Community has always been on the verge of cancellation. The question of whether or not the series would return has loomed over every season finale during its five-year run on NBC, and it loomed over this year's season 6 finale on Yahoo Screen as well.
Yet, while the question of whether or not Community will get a season 7 remains, what we should be asking is whether or not that's something we really want. Or, perhaps more importantly - is that something the show actually needs?
Opinions of the season 6 finale working as a series finale run the gamut from those who think the episode was a pitch-perfect and bittersweet ending to those who think it was self-indulgent and coming much too late. Giving your television series a finale that falls in the former camp instead of the latter isn't easy, but more Community fans than not seem to agree that "Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television" was about as good a finale as it gets.
Everyone wants their show to leave on a high note, or if not that, at least have it leave before becoming virtually unrecognizable from what it was in the beginning. Over time, shows will change for a variety of reasons, like an evolving premise or a switch in focus, but there needs to be some sense of continuity. Otherwise, you might as well be watching another show.
Over its six seasons, Community has evolved beyond a show about a community college study group. Not that its premise was ever as simple as all that, but six seasons later and there have been significant changes to its cast, the characters and their roles on the show, as well as the kinds of issues they face episode after episode. Community has changed, and for the most part it's weathered these changes fairly well, but it's reaching the point where it could so easily become completely unrecognizable. All the evidence you need is right there in its season 6 finale, in all those pitches the group gave for what their version of season 7 would be.
As it stands, Community doesn't need a second more to be a great television series. Sure, there are weak points (the gas leak season being its most glaring) and more than once was it overshadowed by behind-the-scenes drama. But as a collected series, Community is solid.
Still, #sixseasonsandamovie looms large in the Community legend, becoming an almost dogmatic phrase. For years its been a rallying cry, a goal for the series to reach, and now that it has come so close to achieving that goal, it would be foolish not to try.
That's why there seems to be more than hope and a wish behind choosing to include #andamovie at the end of Community's season 6 finale. Joel McHale even remarked during a recent Conan appearance that he'd be interested in returning for a movie - but only if creator Dan Harmon writes the script.
And that's the root to all this debate over whether or not there should be a season 7 or a movie for Community. It doesn't really matter if we think there should or shouldn't be, or if we want that or not. It'll happen if and only if Dan Harmon writes it. Harmon is the soul of Community. It's always been his emotions and insecurities and dreams funneled through a staff of writers and into the mouths of actors.
Tweeting only a few hours before the Community season 6 finale "aired" on Yahoo, Harmon announced he'd be taking a break from it all for a few weeks:
The finale airs in a couple hours. I'm gonna delete my Twitter app and take a couple weeks off the internet and no interviews and I love you
— Dan Harmon (@danharmon) June 2, 2015
It's likely that sooner rather than later we'll know why Harmon is taking a step back. Either he's using the time to come to terms with finally leaving the show behind - and on his own terms, too - or he's sorting out if and where he wants Community and its characters to go. And if he comes back with an idea for a movie or a season 7 that he wants to explore (The Search for Troy springs to mind), then it won't matter how fantastic a note season 6 went out on - we'll still want to see what happens next.
Would you like to see Community return for season 7 or movie? Or was the season 6 finale simply the perfect ending? And even if you think that, would you watch its next season or a movie anyway as long as Dan Harmon was writing it? Sound off in the comments below!
Stay tuned for more news about Community.