So Community’s cancelled. I’m having trouble processing this. I can’t explain how much this show means to me but I’m going to try.
I always felt on the outside of every circle I’ve ever been in. I’ve never felt like I’ve belonged anywhere. Every friend I’ve ever had I’ve either liked far more than they have liked me, or they like me more than I like them. The former made me feel worthless, the latter unfathomably guilty. I have never felt I’ve belonged anywhere.
Community understood that, Dan Harmon clearly does too. It was a show that was built on that feeling: not belonging. It was about broken people wading through the darkness of the mundane and finding somewhere to belong. It’s gotten me through my darkest days; when things were at their worst, Community understood and it held my hand.
I have a lot in common with much of the cast, but particularly Britta. Like Britta, I’m a crappy activist, a crazy left wing nut job and a generally awkward human being. It feels like the only thing I don’t have in common with her is that I’m not a hot blonde girl. Britta felt worthless, like so many of us, but Dan Harmon created something beautiful out of it and showed us why she wasn’t and why she wasn’t the worst. Britta was the part of all us that believed, the part that wanted to make a better world but didn’t know how. She was the part that desperately wanted to help because she couldn’t help herself. Britta was the heart of the show and she was the part that showed us that no matter how much we may hate ourselves sometimes, we’re capable of so much and we’re worth something.
There are two moments when Community really epitomised this but neither are Britta moments. In fact, they were both moments with Annie. The first was from the season 2 episode Mixology Certification, when Annie gets drunk and pretends to be someone else because she doesn’t know who she is. I think this is something we can all understand, the desire to get out, and Community proved that for all the crap and baggage, who you are is not awful. The other is from my favourite episode of Community: Virtual Systems Analysis. Abed and Annie have been in the Dreamatorium when Abed admits he’s scared he will never fit in and everyone will leave him and Annie replies with this:
"Your simulations are nothing more than anxieties; you’re afraid you won’t fit in, you’re afraid you’ll be alone. Great news! You share that with all of us so you’ll never be alone and you’ll always fit in."
It’s a beautiful moment. Community understood loneliness, the fear of abandonment and proved that we are not as alone as we think. I don’t think I need to say any more about it. It speaks for itself.
I know to some people this seems silly. It’s just a TV show, right? Well, if you have that attitude, I can’t change it, but for some people it’s more than that. Community was a place for the freaks to belong. It was a place where the mundane was spectacular, where everyone was broken but everyone was fixable.
Greendale is where we belong. And every time I hear that song, I’ll remember that there’s somewhere for me to belong.
Thank you Dan Harmon. You created something beautiful, somewhere we all can belong.