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Old 05-18-2012, 11:20 PM   #541
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Yeah, I laughed more in the first two than I have at the show in weeks.

Also:

Breaking: Dan Harmon out as showrunner of Community | TV | Newswire | The A.V. Club
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Old 05-18-2012, 11:37 PM   #542
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Aww, shit.

TVDW (acronyms, bitches!) did suggest that the Season 2 production clusterfuck might have more of a role to play. It may be Harmon is a good head writer but not so much at the showrunnier aspects of being a showrunner, like: do they wrap filming on time?
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Old 05-18-2012, 11:46 PM   #543
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Board Member: "No one can sit on something this big!"

Dean: "I'll sit on it!"

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I laughed quite a bit at the video game episode . When I saw the promo things online for that episode I wasn't sure if it would work, but I thought it was fine. I'm not a gamer at all, but I don't feel like the show was holding my hand and explaining everything to me as the episode went on.
It's not about the game concept, rather about how easily I can tell the bullet points in the story outline for where each character should go plot wise and emotionally. Listen to the first two lines between Jeff and Pierce as the video game episode starts- there's no earthly reason for this dialogue to happen in the same room as the rest of the episode unless it's a writer trying to save effort and money by establishing the premise as quickly as possible on the set where the rest of the action takes place. That kind of stuff just drives me batty, although clearly one's mileage may vary. Somehow I enjoyed Inception, so there's clearly no rhyme or reason to this.
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Old 05-18-2012, 11:49 PM   #544
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You're crazy man. That 8-bit episode was one of my favourite episodes of the show. It felt so fucking badass when Giancarlo Esposito walked in (I was waiting for Mike to come and finish of Pierce/Gilbert's father). Troy's character continually jumping and doing backflips had me laughing, as did the little Abeds and how they all kept respawning in the study room.

The other two episodes were great as well. I definitely need a gif of the Dean's raving when the study group flicked the switch. Pierce has become a one-note character, which is a shame, since episodes like "the first man to drown in a parking lot... twice" were so awesome, but I think this has been his funniest season. Chang and Dean (and Dean's doppeldeaner were awesome).
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Old 05-18-2012, 11:57 PM   #545
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That's kind of what I mean by joke delivery system, though- things like Cooperative Calligraphy or the wedding scene in the Season 2 opener were so elegant in stacking things like Abed's departure, Jeff and Britta's fight, and Abed's return with the wedding crew that I felt like I had to playback multiple times just to understand how deftly the story and humor intertwined.

I would never bet against Dan Harmon (rest in peace) delivering quality jokes.
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Old 05-19-2012, 12:06 AM   #546
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NYMag's Vulture just dropped a metric ton of inside scoop on the Dan Harmon situation.

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Harmon and Sony have been at odds since the first season of Community, clashing over everything from the show's creative direction (the studio and NBC have both, at times, asked Harmon to make the show at least somewhat broader in its appeal) to Harmon's management style (the producer admitted as recently as last month that he was "damn bad" at key elements of his job not related to what gets on the screen). In addition, Community has been plagued with numerous writing staff defections over its three season run. Most recently, longtime exec producers Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan announced they were leaving for a new deal at 20th Century Fox TV, while directors/producers Joe and Anthony Russo are also no longer part of Sony and thus are not involved in the show on a day-to-day basis.

According to multiple people familiar with the production of Community, Harmon's flaws as a showrunner were at least partially responsible for much of the turnover the past few years. As one person familiar with Harmon's strengths and weaknesses told Vulture, "Dan is a brilliant at ideas, but he's terrible at [management]."

...

Perhaps, but people familiar with Sony's thinking say the studio is probably figuring that while Community with Harmon would have almost assuredly been entering its final season, a change at the top creatively might somehow result in viewers giving the series another chance and NBC becoming more invested in finding a way to keep it alive beyond the 13 episodes ordered. The studio has been tenacious in the past when trying to keep assets alive (it found a way to get Til Death and Rules of Engagement into syndication), and it didn't want Harmon to be the one person determining whether or not Community lived to see 100 episodes. Sony might have also taken into account NBC chief Bob Greenblatt's ambivalent at best attitude toward Community in general and Harmon in particular.
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Old 05-19-2012, 12:07 AM   #547
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It's not about the game concept, rather about how easily I can tell the bullet points in the story outline for where each character should go plot wise and emotionally. Listen to the first two lines between Jeff and Pierce as the video game episode starts- there's no earthly reason for this dialogue to happen in the same room as the rest of the episode unless it's a writer trying to save effort and money by establishing the premise as quickly as possible on the set where the rest of the action takes place. That kind of stuff just drives me batty, although clearly one's mileage may vary.
I'll go back and give that a listen again. I just never pay much attention to that sort of stuff. But you make a good argument, though, I can see where that can be irritating.

