Top 10 'Community' revelations and spoilers from PaleyFest 2013
No comedy since "Arrested Development" has handled a turbulent run with as much quirky wit as "Community." The NBC series about the eccentric members of a Greendale Community College study group has navigated critical acclaim and floundering ratings; epic gaps midseason and between seasons; and passionate superfans who took to the cyberstreets with gusto. Who can forget the trending Twitter hashtags #SaveCommunity, #SixSeasonsAndAMovie, and #OccupyNBC when the series was on the bubble mid-Season 3? There was even a fan-fueled flash mob outside Rockefeller Center during the "Occupy NBC" movement.
Not to mention the exodus of crew (creator Dan Harmon, executive producers Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan, and writer/producer Chris McKenna left after Season 3) and superstar Chevy Chase, who had a much-publicized feud with Harmon before eventually leaving the comedy.
But the show must go on! Now a Harmon-less Season 4 is under way (after a nearly yearlong break), but will there be a Season 5? Will there be another iconic movie-based episode? Will there be, er, puppets?
The cast (Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Yvette Nicole Brown, Danny Pudi, Alison Brie, Jim Rash) and executive producers (Russ Krasnoff, David Guarascio, Moses Port, Tristram Shapeero, Andy Bobrow) gathered at PaleyFest 2013 to answer these questions and more, as well as sing and dance. Here are the spoilers and revelations shared by the panel.
1. Jeff, I am your father
Happy belated Thanksgiving! (NBC repeatedly delayed the show's return.) There's an important episode coming up Thursday night, according to McHale -- who plays "Community's" lead role, Jeff Winger -- and it's all about the evolution of Jeff. He finally meets his dad, and it's going to be intense. Who's playing the dad? James Brolin! (Too bad McHale was joking when he said Barbra Streisand was cast as his mom.)
It also has massive implications for wannabe psychologist Britta Perry, played by Gillian Jacobs. She's always wanted to tackle Jeff's daddy issues head on, so as Jacobs said, "This is a feather in her cap."
2. Britta and Troy: Are they doomed?
The panel seemed to agree that Britta is about the worst fit ever for Troy Barnes (played by Donald Glover). But are they doomed? Well, the panel wouldn't give fans a straight answer ("Why would we tell you what's coming up? Watch it live!" Jacobs said), but Guarascio said fans should not make any assumptions and that this couples' demise is not a forgone conclusion. It's time for the "resurrection of Britta," which might lead to something unexpected, he said.
3. Jim Rash goes behind the camera and gets freaky
Oscar winner Jim Rash, who plays Dean Pelton, took his mad skills behind the camera for a "Freaky Friday"-inspired Season 4 episode he wrote with Danny Pudi, who plays Abed Nadir. And McHale is stoked about it!
Rash shared some heartfelt words, saying that the experience was humbling and he was honored to "maintain a vision that the creator [Harmon] gave us." The episode will feature "Freaky Friday"-esque body switching and some awesome impressions by Glover, said Pudi and McHale.
4. Finally, an origin story
Ever wonder where, how, and why the study group originated? Get ready to find out. The origin story will be from Abed's perspective and take on a superhero twist, said Guarascio, because in the eyes of the producers, these characters are superheroes (aww). Not to mention that comic books are natural fit for a "Community" episode, which has taken on numerous pop-culture phenomena. Also, according to Guarascio, Annie's boobs are part of the origin story, so there's that, too.