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Attn Community Hacktivists: Way late in the season but still good to know for next year, here’s a blurb on the USDA People’s Garden project:

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That was the good news this weekend. It’s a good move, after a disreputable season with a truly disgraceful ending. Putting back the guy who created the show and made it into what it was is a smart choice, especially since his replacements severely misread the psychology of the fans of the show. If this show appealed to the types of people who liked endless callbacks, cutaways and fan service, it would probably have a much wider audience! With Community-philes, it’s all about what the next amazing concept is going to be, not about reliving something over and over again. Because a true Community fan has all the seasons on DVD, has watched them all multiple times, and thus has already relived the best parts many times already.

Anyway, a few days ago I figured that I’d be down to following zero shows next fall, until all of a sudden Community and Hannibal are going to be back. This is good.

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Looks like Community went from NBC’s ratings weak link to its strongest performer last night. Perhaps that scary hiatus will turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to the show, in that all the buzz over it must have led more people to see what all the fuss was about. And it seems like the creative staff made the most of the opportunity. All good news, from where I sit.
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I know that the last thing the internet needs is more Community boosterism, but I can’t help it because I’m so happy about it! Here’s the information you need on this development if you’re uninitiated, courtesy of the incomparable Bill Carter. And this is for if you’re a superfan:


I’ll be the first to admit that the show, while brilliant, is not for everyone. I remember talking to people who were just completely baffled that Arrested Development didn’t become a huge hit, but that didn’t surprise me. After all, it’s about a bunch of unlikable rich jerks that’s filled with cutaway gags (which are now everywhere but weren’t at the time), tons of self-referentialism, and (perhaps most importantly) it’s hard to follow the stories when you’re paying half-attention. I loved it, but the idea that if it stuck around long enough it would pick up a following struck me as unlikely. Community isn’t necessarily any of those things (aside from self-referential), but it presumes a certain level of pop culture literacy and a willingness to go with its conceits that might not be there. I can see why some wouldn’t bother, but it’s one of those things that speaks to me somehow, it’s hard to explain. It’s noted for its parodies, but really it’s an inversion of your typical sitcom, where the setting is mundane and the characters are zany and unrealistic. In Community, the setting is fluid but the characters are what ground it.

Of course, I’m aware that this is yet another culty thing that I’m into, but I write that off by arguing that if you enjoy personal, creative, interesting artistic experiences, there’s no way to avoid culty things. There was a time when stuff like that achieved big, mainstream success. But for the past 30 years or so, pop culture has leaned heavily toward the disposable, and while I am always overjoyed when something unusual and good becomes popular, I just know you can’t count on that happening. This is why, incidentally, I’m not a hipster, as I’m always happy to see, I don’t know, Arcade Fire find success. Hipsterism is fundamentally about selfishness, it’s wanting to have all these amazing experiences that are completely your own, and other people being in on them somehow ruins them. It’s about validating your own specialness, really. Me, I’m just someone who’s looking for meaningful culture out there. And it’s still around, if you know where to look.

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