Community Season 5 (NBC): Dan Harmon Returns! Donald Glover Leaving!

Community- Season 4

It didn’t seem possible when the show was in its first season, but thanks to a faithful fanbase and a group of talented writers and actors, Community is going into its fifth season, and this time, the show’s eccentric creator is back! Yes, Dan Harmon and his friend Whiskey McBeer shall be the showrunners this seasons, after an underwhelming fourth season.

How will the gang get together after graduation? Will Harmon be able to keep his giant ego at check and work with the executives? Will we get the sixth season and a movie? What about Donald Glover and his rap career? Will Chevy Chase be back?

We’ll have to wait to find out!

Except for the last question. No, no he won’t be back.

The Scoop

Harmon, who was famously fired from the show after the third season, was rehired after the fourth season disappointed both fans and critics alike. Thanks to Harmon’s rabid supporters and the goodwill for the show, the network rehired him. Along with him, former writer-producer Chris McKenna is also back. It’s time to return to the brightest timeline!

Harmon talked about the show in great deal to New York Times, in an extended profile on the show. He said:

I think it says we got to within spitting distance of syndication numbers, and these 13 episodes felt like, it doesn’t matter who’s running the show this year, so make it Harmon. That’s what I feel like. I’m not flattered by it, and I don’t feel vindicated or boosted by it. I don’t feel like it’s any kind of license to burn money or be unprofessional or self-indulgent in any way. I only feel pressure, because I feel like all I can do is screw up. And there’s only one way to interpret me screwing up, because it can’t possibly be their fault this time.

Community (Season 5) Premiere

It’ll premiere on January 2, 2014. The premiere is titled Repilot, and is directed by Tristram Shapeero. The season will have 13 episodes in total.

Community (Season 5) Cast

There are going to be many interesting additions this season, some obviously targeted to please the show’s core “nerd” audience. Chevy Chase, meanwhile, has very little chances of ever making it back to the show. He and Harmon had a very bitter spat a few years back, which affected the show for the worse. Harmon and Chase both eventually left the show, but now Harmon has made his peace with NBC. Until his next alcohol-fueled meltdown, at least. But Chase’s prospects don’t seem very good. Harmon clarified to NYTimes:

It would take a special situation for Chevy to return to the show.

Main Cast

Joel McHale as Professor Jeff Winger. Yes, “Professor”. You see where this is going. Anyway, all you McHale fans might be glad to know that it is him who is responsible for Dan Harmon’s return. He and Jim Rash (Dean) persuaded Sony and NBC to give Harmon a second chance.

Gillian Jacobs as Britta.

Danny Pudi as Abed.

Yvette Nicole Brown as Shirley.

Alison Brie as Annie.

Jim Rash as Dean.

Ken Jeong as Chang.

Donald Glover as Troy. SPOLIER ALERT: This will be his last season. He will be appearing in only five episodes. He has signed on to a music-themed show for FX, called Atlanta. He will star, write, and also serve as the executive producer. It’s not hard to see why he reduced his workload. When asked about how he will make his exit, McHale told TVLine:

There’s a build up to it, and there’s a really good, really funny reason why he leaves.

Recurring Cast

Community - Season 5

Jonathan Banks as Professor Buzz Hickey. Breaking Bad’s Mike Ehrmantraut is heading to Greendale. EW says he’ll play “an intense criminology professor with a mysterious background in military and police work.”

John Oliver as Professor Ian Duncan. Oliver recently left Daily Show, and will be getting his new weekly show in HBO, making Bill Maher redundant.

Kevin Corrigan as Professor Sean Garrity

Dino Stamatopoulos as Star-Burns.

Rob Corddry as Alan Connor

Brie Larson as Rachel

Guest Stars

Nathan Fillion as Bob Waite, a “politically savvy head custodian who’s not afraid to get his hands dirty but is smart enough to wear rubber gloves”, according to Deadline. Looking at the lineup for this season, it looks like the creators have not left any stone unturned in pandering to the internet. Will there be any Firefly references? Oh, you bet.

Tim and Eric as Roger and Billy.

David Cross as Hank Hickey. The Arrested Development star will be appearing in the sequel to Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, one of the show’s classic episodes. According to Vulture, his character will play the “bitterly estranged son” of Jonathan Banks’ character. He “joins the study group for, at the very least, the second most important game of Dungeons & Dragons ever.”

Walton Goggins as Mr. Stone

Mitch Hurwitz as Preston Koogler

Chris Elliott as Russell Borchert

Vince Gilligan, the creator of Breaking Bad, will be making his acting debut here. According to EW Gilligan will play ” a smooth-talking gold digger who winds up exacerbating a fight between Annie (Alison Brie) and Abed (Danny Pudi).”

Kumail Nanjiani, a stand up comedian who you might be familiar with from shows like The Jeselnik Offensive, will also have a guest appearance. I’m sure he’s a big fan of the show and was eager to get a part.

Community (Season 5) Pictures

Community (Season 5) Videos

Reasons to Watch

The show has been one of the most original and inventive comedies on television for the last five years, and with its crazy creator returning, I’m sure there’ll be a lot of new ideas to explore. The chemistry between the cast is always great, and the density of the jokes is always higher than anywhere else on TV. The writers never insult the intelligence of the audience, and the jokes are thick and sophisticated, rivaling the complexity of Arrested Development.

While Community hasn’t been high on the ratings, it has a loyal and supportive fanbase, which has grown over the years, thanks to the internet. Community is probably the internet’s second-most favorite show of all time, behind Firefly.

Reasons to Skip

Well, the show sometimes tries to be a bit too clever, and the self-indulgence is off-putting. It’s not easy to do “meta” humor, as they always come off as smug, but the show mostly handles them fine. But when it makes its self-awareness too obvious, the humor evaporates.