Creator Dan Harmon Criticizes ‘Community’ Season 4

Published 2 years ago by , Updated June 18th, 2013 at 3:49 am,

community dan harmon panel title Creator Dan Harmon Criticizes Community Season 4

Fortunately for Community fans, the show barely escaped the NBC guillotine once again as it was recently renewed for season 5. But with the show on the chopping block seemingly every single season, the future of the Greendale crew still looked uncertain – especially considering season 4 was arguably the worst received so far.

However, with the news that series creator Dan Harmon would be returning as the series showrunner after being fired last year, there was suddenly a sense of hope that the show could return to its formerly hilarious glory. Though we’ll have to wait until season 5 to know if Harmon still has the funny, one thing Harmon hasn’t lost is his outspoken nature about the show and his dismissal.

On Sunday’s episode of his Harmontown podcast, Harmon ripped into his season 4 replacements, David Guarascio and Moses Port, and his bosses at Sony for what he called “an unflattering [season].” Harmon, who has never shied away from making incendiary public comments, went as far to compare watching season 4 to “flipping through Instagram watching your girlfriend **** a million [people].”

community musical cast Creator Dan Harmon Criticizes Community Season 4

Obviously, Harmon still feels the burn from being fired from the show that he started. It hurt him to see Community continue without him to what most agreed were considerably less humorous results. However, you would think he would be a bit more gracious to the people who rehired him, but apparently, he’s not feeling the love.

Here’s what he had to say about Sony’s decision to let him go after season 3:

“There’s a system in place that’s winning because I would have had too much leverage, too much power, too much salary, as would have a lot of writers coming into Season 4. So they just flushed us and replaced us with two guys who didn’t know what they were getting into…

“Writers fighting other writers is the American Dream in the eyes of Sony. That is what they want. They want creative people rewriting each other. They want creative people replacing each other. They want us interchangeable. They want to think about writing the way they think about the guy on assembly line 24 that puts the final screw in the f****** Playstation… I shouldn’t even say ‘they’ because it’s an ‘it,’ it’s a f****** machine. There isn’t a single person that works at that corporation that isn’t also thought of like that by the f****** SkyNet… The system just wants us all to not be human.”

Harmon’s frustration is certainly understandable, but at the same time, there’s no way speaking out like this against his employers can benefit the show. In fact, his comments could very well be a detriment to the show. So should fans be worried about Harmon being axed again and sinking the show for good?

CommunityAbedsHappyCommunityCollegeShow Creator Dan Harmon Criticizes Community Season 4

Sony definitely won’t appreciate the comments, but what they’re really interested in is results. If Harmon can begin to right the ship and deliver solid episodes with solid ratings, then all will likely be forgiven. At this point, they know how he is and how he operates, but they also should respect the passion he has for what he’s created.

Part of the reason he got so upset is that he legitimately cares about what he’s created and doesn’t want to see it mistreated. In that regard, fans will likely get behind Harmon, but let’s hope he doesn’t go overboard and lose his job again – or worse, put the entire show in jeopardy.

What do you think, Screen Rant readers? Do you think Dan Harmon is in the right? Or do you think he should tone down his outbursts now that he has his job back?


Community season 5 will likely return fall 2013.

Source: Harmontown

Follow Daniel Johnson on Twitter @UODanJohnson
TAGS: Community
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  1. Dan Harmon is right. Season 4 is so terrible. The best way to deal with it is not to repair it all. Just pretend/moving on like season 4 was never happened, and begin season 5 with the continuation of storyline from season 3. Because =, I believe that Dan Harmon might have envisioned how the story should be continued when season 3 ended, right before he was fired. Thus he should resume the vision, and the storyline, without having to cover all the collateral damage that was done in Season 4.

    For me, Season 3 is the best, got a lot of homage episodes that were so damn good, under the helm of Dan Harmon.

    • That’s a stupid idea. Season 4 happened. Deal with it. It wasn’t even that bad first of all. People are just exaggerating. And this coming from someone who didn’t even watch season4 as it aired because I assumed it would be awful. Binge watched it last week. They need to continue from season 4. None of that “oh Abed dreamed season4 up?” bull s***.

      • Bob, I honestly think people don’t exaggerate when they said that season 4 was bad. Without the helm of Dan Harmon, most of the character has diverged to what they were supposed to be. Just looked on Abed’s quirk reaction, Jeff’s brilliant sarcastic remark, and Troy relationship that happened/ended too soon. It was all poorly executed. Most of the episodes in season 4 is much more about costume party, and they were just arguing what to wear to attend the party. And the ending, ughh…they had this paintball tradition in season 1 and 2 (all were great episodes btw), but in season 4, it was like a bad sci-fi movie.

