Dan Harmon’s return as showrunner for NBC’s Community after a season-long abscence will bring on changes for upcoming season 5.
Harmon specifically wanted the new seasons to retain an organic feel that seasons 1-3 had by focusing on the characters and staying away from high-concept episodes. “This is a whole new thing. We have to re-ground and re-establish these characters, get back to the emotional basics, and then have the most fun we can have,” Harmon said on a panel at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con. To really emphasive his point, he later yelled, “Get ready for grounded story work! Who likes their characters dimensionalized?”
Harmon’s return to the show has built up a lot pressure in writing the upcoming season, which Harmon welcomes. “New levels of anxiety that will no doubt trickle into the show,” he said. “Nobody wants to not fail more than me at this point, because it’s kind of a weird story. I really really have to make these thirteen count.” Despite the pressure, Harmon feels optimistic and confident in earning a season 6.
The panel disclosed that there will be an animated episode in the new season.
Pressure from fan expectation is not the only contributor to Harmon gathering negative energy and producing a well-written show. The show’s behind-the-scenes struggles also give to Harmon’s writing inspiration. “The harder it gets [in real life], the funnier the show gets — the misfortune, the pain … I get really excited about it, because stories within the show begin to resonate with stories about the show.”