TV Land: Community of fans, unite!

jessicapena.columnist1

I was going to write about Thanksgiving this week. I was going to write about how glorious it is that once a year (more than once in my case), we can sit down as proud Americans and engorge ourselves with genetically-modified organisms while I sit at the kids’ table. But, I’m unable to meditate on what is clearly the sexiest of Turkey-themed holidays — the other being Arbor Day, naturally. No, I find myself angrier this week, more perturbed and perplexed than the day I had to cross dress in order to protect China from the Huns. Wait. That’s “Mulan.” Never mind.

I kid, but I’m still irked and not necessarily because these are times that are a “chwiarghngkiing,”  as Bob Dylan would say because his voice sounds like he swallowed a hawk. There are protests afoot, there is a mood of general discontent which apparently smells like vanilla bean incense (who knew?), and something has happened which has shaken me to the core. Now, it’s not on a level with the future state of public higher education, but for fellow TV nerds (a.k.a. shut-ins), this is crucial news: NBC has postponed “Community.”

If you haven’t shit your pants from shock yet, stay with me people. I’ll console you with my casual combinations of consonants and vowels. On Monday, NBC announced its midseason line up. Basically, the midseason occurs when every one’s recovered from experiencing the world’s third sexiest Turkey-themed holiday (Christmas) and they’ve realized there’s a hole in their lives so they turn on the television. But, now that black abyss within me will never be filled. “Community” isn’t coming back. At least, not this spring. Fans, it’s time to occupy NBC. Or at the very least, it’s time to occupy In N’ Out because I haven’t been there in two years. Two years!

For those who know “Community,” you’re already aware of its brilliance. I’ve mentioned the show before in passing, but I’ve never outlined why it’s a treasure of TV. “Community” ­— like “Arrested Development” or “30 Rock” — is irreverent, strange, perhaps on acid at moments, but all with a heart of gold. It’s a show that loves its characters and treats them with a poignant level of realism despite having an episode done entirely in stop-motion animation or one set in the fantasy world of “Dungeons & Dragons.” It’s also a show catered to the rich, and passionate world of TV fandom.

Fans have ample power nowadays in the world of entertainment. They can exercise their dissent as Team Coco did during the tragic Late Night Wars, they can campaign on Facebook to bring back a beloved Golden Girl to the screen and, most vitally, save a show from entering the crevasse of cancellation from which no one ever escapes. When “Friday Night Lights” was on the verge of being discontinued (the word “cancel” wreaks too much emotion for me to write), fans rose up, wrote letters, signed Internet petitions and the show was kept on, albeit on a different network.

This is what needs to be done for “Community.” I’m not declaring that everyone needs to watch the show. I couldn’t possibly do that as a person who encourages individual agency. Also, my throat hurts because maybe I was imitating an aging Bob Dylan alone in my room so a vocal declaration would pose problems. All I’m saying is what I’ve been saying all along: I have an addiction to pornography. Wait. What? No. That’s not what I’m saying.

What I mean to say is that television is no longer passive. Fans are as integral to the shows they watch as the writers, the actors, the crew and in the case of “Community,” the monkey named “Annie’s Boobs.” Though “Community” has not been cancelled, the postponement doesn’t bode well. It’s up to you guys, you fans, ye band of brothers (yes, Shakespeare) to stand up and save the shows that we love the most. And, if you don’t, I will broadcast myself doing that Bob Dylan impression and it is highly disturbing.