I don’t even know where to start.
CommuniCon had been a pipe dream since the third season hiatus. I think the term was coined during the Paley Fest panel when we realized how many of our Twitter Study Group were either in the actual audience, at the “Greendale Pep Rally” at the NY Paley center (where the panel was being streamed) or huddled around computers watching the feed from Paley’s website. Someone tweeted that it felt like we were all at our own convention and the term “CommuniCon” was born. We started calling any gathering of two or more Community fans CommuniCon and we all talked about how wonderful it would be if a fan convention could happen.
But I never thought it actually WOULD happen.
Not that I don’t have faith in my fellow Community fans. It’s just that organizing an official convention is a massive undertaking. But I should have known better. The one thing you don’t tell a Community fan is that something is impossible. Community fans MAKE things possible.
My lovely friend Gillian followed our favorite instinct here at Head Over Feels (“Screw It, We’re Doing This”) and CommuniCon became a reality. Over the next few months, Gillian, along with me and the rest of the “Tranny Queens” Sarah, Jen and Catherine, emailed and brainstormed and flailed about and maaaaaaaaaaaaybe abused an imdb pro account (*innocent whistle*) to put it together (it should also be mentioned that NONE OF US lived in Los Angeles, where it was held). Tickets to the Con sold out in minutes and there was a wait list up until the very last day. I cashed in my long saved frequent flier miles for a trip to LA, booked a hotel room with my future wives and BARELY beat Winter Storm Nemo out of New York City on Friday.
It was better than I could have even imagined it would be.
“We’re together. That makes this the perfect timeline.”
Two years ago my friend Tevy changed my life when he handed me the DVD of the first season of Community and said “Kim, I don’t know why you aren’t watching this show but you should be.” Now, some people (though I doubt anyone who reads this blog) may think it is silly of me to say that a television show changed my life. But it’s true. Community unleashed the fangirl in me that had clearly been dying to get out, and I don’t regret letting her out for a SECOND. She’s a big reason this blog even EXISTS.
I have loved a lot of shows in my lifetime. The X-Files. Friends. Lost. How I Met Your Mother. Grey’s Anatomy. But little did I know what kind of love affair would launch when I started Community. I devoured practically two seasons in a weekend (the first episode I ever watched live was Season Two’s “Applied Anthropology and Culinary Arts”). I found things in each member of the Greendale Seven that I loved and related to. Annie’s driven nature and competitiveness. Britta’s needless defiance and desire to do the right thing, even if she is the worst at it. Shirley’s desire to reinvent herself. Troy’s innocence and joy in everything he does. The way Abed sees everything through a pop culture lens because that’s how he relates to the world. Jeff’s struggle between being the man he thinks he wants to be and the man he actually IS. And even Pierce. Pierce just wants to belong and feel relevant. In fact, that is the common thread between all the members of the study group. Community is at its heart a show about finding where you belong and finding people who love you, no matter how weird or damaged you are. Isn’t that the very thing that all of us as Human Beings want? To know that we are not alone in this world?
I may have been late to the Community party, but once I was there, I was all in. I didn’t shut up about the show. I wanted EVERYONE to know what I had discovered: that something about this strange little study group at the world’s wackiest Community college was incredibly special. Sure, the show was hysterical, but underneath the metaness and movie parodies there beat a giant heart. I will never understand why some people don’t SEE THAT when they watch the show.
Community Held Hostage, Day 10. Things are starting to feel dire. The longer we go without any word, the more I fear we’ll be airing in January. There was a giant tease yesterday when TV.com listed a return date of 11/1/12…which would have meant that Up All Night was toast and Community was moving into its place. Alas, that rumor proved to be false when TV.com confirmed that all listings are user-generated. It’s a double edge sword…I desperately want my show back, but I ALSO don’t want it airing in the bloodbath that is the NBC Thursday Night line-up. So the Community fandom continues to wait and watch the ratings for Animal Practice and Guys with Kids like a hawk. With any luck, by this time tomorrow, one or both of those shows will be off the line-up.
But I’m not writing this blog to be a downer. Not today anyway. Today I choose to celebrate what I love about Community by naming my top 5 episodes. I talked this over with Jenn yesterday for a good while…how to even pick a top 5? Surely a top 10 would be easier and more forgiving of personal sentiment over episode quality. All of that is true. But I wanted to choose a top 5. Someone of these choices reflect personal preference, some of the episodes are ones that are no brainers. All of them are episodes I would choose to show a Community newbie to hook them into the series. So here we go…POP POP.
5) Debate 109
This is my most sentimental Top 5 choice. I chose this episode because the moment in that gif? That’s the exact moment that I fell in love with Community…when Annie Edison took down her hair and Jeff Winger was completely gobsmacked by it. I remember watching this episode in my season one marathon and this moment happened and I sat up and said, “Ooooohhh…now THIS is interesting.” And the rest of the episode sealed the deal. I was all in with Community. I don’t think the writers had ANY idea what would happen when they put Jeff and Annie (or more specifically, Joel McHale and Alison Brie) together. Their chemistry is nothing short of electric.
PS Dan Harmon, I’m 33 years old and I ship Jeff and Annie like no one’s business. And it’s NOT because I think they look cute together.