I love this show. Love it madly. And no one watches it. And it's on hiatus. And it might get canceled.* But you know I don't think this is a simple as a Americans like dumb TV. Stupid dumb Americans. That's a facile response and TV these days is just too good to bear that out.
But, I have a theory.
I've often noticed that my husband doesn't like this show the way I do. I mean, he thinks it's funny. And thanks to the miracle of the DVR, he probably hasn't missed an episode, but he has nowhere near the passion for it I do. After last year's Christmas episode (Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas) when I said to him that that might have become my favorite Christmas episode of anything ever**, he looked at me... well, he looked at me the way I look at him when he exhaustively explains to me, play by play, how the Bears game finished. You know, a befuddlement that is equal parts affectionate and annoyed.
And then I heard this story about how one of the actresses on the show put a black goatee over her Twitter picture and a bunch of her followers asked her what that meant, which I thought was weird. So, I asked Don, "Do you know what it means when a character on a comedy shows up with a sudden black goatee?
And that's Community. Community is a TV show for people who understand, on an almost molecular level, what the black goatee means***. If you don't, you'll still really like the show because it's first and foremost really funny, and yet also has that nice gooey core of a lovable, lovely heart. And, man, is it sharp. I mean, the writing is so clever and smart. But if you don't know what the black goatee means... you probably won't enjoy it to the level that nerds like me do.
If you are, however, a nerd like me, I bet you enjoy Big Bang Theory intermittently (although, probably mostly for Mayim Bialik). I also bet, though, that the runaway success of that show pisses you off. And, probably, don't even get you started on the vomitous pile of excrement that is the most popular American sitcom.
Stupid dumb Americans.
*I think it will come back. I think it was probably more a show for a cable channel than a network, but I think it's got enough of passionate fan base that they'll keep it around for syndication rights, which is, I think, four seasons.
**I'm going to watch last week's Christmas episode again. I'll see if, on second viewing, that can unseat Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas. Because it was pretty great too.
***Seriously, with the black goatee. I mean, I get not being well-versed on Trekology, but South Park riffed on it like a million years ago. How can people not know this?