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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Community light
Is it as good as the first 3 seasons? No, of course not. Dan Harmon is the heart of the show. But still the smartest, funniest show on TV. On their worst day they are still the best comedy since Seinfeld. This is a must buy and I cannot wait until the series is released on bluray
Published 15 months ago by kelly moya

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56 of 70 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bring Back Dan? Yes, please.
I watched the last episode of Community and sensed something was definitely "off". Then I read these reviews and discovered NBC had gotten rid of Dan Harmon. What a shame; Community was just taking off. People were just discovering this brilliant original show and its talented cast. I still love the cast, but the actors can't shine the way they did. It's still a nice...
Published 20 months ago by Only in Marin


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56 of 70 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bring Back Dan? Yes, please., March 30, 2013
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I watched the last episode of Community and sensed something was definitely "off". Then I read these reviews and discovered NBC had gotten rid of Dan Harmon. What a shame; Community was just taking off. People were just discovering this brilliant original show and its talented cast. I still love the cast, but the actors can't shine the way they did. It's still a nice show, but it's not the Community it was under Harmon. I hope it gets better.
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30 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars They're trying too hard, April 28, 2013
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This review is from: Community Season 4 (Amazon Instant Video)
Without Dan Harmon at the helm, a lot of fans worried that the show would deteriorate into the tired old sitcom tropes that the new showrunners have been a party to in the past on their less-unconventional series.

That hasn't happened--but what has happened has got me wondering if maybe taking a more conventional approach would have been a way to revitalize Community. Rather than go their own way, the new team have done their best to replicate Harmon's madcap energy and it just feels...not quite right. It's like when Aykroyd and John Goodman tried to recapture the magic of "The Blues Brothers." That movie was, objectively, pretty funny but as you watched it, it just FELT terrible.

That's how it is here; in their attempts to maintain continuity with the Community of old, the new guys are failing to do the thing they're MOST responsible for: Making the best show they can make with the talent and resources at hand.
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31 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Community at it's best, but still Community, June 30, 2013
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David Richins (Phoenix, Az USA) - See all my reviews
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The lack of creator Dan Harmon shows in every moment of season 4. It's hard to quantify really, but the mistakes this season makes are the same so many fan fiction writers make. The writing doesn't have the same grasp of the themes of the show and lacks the grounding that makes the show so great. In the commentaries on the previous season DVDs, Harmon repeatedly points out that they write the outline for what story they want to tell, and then work out the jokes and cute meta twists they'll take on after. Season 4 seemed to focus on the fan service first, then wrote stories around that.
All that said, Community features the best cast of comedians on television. Between the cast and supporting cast, a writer would have to go out of their way to come up with a script that would not be funny in their hands. If you take comparisons to other seasons out of your evaluation, season 4 remains one of the funniest sitcoms out there. I am however extremely excited that Dan Harmon will be returning for the show's 5th season and we can look back on season 4 as the Minerva of Community seasons.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Community light, August 19, 2013
This review is from: Community: Season 4 (DVD)
Is it as good as the first 3 seasons? No, of course not. Dan Harmon is the heart of the show. But still the smartest, funniest show on TV. On their worst day they are still the best comedy since Seinfeld. This is a must buy and I cannot wait until the series is released on bluray
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Short Season of Disappointments, July 20, 2013
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This review is from: Community: Season 4 (DVD)
Community remains to be my favorite TV sitcom in recent years. I love its mix of witty humor, pop culture references, invested and well thought out characters. As some may know already, Dan Harmon, the creator of the show was abruptly dismissed from any more contributions to the show as NBC was unimpressed by the ratings the show received. The backlash from NBC got to Dan Harmon's head and he stepped down from his beloved series before the series would be set up for an inevitable cancellation. To his surprise, the show was picked up for a fourth season but this time NBC would have more creative input.

Season 4 was mediocre at best, with hints and splashes of greatness in between. The first 3 seasons had a distinct narrative that never lost its step, even though each season had a different feel (with season 3 being the most experimental). But without the creative input of Dan Harmon, the show simply lost the magic it had during its previous seasons. The jokes were redundant and predictable, there were way too many running gags that felt forced, and the concepts of each episode (while had a lot of potential) fell unbelievably short. The reason why the show fell from grace is not only because of Dan Harmon's absence, but also the departure of his frequent collaborators that left the same time Harmon left. The Russo Brothers directed just about 70% of the past Community episodes and their stylistic choices are incredibly missed when watching Season 4. Some of the writers from past seasons stayed, but again, without Dan Harmon's input, it felt like the writers ideas were based on past material rather than creating entirely fresh ones.

Every episode (while had great ideas) rushed everything possible. The conversations between characters felt convoluted as if they weren't having a real conversation at all and the stories quickly pan out to the next scene without letting the viewers absorb everything. There are some episodes that I thoroughly enjoyed. "Cooperative Escapism in Familial Relationship" in which Jeff's dad was introduced for the first time was actually well executed, but could've used more refining in spots. "Intro to Felt Surrogacy" with the musical puppets was entertaining and fun. And I particularly loved "Basic Human Anatomy" where Troy and Abed switched bodies while Troy was internalizing his new love relationship with Britta, and the wonderful Jim Rash who plays the Dean in the show actually wrote that episode. "Heroic Origins" was also an interesting episode that showed all of the characters past and how they coincidentally intertwined with one another.

