'Community' panel at Comic-Con: Season 5 will go back to basics

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Image Credit: Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images

The Project
Community

The Panel
Dan Harmon, Jim Rash (Dean Pelton), Yvette Nicole Brown (Shirley), Alison Brie (Annie), Ken Jeong (Chang), Danny Pudi (Abed), Gillian Jacobs (Britta), and writer Chris McKenna

Footage Screened
A fan appreciation comparing the constant renewal of the beloved show to the Twinkie, the McRib and the triumph of putting a man on the moon. Big cheers erupted when Joel McHale said he wished he could french kiss all the rabid fans. Ending with the popular and now familiar “six seasons and a movie” slogan, the clip set the tone for the rest of the panel.

A great gag reel of Brie rapping, everyone dancing, and of course lots of laughing.

Snap Judgment
Dan Harmon came out in an Iron Man costume that said “streets ahead” on the back, with loud rock music paying. “It is good to be back,” he said. “I am millionaire playboy and creator Dan Harmon.”

Harmon does not consider these episodes the final 13, but the most important 13 in the history of the show — so he feels a lot of pressure but is excited to start moving. His return as showrunner is giving the creator and mastermind behind Community a lot of ideas for season 5. He wants to get back to the formula for seasons 1 and 2, when each episode was stellar in itself. “Get ready for grounded story work! Who likes their characters dimensionalized?” Harmon shouted.

A video featuring McHale encouraged fans to continue to use their power to make sure the show stays safe — and introduced moderator Chris Hardwick.

Community is the nerdiest show on television,” Hardwick declared. “Philosophically the show is nerdy because it’s this big underdog in the system and you keep fighting through.”

The entire cast was extremely grateful to the fans, and happily surprised they filled Hall H — especially Yvette Nicole Brown. “It’s like a wall of love,” she told fans. She saw her first Shirley cosplay at Comic-Con this year — a costume complete with a huge bag and a bottle of booze.

Harmon compared the giant crowd to his “own LeVar Burton” and said he could only let them down. Hall H erupted with shouts of “never!” and “we love you, Dan!”

The Big Revelations
An animated episode is on the docket.

The show will be syndicated on Comedy Central starting September 20 and on local stations September 16 so everyone can catch up before season 5!

Most incisive audience question
Where do the actors want to see their characters go in the future season?

Rash would love to continue to unravel the Dean’s craziness.

Brown wants to meet Shirley’s sister.

Brie would like to see Annie become empowered, and find her ambition again.

Jeong said he trusted Harmon’s vision and can’t wait to get started.

Pudi said he was looking forward to working with the cast because they’re all weird and wonderful.

Dino Stamatopoulos (“Starburns”) even surprised the audience by showing up at the mic as a belligerent un-fan who asked a lot of questions and teased the panelists. The general sentiment was one of optimism and enthusiasm for the future of Community — with a return to the original formula. There was a Human Being in the audience, Brie gave Pudi a wet willy, and it was generally just a Greendale-filled event. Six seasons and a movie!

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