Britta. They have wicked chemistry and their banter makes complete sense. Annie and Jeff = Yuck! So do Britta and Troy!