Will “six seasons and a movie” come true? Has Greendale Community College been saved? What happens next to Jeff Winger and the study group? TV Guide’s executive editor, Michael Schneider, moderated the panel “Greendale Forever: TV Guide Magazine’s Tribute to Community” Thursday afternoon in Ballroom 20 with the show’s creator, Dan Harmon, and members of the cast, who discussed what the future holds for this fan-favorite comedy.
Schneider opened by referring to the panel as the “Community Reborn” panel. He introduced Dino Stamatopoulos (Star-Burns), Executive Producer Chris McKenna, Harmon, Jim Rash (Dean Pelton), Gillian Jacobs (Britta), and Joel McHale (Jeff Winger).
Harmon, “Ugh, I look like a bad Russell Crowe.” He claimed to not know what goes on about decision to come back. “Hail Hydra? You’ll be watching it how you always have, but now it will be legal.” He didn’t want the fans to be crushed. It’s all about a corporate commodity.
McHale said he had no doubt Community would come back in some fashion, “Like a Japanese general in WWI, there were only two options, victory or suicide.” But he wants to be paid what Jim Parsons is paid. “I could not be happier the show is back.” He said he knows most fans (mostly white people) watch the show on a tiny little screen, “so fuck you, network TV”.
Jacobs, referring to her inability to hear on the Comic-Con stage said she now understands all those years of “I can’t hear you” and the response, “Oh, now, Chevy…”
When asked about how far they are in the process of season six, Harmon said they are “hard at work on the Pokemon episode.” Already doing so many unique episodes, is there anything Harmon wants to do? “I’ve always wanted to work in that anti-vaccination issue.” Seriously, he wants to attempt to make the same show and let the lack of boundaries see where it goes.
On Yahoo, Community will be weekly, not under the Netflix model.
Is Greendale really saved? Harmon likes the idea of an underdog school.
Is there still a Jeff and Britta? Harmon said it’s an ensemble show about human beings. Human beings fall in love and have relationships that complicate life. “That’s the most important thing. It’s not just a workplace comedy. Centering the show on a relationship would be the beginning of the end.” He threw in at the end, “and everyone’s going to be a vampire.”
Dino, “What show are we talking about?” Someone replied, “Reign.”
Is the Dean misunderstood? Rash said, “At his core, he’s trying to do his best. He really does love these people.”
Will Pierce’s chair be filled? Rash, “It’s Bendict Cumberbatch.”
Can the show move away from Greendale? Harmon said the show has always been about more than the school. Coming back for season five and rebooting the show caused different ideas about its outcome.
Jacobs’ favorite moment from season five? “It’s hard to pick an episode given the plethora of great episodes. I loved my wolf howl.” Rash liked the D&D episode, “It was interesting being in that bedroom with different combinations (of characters) than you usually see.”
The first day on set, Jonathan Banks responded to stage direction by saying, “I’ll punch you in the heart,” Harmon said.
Harmon’s favorite part of season five was that three characters got to “do” Gary Oldman from The Professional. He wishes he could have the whole cast do it.
The final 15 minutes of the panel were devoted to Q&A from obviously rabid fans in the audience. It was a fun, entertaining hour for all those involved, especially when two members of the audience approached the microphone dressed as Community “Human Beings”. Harmon asked if they worked for Amazon, because two packages were just delivered!