I particularly liked how everyone kept accidentally killing each other. Even though I'm not a gamer, I have played the occasional video game here and there, and I often suck at keeping my character in the game or helping the other ones out. So that whole recurring joke had me laughing a lot.

Shame to hear that about Harmon stepping down. The link says he'll stay on as a consulting producer, though, so as long as he remains involved in the show in some form, that's something, at least.

Man. With all this going on, I can't even begin to imagine what could be in store for season four.
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Old 05-19-2012, 12:16 AM   #548
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Non-ironic relevant emoticons!



edit: co-Executive Producer Chris McKenna is out

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Chris McKenna ‏@cpmckenna

Nov. '09 I joined my favorite show on TV and today leave my favorite anything ever. Thanks Community, fans, and @DanHarmon. E Pluribus Anus.
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Old 05-19-2012, 12:47 AM   #549
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I pay 100 bucks a month for cable. I don't want to watch commercials. If they fuck with the dvrs and prevent people from skipping commercials, I'd just go back to torrenting my shows. If they really go full retard with the pop up commercials, I'll just wait for my shows to come on netflix or for the DVD rips.

These companies have to realize times are CHANG-ing. Old ways of raising revenue no longer work. The rating system is flawed. They either have to get with the times and adapt, or become obsolete.
exactly. what you said is basically what i said in my previous post, though it seems to have got lost in translation or something and got interpreted as "commercials suck lol".

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I work in the media industry, and the trend is towards more advertising, not less.
who's said anything about there should be less? all anyone's said is if you dvr a program, you're not evil for fast forwarding through the commercials if you don't want to watch them. yeah, i'd love it if all my favourite shows were actually 30 minutes long and commercial-free, but i also know that's just not possible. nor would i be willing to, say, see my satellite bill triple to have access to such programming, either.

when tivo first came out in the 90s, one of the selling points was that you could fast forward through commercials. of course now that everyone has a dvr, suddenly now it's an evil and selfish thing to do. it's ridiculous. how about instead of making people who do it feel like shit, make the commercials worth watching?
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Old 05-19-2012, 01:58 AM   #550
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Non-ironic relevant emoticons!



edit: co-Executive Producer Chris McKenna is out
Good lord.

Forget darkest timeline, this is the totally crazy timeline.
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Old 05-19-2012, 02:39 AM   #551
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I literally didn't have a single one of your problems with the last three episodes, mobvok. Maybe you just appreciate this show on a greater level than I do

Writers/directors/producers change constantly. I'm not too fussed. Let's just talk more about the final three episodes, please. So many things happened!

Starburns. Jeff doing the right thing by Shirley and showing he has changed since he started. Troy leaving. Vice Dean Laybourne passing away. "You guys are weird." Annie and Shirley murdering the blacksmith and his wife!!!!! Pierce interrupting Jeff, and then it all being part of the plan. "I'm in!" "I know!" "Everyone else got to say it..." "Here's a lock of my hair..." Leonard reviewing chips. "Thanks for doing the dishes." Troy and Abed as slack-jawed plumbers.

I just wished they'd used John Goodman more.

Another brilliant season from the best show on television.
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Old 05-19-2012, 02:49 AM   #552
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Jeff doing the right thing by Shirley and showing he has changed since he started.
I've said it before and I'll say it again-those two are wonderful together.

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Troy leaving. Vice Dean Laybourne passing away.
1, yes. Very emotional. This show sure knows how to do touching, heartfelt moments.
2, meant to comment on that, too-totally unexpected, Laybourne's death! I liked it when everyone was ganging up on his replacement at the end and Troy's like, "Take him to jail, 'cause he murdered someone."

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Leonard reviewing chips.
And with the random dreadlocked guy wandering into the kitchen, no less! I'd like to know more about that.

Great overall summary of the episodes .
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Old 05-19-2012, 03:44 AM   #553
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You must be my evil doppledeaner- or I you-as I thought the last episode was a solid rescue from the disappointment of the first two. All three episodes had a good string of funny jokes, and Danny Pudi really knocked it out of the park the whole way through, but it was hard to stop noticing how clumsy the setup writing was and the unearned emotional beats they were trying to hit. Over and over, characters would walk into a room and then decide to start dropping clear exposition. It felt stilted, like we were watching a televised stage play. I mean, really? You're doing an homage to Super NES games, but concerned about making sure casual viewers wouldn't feel left out?
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It's not about the game concept, rather about how easily I can tell the bullet points in the story outline for where each character should go plot wise and emotionally. Listen to the first two lines between Jeff and Pierce as the video game episode starts- there's no earthly reason for this dialogue to happen in the same room as the rest of the episode unless it's a writer trying to save effort and money by establishing the premise as quickly as possible on the set where the rest of the action takes place. That kind of stuff just drives me batty, although clearly one's mileage may vary. Somehow I enjoyed Inception, so there's clearly no rhyme or reason to this.