But there are a lot of disappointments for community fans that it just becomes depressing to think about. The holiday themed episodes such as the Halloween and Christmas episodes didn't match up to any of the past Community holiday specials. They lacked a message and they lacked originality. The inspector space time convention episode was just a waste of an episode in my opinion. The season finale was decent enough, but not the way I would've imagined Jeff to leave Greendale. There were just way too many filler episodes that lacked the fun and smart writing that past seasons had and its just depressing to know that Dan Harmon could've ended his show with a bang with the 4th season. *Dan Harmon originally wanted Community to run for 4 seasons to parallel the 4 years of college a student would have to attend in order to obtain a degree, in this case Jeff Winger receiving his Bachelors degree and going back to being a lawyer. But thanks to the condensed 13-episode season and lack of belief and cooperation from NBC depriving Dan Harmon to fulfill his goals, we are just forced to live with this mess of a season that could've been great. There were so many storylines that were taken away from Dan Harmon to write himself such as Jeff meeting his dad, the graduation of Jeff, the relationship between Troy and Britta and even the direction of Chang's character that Dan Harmon could've executed way better; not to mention better episodes in general.

Optimistically there will be a Season 5 and Dan Harmon has returned to being the front show-runner again. However Chevy Chase who played Pierce will not be returning to the show, and recently announced, Donald Glover who plays Troy (arguably my favorite character on the show) will have a limited role of only 5 episodes.... With so much going against it, hopefully Dan Harmon could do some damage control and revitalize his show back to its glory days and at least give Community fans something to look forward to.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The spark just isn't there..., October 15, 2013
This review is from: Community: Season 4 (DVD)
As other reviews point out, this season of Community suffered from the loss of showrunner Dan Harmon and a couple other critical writers. As a result, this season feels a little like it's running on autopilot. The basic episode formula is followed, and for the most part still funny, but the creative spark has gone a little dim. The show's real strength is in the central cast, and they just don't evolve or show the same level of nuance as in previous seasons. Instead they behave largely according to stereotype. The episode rundown itself even feels like it's just imitating previous seasons - there's a Halloween episode, a documentary episode, a sudden medium change episode (Sesame Street-style puppets, in this case), and it's all capped off with a paintball episode. It's still funny in many places, and a newcomer would probably still find it great, but true fans might do best to catch the (admittedly adorable) puppet episode, skip the rest, and hold out for Harmon's return in season 5.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay, but not as good as the prior seasons, October 25, 2013
By 
Mike S. (Minneapolis, MN) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Community: Season 4 (DVD)
I agree with the other reviewers who said this season felt off. The show became less about the school, classes and how the various relationships revolved around those and more about the offbeat "specialty" episodes. What made the original paintball episode so great was that is came out of nowhere and was still tied to the school story. Every year after that, they tried to one up what happened before to the point where many episodes became less and less believable.

That said, the show still has its entertaining points. The puppet episode, while it fell within what I described above, was funny, and it would have been perfect had they not followed up with the alternate universe story or had the haunted house episode earlier. Malcolm McDowell as the cranky history teacher was one thing that worked very well this season, but unfortunately he was not around enough. The ensemble cast is still very good, but will take a hit into the 5th season with the departures of Chevy Chase and Donald Glover. It will be interesting to see where the show goes now that Dan Harmon is back as the show runner. Hopefully it will return to the season one and two version of the show which were pure genius.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still a great show!, April 15, 2014
This review is from: Community: Season 4 (DVD)
Although Community's creator Dan Harmon was fired by NBC at the end of Season 3 (which, despite the loss of viewers from the previous season, was as inventive, entertaining, and distinct from anything else on TV), Season 4 is a good representation of what the amazing vision of a show without limits can be minus it's head writer. Yes, a difference can be felt in the writing, but the general premise remains in tact throughout the episodes. As a huge fan of the show, I was somewhat disappointed in the lack of "classroom material" as seen in the previous seasons (the insanity in Spanish class, the discovery in Anthropology, and the understanding in Biology), especially with the amazing Malcolm McDowell teaching History. Even with the extreme budget cuts, the actors perform exemplary with continuing each characters journey. The sets add to the show as good as any other season. Overall, it does lack the feel of Dan Harmon's unique vision, but still entertaining and enjoyable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Uneven, but still good., February 8, 2014
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ricketsj (St. Paul, MN United States) - See all my reviews
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Amid all the cast drama and without Dan Harmon, the show definitely did take a hit in consistent quality. Still, there were enjoyable episodes that I've watched multiple times. The biggest factor in the dip in quality was really (in my humble opinion) the fact that NBC pushed it to February and cut it to thirteen episodes. This meant that themed episode like the Halloween or Christmas shows were all completely off, timing wise, and there was not enough time to do appropriate character development. It's still worth watching, and I'm glad the show has made it into season 5 and that Dan Harmon is back. Season 4 was an adequate, though sometimes uneven, bridge to get there.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Show, December 2, 2013
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This review is from: Community: Season 4 (DVD)
We love Community and have all the seasons now. If you have not seen this hilarious show, we highly recommend it. It is quirky at times, but it is hard NOT to fall in love with the characters (even the darkness that is Pierce, who redeems himself in this season). Also, the paintball, holidays, and Dungeons and Dragons episodes are so hilarious my wife and I still laugh out loud when we watch them even though we've seen them at least 30 times by now, if not more! Start with Season One, and work your way up-- you won't be disappointed!
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