        Oh, it is Dan Harmon’s show, he has the right to comment on the show, but professionally it shouldnt be published in press/media. He should said that to the producer/previous writer face to face and let the spokesman decide whether to release his statement or not.

        You have the right to disagree with me, I dont mind. Come to think of it, I think we should discuss on how Season 5 should start, if Dan Harmon wanted to continue with storyline from season 4, just like u said ( It happened and deal with it ). We should throw any stupid/good/funny ideas and we all know that Dan Harmon love to spoof his Community’s fan idea. Remember #221 (Paradigms of Human Memory) when he spoofed a fanmade video. It was so damn funny and genius.

    • I’m reminded of what happened with Heroes. It had a really bad season or half-season, I think because of the writer’s strike, and then the season after that was spent fixing all the stuff that had happened in that bad season. And then there was 24, which had one really terrible season, but then came back with a fresh new look in Washington DC and pretended that last season didn’t even happen. I’d have to agree with Adrian. The season finale ended the Changnesia-City College conspiracy ending really anti-climatically. Season 4 would still have to keep all the personal story arcs but the long arcs were bad.

      • Out of topic, but what happened with Heroes was just bad writing, even before the writer’s strike. The only watchable great episodes were coming from Season 1, the first 11 episodes if I’m not mistaken, (before they stopped for a break to shoot for new episodes after that). After that, I just wanted to continue to watch HEROES just because I wanted to know what happened with the characters. Not the storyline, which had gone haywire and no point of destination at all.

        As of 24, I couldnt remember much when was the writer’s strike and what season it was. But there is one season which was so bad, that I had hope I never watch it at the first place. It’s the one where Wayne Palmer is the president and there were Jack’s father and brother.(Are we talking about the same season here?)

        Anti-climatic. Thats the word I’m looking for to describe season 4. Thanx :)

  2. It would be a total geekfest if they said the show was only one of the alternate timelines.

    “a terrible timeline where the show often sucked,” that would be amazing.

    • I wholeheartedly agree. It would fit perfectly into the narrative and allow them to pick up and move on in any direction they like.

    • Awesome! I hope the writer’s see this comment…It’s the best possible way of starting season 5 without having that gross after-taste of season 4.

  3. As disappointed as I was with season 4, it is always going to be part of the shows history. All Harmon can do is push forward and try to repair the mistake and get us back on track

    • What he said.

  4. To be fair he wasn’t individually critical of his replacements- just the season and the system which created, which seems very justified.

  5. Harmon has every right to say these things. He was fired for no good reason, and when they realized what a huge mistake they made, they came crawling back.

    Season 4 wasn’t nearly as terrible as some people make it out to be, but it wasn’t up to standard.
    I hope my favourite comedy can now go back to the way it was before….

  6. Sony sounds like an absolutely awful corporation to work for based on this and then also with what happened to Sam Raimi for Spider-Man 3.

  7. Harmon might be right, but, for god’s sake, save it for the DVD box set commentary. This is just unprofessional. And it puts season six at risk, for no other reason than to tweak the suits? I love Harmon’s work, and season 4 was the worst, but it was still better than no Community.

    • I agree with everything you said. I did enjoy season 4 but compared to seasons 1-3 it was definitely the weakest link in the chain. Harmon can’t talk about his boss like this tho, that could totally bite him in the a** later.

  8. For me Dan Harmon means as much to Community as Mitch Hurwitz does for Arrested Development. Both shows are so unique that without these guys the show wouldn’t be the same. Proof of this was season 4 of Community.
    Harmon is a hard guy to root for. There’s a difference between a guy who speaks his mind and a guy who’s just a jerk and IMO Harmon at times seems to be both.
    Like I already said I think he’s the crucial cog in Community’s success but what does talking down about season 4 accomplish? Especially conning from him?
    Almost all of us agree season 4 was a let-down but why beat a dead horse?
    Let’s move on and look forward to season 5.

  9. Sure, season 4 may be the weakest link in the series, but Season 4 was way funnier than a lot of the other comedies that were on for the 2012/2013 season. Season 4 happened and Dan Harmon will have to deal with it.

  10. Harmon is his own worst enemy. If his comments go on to detrimentally effect the miracle that is season 5, then he will have permenantly crossed the line (that he is always tiptoing on) between hero and villain.

    You have a low rated barely surviving sitcom Dan……… a prick about the system when you can actually bring something like higher ratings ti the table. Until then make the show we all love for ss long as they will let you.

  11. He’s right though. I don’t even watch the show but that’s how the big execs are in Hollywood. You always hear about showrunners and directors and other guys lower on the totem pole being ousted for “creative differences” aka money and cash. They’re just like any other corporation. Make the most money for the lowest cost possible which 9/10 means sacrificing quality in some shape or fashion.