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DVD Review: Frustrating Fourth Season of ‘Community’

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – The fourth season of NBC’s “Community” was its most controversial by some margin. The program was barely renewed, its showrunner (Dan Harmon) was unprofessionally fired, and the on-set feuds with co-star Chevy Chase continued. To start the fifth season, Chase is gone and Harmon is back. No one has made out well in the court of public opinion and the fourth season was sometimes unwatchable. You would never know any of this from the recently-released DVD set.

HollywoodChicago.com DVD rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

Well, you might suspect a little bit. I went through several of the commentaries (there’s one on each episode) looking for little tidbits and you can hear them between the lines. Writers praise a joke and then throw out an aside about how some fans didn’t like that scene. It’s interesting in that they clearly have heard about and read the fan dissent but have either been told not to acknowledge or just choose not to. How amazing would it be to have a commentary track that explained what went wrong in season four? I’m not saying they shouldn’t be proud of this work but I believe everyone involved knows it was their weakest season. Why ignore that?

Having said that, there were moments this year that fans who gave up on the show forever after Harmon’s departure should catch up with on DVD. The cast is still one of the strongest ensembles in comedy right now and it’s nice that Sony treats fans well in terms of DVD bells and whistles. This set is packed. Let’s just hope the show returns to form for season five. Or that they acknowledge it on the DVD release if it doesn’t.

Community: The Complete Fourth Season was released on DVD on August 6, 2013
Community: The Complete Fourth Season was released on DVD on August 6, 2013
Photo credit: Sony

Entering their epic senior year at Greendale Community College, these people aren’t just a study group, they’re family! They’ll have to be, if they hope to survive a comedy-crammed year with everything from an alienating sci-fi convention, a German re-invasion and a Thanksgiving dinner from hell, to a hostage taking Christmas, a life-changing father/son reunion and even an epic transformation into puppets! In its wildly inventive fourth season, this phenomenal comedy hits an incredibly hilarious, new level! Prepare to “Pop! Pop!” with laughter.

The Players: Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Alison Brie, Donald Glover, Jim Rash, Ken Jeong, Emmy winner Chevy Chase and a Community of All-Star Guests.

Special Features:
o Cast and Crew Commentary On Every Episode
o Outtakes
o Deleted & Extended Scenes
o Inspector Spacetime: Inspection
o Adventures In Advanced Puppetry

“Community: The Complete Fourth Season” stars Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Donald Glover, Yvette Nicole Brown, Alison Brie, Ken Jeong, and Chevy Chase. It was released on DVD on August 6, 2013.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

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