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An interesting Gawker piece comparing Community and Big Bang Theory and their representations of geek culture:

To some extent, Community's popularity and the emergence of these independent internet cultures are driven by demographic changes on the internet, which is more ethnically, racially and socio-economically diverse, and far more female than it used to be. The show's cast matches that shift; it also skews younger, and where Big Bang Theory's cultural references lean heavy on iconic comic-book geekery, Community's Barenaked Ladies, Friends and Luis Guzman jokes feed into the instant nostalgia that makes those "You Know You Were a 90s Kid If..." Thought Catalog and Buzzfeed articles so terrifyingly popular.

The youth of the new internet cultures, and the sites on which they're emerging — Tumblr, Reddit, 4chan, Twitter — is important, because their different relationship to geek cultures partially marks a generational shift. HBO is making multipart fantasy sagas and FX is optioning semi-obscure Image comics, so Big Bang Theory, which drenches itself in meticulously accurate geek-culture references, isn't the big deal to the internet that it would've been in the days when message boards were mostly devoted to complaining about comic-book movies taking huge liberties with their source material and television writers not checking the science behind their relativity jokes.

In fact, the obsessive sci-fi/fantasy fandom with which Big Bang Theory beats its viewers over the head is increasingly foreign to a youthful internet culture, which recognizes Community's seamless and unconcerned weaving of geek tropes and icons into its universe as more familiar and more realistic. Community, which devoted an entire episode to a Dungeons and Dragons session uses geek culture as a means to explore its characters. On Big Bang Theory it's supposed to be a end unto itself.

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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"How Community Makes Pillow Fights Matter":

Let’s admit this up front: Community has a formula. In their most popular and acclaimed episodes, they take a small-stakes event (such as a paintball match, a game of dungeons and dragons, the disappearance of chicken fingers from the school cafeteria) and treat them as if they are life-or-death matters. But the fact that it’s a formula doesn’t make it any less profound. Community manages to illuminate a central hidden truth about human relations: Small things matter.

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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The Michael K. Williams "man's gotta have a code" jokes were my favorite parts of last night's episode.

... not just the line itself, though, but also Dean Pelton's hysterical reaction. (Between this and his response to Jeff's aviator shades, a few episodes back, the Dean's reactions to things have provided some of the funniest moments of the season.)

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NBC gives final, shortened seasons to ‘30 Rock’, ‘Community’ and ‘Parks and Recreation’:

NBC has picked up a half dozen new shows for next season and multiple reports say the network will give final shortened seasons to its veteran sitcoms "30 Rock," "Community" and "Parks and Recreation."

NBC had not confirmed any pickups of returning shows as of early afternoon Tuesday. But the network in the past has embraced all three, despite their relatively low ratings, because they are critical and cult favorites.

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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For what its worth, I have seen several reports-- including one from Alan Sepinwall, who has been cited several times in this thead-- note that the report Jason posted is not necessarily accurate. While 30 Rock has been picked up for its final season, and while Community has also been renewed, there is no official confirmation that it will be the last season of Community, or even that it will be a short one (NBC may up its order from 13 episodes to a full season, depending on ratings). Parks and Rec has not officially been renewed at all, but at this point it seems pretty likely, what with it getting higher ratings than Community does.

I also have to say that last night's Community was a great one for long-time fans-- loved the references to the paintball episodes, to the "secret trampoline," to the previous clip shows, to the missing pen, and so on.

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NBC Announces Community Will Continue To Not Be Canceled

Personally, I don't feel like the episodes have been too Abed-centric. For example, "Virtual Systems Analysis" was just as much about Annie as it was about Abed and "Basic Lupine Urology" was a nice showcase for nearly everyone. Haven't seen last night's episode yet.

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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Last night's episode caught me off guard. At first, it seemed like it was just a retread of "Paradigms of Human Memory," but with John Hodgman instead of the monkey (Annie's Boobs). But then it switched at the end of act two and became something different. I thought the episode worked really well.

Edited by Tyler

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--The National, "Graceless"
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The final three episodes of the season will all air tomorrow… and the gang is going 8-bit.

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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I really enjoyed last nights triune of episodes. The whole eight bit thing worked well, and I thought it was one of the better Pierce centered episodes.

"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

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I liked the 8-bit episode for its "only on Community" formal boldness, and thought they pulled it off fairly well... but I think both that episode and the Ocean's 11 homage were a little bit lacking in the more emotional and human elements that characterize the show at its best, and that you find more abundantly in similar episodes like the claymation one, etc. But both were funny and clever, and the finale-- easily my favorite episode of the night-- had enough heart for the whole lot of them.

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Yeah...I just missed this last night and saw a blog post from Dan Harmon. Thanks, Sony. Now I actually fear the next season could be a show I do not recognize.

"You know...not EVERY story has to be interesting." -Gibby

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My hope is that, since NBC has already, seemingly, given up hope on the show ever becoming a hit-- it's airing on Friday nights from here on out-- the network won't feel it necessary to dictate major changes to the show. Of course it will be a different show-- it was always Harmon's baby-- but maybe it can still be a special show, and a show that's true to the spirit of what Community has been for these first three seasons.

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Last night's episode caught me off guard. At first, it seemed like it was just a retread of "Paradigms of Human Memory," but with John Hodgman instead of the monkey (Annie's Boobs). But then it switched at the end of act two and became something different. I thought the episode worked really well.

I've been on the road lately and saw the final three episodes without realizing I'd missed this one along the way. While it is definitely not the best episode for someone watching the show for the first time, I think it is my favorite episode because it is the most Community-y of episodes I can remember while still packing in the jokes. (Community much? Say Community much, much?)

At its best, Community reminds me of those late 90s Simpsons episodes that felt like they were so much longer than 23 minutes because how can you pack so many jokes into such a small time frame?

Edited by J. Henry Waugh
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Hollywood Reporter has obtained a leaked memo outlining how cast members should talk about Harmon leaving.

I wanted to forward some messaging we hope our cast will find helpful as they navigate questions that will undoubtedly come up.

...

Why did Dan get let go from the show?

We're not made aware of why staffing changes take place but I will always be grateful to Dan for his great work on the show and wish him only the best. We're also excited that we'll be back on NBC's schedule in the fall and are looking forward to working on those episodes.

It's the side effects that save us.
--The National, "Graceless"
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I hate seeing Harmon and the writers go, but the characters are established and the cast is incredibly talented. I hope the new showrunners let the actors do their thing in whatever more accessible scenarios come up next season. I just don't buy anything they do at this point actually improving either the number of viewers or the quality of the show. It's a real boneheaded move by NBC and Sony.

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