NBC’s offbeat scholastic comedy Community is now over halfway to the elusive goal of six seasons and a movie, having been renewed for a fifth season with creator Dan Harmon back in the principal’s chair. Since Greendale Community College is at the heart (and in the title) of the show, this means that Jeff Winger’s time on the outside has to be cut short in order to get fan favorite actor Joel McHale back in the picture, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he has to come back as a student.
A new trailer for season 5 of Community sets up the circumstances for Jeff’s return to Greendale, as well as some of the reactions he gets (Dean Pelton is particularly tickled). If there’s one criticism to be made of this trailer, it’s that it’s hard to imagine the commercial for Jeff’s legal services failing to draw customers – who wouldn’t want a superhero for a lawyer?
Fans of the recently concluded crime show Breaking Bad will also recognize Jonathan Banks, who played Heisenberg’s colleague Mike Ehrmantraut. Perhaps playing on his best-known persona, Banks will play a criminology professor called Pat Nichols, who has been hardened by a traumatic career in the police and military. Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan will also guest star on Community this season, and there’s a cheeky reference to one of the show’s better-known quotes in the trailer’s intertitles.
Aside from Abed’s suggestion that Community‘s fifth season “could be like Scrubs season 9” (no… please, no), this teaser promises a return to what fans of Community have come to love: Abed and Troy dressing up in strange costumes. Alright, there may be more to it than that, but the sight of Donald Glover disguised as an armchair is a pretty succinct way of summing up Harmon’s brand of humor. It only makes it all the more sad that Glover will only appear in five episodes of the show during season 5.
Community‘s fourth season was something of a rough patch, after Harmon was unceremoniously booted from his showrunner position to be replaced by David Guarascio and Moses Port, followed by Chevy Chase leaving the show before filming was complete. With Harmon now reinstated, season 5 of Community is definitely going to be worth tuning in for.
Community returns to NBC on January 2nd, 2014.