That episode seemed to be hit and miss. I loved it, my housemate didn't like it as much (both of us were huge gamers back in the day). The clumsiness worked in the episode for me because online gaming is extremely clumsy and awkward. I've done and hosted a lot of vent chats for online gaming in my day and that's exactly what it sounds like, especially with people unfamiliar with gaming. The writers may have actually been on to something there.

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One day my mom was watching a DVD of "Bewitched" episodes. After it'd stopped and I went to take the DVD out I noticed the time limit on the episode that had stopped.

It was about 25 minutes, without the commercials. Whereas "Community" episodes are noted as clocking in at 21, 22 minutes minus the commercials. Found that rather interesting.

I'll be willing to sit through whatever I have to sit through in order to watch shows I love, but yes, there's a LOT of revamping that TV networks need to do, be it with advertising or the shows themselves. I haven't seen the shows people talk about here that you feel suck or have gone downhill (did read cobl's post/rant in the "How I Met Your Mother" thread, though-I don't watch that show, but I do like to read the thread for some reason. Yeouch), so I can't comment on them. And what doesn't appeal to me will appeal to others and vice versa.

But I do think originality is a very valuable trait and more shows should strive for it. At the same time, I also understand that some viewers out there aren't obsessive about TV the way others are, they just want something that doesn't tax their brain after a hard day and just want a half hour of entertainment, or background noise. So I dunno how we can balance that out so that everyone's happy.
My "sitcommy" examples:
- Glee (went downhill for more appeal to the masses)
- HIMYM (dragged out for what seems like no purpose)
- Big Bang Theory (the show changed... a lot)

But my main focus with that was on the real consumerism shows: America's Got Talent, American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, the 5 bazillion crime dramas, all these random mindless laugh track shows, etc. When a show is unique and stands out, it usually ends up cancelled. There are exceptions, of course. It's a whole lot of the same on TV right now.
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Old 05-19-2012, 04:05 AM   #554
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My "sitcommy" examples:
- Glee (went downhill for more appeal to the masses)
- HIMYM (dragged out for what seems like no purpose)
- Big Bang Theory (the show changed... a lot)
"Glee" is just...nuts. I've heard some people make comparisons between that show and "Community" sometimes, but "Community"'s craziness is intentional most of the time and generally has some sort of point within the show. Whereas with "Glee", it seems to be more random for no specific reason. I enjoy the show on a casual level, so I'm able to let most of that stuff slide more easily than some are, but I definitely do notice some of the problems with it many others have brought up.

I've certainly heard about the issues with HIMYM, but that's often how it goes-any show that's on as long as that one has been inevitably starts running into that problem. It's still a shame, though, yes. And I suspect "Big Bang Theory" is the same way. Which, as has been stated, is one thing that could work well for "Community" if next year is the last season and they have a shortened one (or even if they have a full one). They'll be able to avoid the eventual downward trajectory so many sitcoms fall victim to and be able to be remembered in a much more positive light. And I'd certainly be okay with that as their legacy.

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But my main focus with that was on the real consumerism shows: America's Got Talent, American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, the 5 bazillion crime dramas, all these random mindless laugh track shows, etc. When a show is unique and stands out, it usually ends up cancelled. There are exceptions, of course. It's a whole lot of the same on TV right now.
Fully agreed on this. I watch "Idol", but that's been wearing thin, and there's a bazillion singing competitions going now, the burnout's started, if it hasn't been going for some time already. And the crime/hospital dramas, yes. I don't get into those because it's pretty much the same thing on every single one of them-just change the title and characters (and if I'm going to watch something crime related, I'd prefer to watch true crime stuff instead of scripted crime stuff). There's been a few notable exceptions, of course, but like you said, it's pretty samey for the most part.

And now the networks are all hoping for their own version of "Lost". They go for big budget wow, which is fine sometimes-"Community" certainly shelled out some money over time for some of their more notable episodes-but without any sort of a good story or characters worth caring about, it won't last long.

