Watching the fifth season of “Community” feels like returning to your old school after you left. Awkward and out of place. Sure, it’s where you were shaped as a person. You’ve also met some really cool people that you try to keep in touch with. Still, you’ve moved on and grown apart from it. I haven’t watched “Community” in its entirety, but I’ve watched the majority of the first season and all of the fourth season. If it’s on the TV, I’ll stay on the channel. Sadly, the show I looked forward to seeing has gone downhill this past season. It also feels empty without Pierce Hawthrone (Chevy Chase). There’s still the random humour in “Community”, luckily. Troy’s (Donald Glover) last episode was especially hilarious, but it’s not enough to make the fifth year worth it.
Well, well, don’t we feel a little ambitious?
The plot of “Community” feels out of place and a touch rushed this season. We’re introduced to Jeff (Joel McHale) trying to save the community college from shutting down. After he and the gang meets up in-where else?-the study room, they all conclude their lives have been worse since they graduated. They are about to sue Greendale, and burn the study room desk. Then, decide to take a fifth year, and Jeff becomes a teacher.
Wait, what? It’s easy to change your mind about school often, but taking more classes right after you think about suing the school is implausible and awkward. Speaking of returning, the premiere lacked a proper departing ceremony for the rest of the characters. To recap, Jeff is the only one of the study room crew seen graduating at a ceremony. I get it, Dean Pelton (Jim Rash) is obsessed with Jeff, but the other characters deserve recognition. Plus, it was the Dean’s idea for Jeff to become a teacher, despite that he’s clearly not qualified.
Other than Professor Hickey (Johnathan Banks) replacing Pierce, there’s no new characters on the show. Definitely odd for a new school year. “Community” also gets rid of Pierce abruptly. Just before the try to figure out the Ass Crack Bandit, Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown) breaks the news to Annie (Allison Brie) and Jeff that Pierce died. I understand why they did it this way. Since Chase was fired, killing off his character guarantees he won’t return. Still, it’s out of place in this episode. There was no funeral for him, but the episode still included the characters revealing awful secrets about each other, as per usual. That episode, along with Abed (Danny Pudi) hosting a Greendale wide game of Hot Lava for Troy, brought back the humour and charm “Community” is known for. Since the show won’t be the same without Pierce or Troy, their departures reflected them well, as they should.
The best part of “Community” this season is their use of lighting. Darker tones for the gloomier episodes, and the usual brightness for the cheerier ones. If anything, “Community” scores an A+ for using the lighting to reflect the mood. Still, the awkward return to Greendale makes a regretful fifth year. The previous episodes are still great memories, but this season of “Community” isn’t one you want captured in a yearbook.