“Six seasons and a movie!”  It’s the rally call of the Human Beings – fans of the NBC show “Community.”  The show’s recent cancellation has not silenced the cries in the least.  Fans still hold out hope that Sony Pictures will find another network Greendale can call home.

The term “six seasons and a movie” comes from an episode in Community’s second season.  Abed emulates a character from a new TV show, driving Jeff crazy.  Jeff tells Abed that the show won’t last three weeks, and Abed replies “Six seasons and a movie!!!” as he flies out of the cafeteria.  Shows like “Community” as well as “Arrested Development” and “Sports Night” before it, know that television is a tough business, and like to play with that fact.  By bringing the knowledge of their impending doom into the fictional world and making it a plot point or a running gag, it gives the dedicated fans an inside joke to share with each other and the show as well.  Since the second season, Community has been “on the bubble” every year, when it comes to renewal.  Community fans took that shared joke, and turned it into a mantra.  It’s gone from being just about “Community” to being thrown around for any show with a dedicated fan base.

The question is, does everything really need six seasons and a movie.  A lot of discussion can be thrown around, but here’s the short answer – No.   I am all about fans fighting for their shows, but there are too many shows that stay on the air long after their prime for one reason, money.  When the networks stretch out a show for too long, it ends up losing it’s luster.  I gave up on “Friends” before Bruce Willis came into the picture.  I was Ross & Rachel’d out.  

Good TV shows are like chocolate cake.  They are freaking delicious, and the more you eat the more you want.  A good show with too short of a run is like a slice of cake, it leaves you wanting more.  Now if the show has a good run,  it’s like a personal sized cake. There’s not too much, and it’s not too rich – it’s just right.  Now if you have a decadent layer cake, once you get started, you’re going to want to keep going.  It seems like a good idea at the time, but when it turns out to be a sheet cake,  it gets stale towards the end and you end up with a stomach ache.  It happens all too often.  I would have been so happy if “The X-Files” did six seasons and a movie and left it at that.  (Technically it would have been five season and a movie and a season.)  After the sixth season, it seemed like they were just looking for ways to keep it going and bring in more money.  The content really suffered because of that.

Sometimes it’s just better to let your show go to the great TV beyond.  It’s nice there.  They can relive their glory moments over and over, without a Nielsen for miles.

That being said, one network’s cancellation can be another network’s golden ticket.  Many people might think of a network switch as just a short stay of execution.  I mean, the show got cancelled for a reason, right?  After eight years on ABC, did CBS really think “Family Matters” was going to be it’s saving grace?  It didn’t seem so, as Steve Urkel and the clan were re-cancelled after only one season.  ABC tried harder when it acquired “Scrubs” after seven seasons. New characters were brought in and old ones were phased out in hopes that the show could be more like “ER” with a revolving cast.  Scrubs lasted two seasons on ABC, with long time fans a little miffed at the new direction.

Other shows however, had much more positive runs on their new networks.  “Futurama” pulled a “Family Guy” and was brought back from the abyss years after its cancellation, this time by Comedy Central.  With five years and several made for TV movies under it’s belt, Futurama was more successful in it’s second home than it was on Fox.  Now imagine a world without Mark Harmon as NCIS Agent Gibbs.  Voted America’s favorite TV show in 2011, “NCIS” would not be going on to a twelfth season if CBS didn’t pick up NBC’s leftovers  NBC cancelled “JAG” in 1996 after one season.  CBS picked it up, and in 2003 created a spin off that was more about catching criminals than trying them.  Thus, NCIS was born.

Community may never get its six seasons and a movie.  Instead of wallowing in the sorrow of a show cancelled too soon, enjoy it for what it was.  If it never comes back, we won’t have to sit through an episode where, well, hmm…all the stupid, crazy, “jump the shark” episode premises I actually think they can pull off.  Even a “Freaky Friday” scenario with Britta and Pierce’s ghost.  There’s still hope it can exist in one format or another in order to fill its prophecy.  That wouldn’t be unheard of.  It might even launch a spin off of it’s own, starring The Dean and Chang as hobos riding the rails.  A girl can dream.

About The Author

Contributing Writer

Stefanie cannot remember a time when television was not an important aspect of her life. She has many grand memories of the 9 inch black and white TV on which she used to watch Nick at Nite classics. Stefanie has always fancied herself as a storyteller at heart, no matter which medium she (choo-choo) chooses. Despite her dedication to television, Stefanie actually does have a real flesh and blood husband. They live together outside of Chicago, with their menagerie of animals. Stefanie also classifies herself as a child at heart, with a whimsy only previously found in a Muppet. Stefanie graduated with a degree in Television Production from Columbia College Chicago, and currently works as freelance camera/editor as well as serving as Head Editor at Arlington International. She also believes the solar system has 9 planets and refuses to recognize Pluto’s demotion.