Funny thing is, I do hear many out there say the same thing about TV, how it's often the same old, same old and they want something new and different. So then we have a show like "Community" come along...and it struggles. Part of it, of course, has to do with the way people watch TV now, but still, it's a shame it doesn't do better than it currently is.
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Old 05-19-2012, 04:38 AM   #555
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HEY, DID I MISS ANYTHING?
Kids:
A few hours ago, I landed in Los Angeles, turned on my phone, and confirmed what you already know. Sony Pictures Television is replacing me as showrunner on Community, with two seasoned fellows that I’m sure are quite nice - actually, I have it on good authority they’re quite nice, because they once created a show and cast my good friend Jeff Davis on it, so how bad can they be.
Why’d Sony want me gone? I can’t answer that because I’ve been in as much contact with them as you have. They literally haven’t called me since the season four pickup, so their reasons for replacing me are clearly none of my business. Community is their property, I only own ten percent of it, and I kind of don’t want to hear what their complaints are because I’m sure it would hurt my feelings even more now that I’d be listening for free.
I do want to correct a couple points of spin, now that I’m free to do so:
The important one is this quote from Bob Greenblatt in which he says he’s sure I’m going to be involved somehow, something like that. That’s a misquote. I think he meant to say he’s sure cookies are yummy, because he’s never called me once in the entire duration of his employment at NBC. He didn’t call me to say he was starting to work there, he didn’t call me to say I was no longer working there and he definitely didn’t call to ask if I was going to be involved. I’m not saying it’s wrong for him to have bigger fish to fry, I’m just saying, NBC is not a credible source of All News Dan Harmon.
You may have read that I am technically “signed on,” by default, to be an executive consulting something or other - which is a relatively standard protective clause for a creator in my position. Guys like me can’t actually just be shot and left in a ditch by Skynet, we’re still allowed to have a title on the things we create and “help out,” like, I guess sharpening pencils and stuff.
However, if I actually chose to go to the office, I wouldn’t have any power there. Nobody would have to do anything I said, ever. I would be “offering” thoughts on other people’s scripts, not allowed to rewrite them, not allowed to ask anyone else to rewrite them, not allowed to say whether a single joke was funny or go near the edit bay, etc. It’s….not really the way the previous episodes got done. I was what you might call a….hands on producer. Are my….periods giving this enough….pointedness? I’m not saying you can’t make a good version of Community without me, but I am definitely saying that you can’t make my version of it unless I have the option of saying “it has to be like this or I quit” roughly 8 times a day.
The same contract also gives me the same salary and title if I spend all day masturbating and playing Prototype 2. And before you ask yourself what you would do in my situation: buy Prototype 2. It’s fucking great.
Because Prototype 2 is great, and because nobody called me, and then started hiring people to run the show, I had my assistant start packing up my office days ago. I’m sorry. I’m not saying seasons 1, 2 and 3 were my definition of perfect television, I’m just saying that whatever they’re going to do for season 4, they’re aiming to do without my help. So do not believe anyone that tells you on Monday that I quit or diminished my role so I could spend more time with my loved ones, or that I negotiated and we couldn’t come to an agreement, etc. It couldn’t be less true because, just to make this clear, literally nobody called me. Also don’t believe anyone that says I have sex with animals. And if there’s a photo of me doing it with an animal - I’m not saying one exists, I’m just saying, if one surfaces - it’s a fake. Look at the shadow. Why would it be in front of the giraffe if the sun is behind the jeep?
Where was I? Oh yeah. I’m not running Community for season 4. They replaced me. Them’s the facts.
When I was a kid, sometimes I’d run home to Mommy with a bloody nose and say, “Mom, my friends beat me up,” and my Mom would say “well then they’re not worth having as friends, are they?” At the time, I figured she was just trying to put a postive spin on having birthed an unpopular pussy. But this is, after all, the same lady that bought me my first typewriter. Then later, a Commodore 64. And later, a 300 baud modem for it. Through which I met new friends that did like me much, much more.
I’m 39, now. The friends my Mom warned me about are bigger now, and older, bloodying my nose with old world numbers, and old world tactics, like, oh, I don’t know, sending out press releases to TV Guide at 7pm on a Friday.
But my Commodore 64 is mobile now, like yours, and the modems are invisible, and the internet is the air all around us. And the good friends, the real friends, are finding each other, and connecting with each other, and my Mom is turning out to be more right than ever.
Ah, shit, I still haven’t called my fucking Mom.
Mom, Happy Mother’s Day. I got fired.
Yes, Mom. AGAIN.
I'm starting to think that if I want to enjoy season four, I'm going to have to just stream the episodes and talk to myself about them. Because everywhere else there's going to be crazy shit flying around.

This makes me feel really sorry for Dan. A hell of a lot has changed since those cast evaluations from the season one DVD.
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