Note: These interviews took place during Comic Con in July 2012.
“I have no Britta scoop for you guys!” Gillian Jacobs laughs, when asked about spoilers for season four of Community, which finally returned to NBC last week. “No idea. They haven’t told me one word.” But while there may not be much season four news to divulge just yet, Jacobs herself is excited about what lies ahead – even in the absence of show runner Dan Harmon.
“We’re all still here and I’m really glad that Megan Ganz and Andy Bobrow and Maggie are back. Andy and Megan wrote some of the best episodes last season and obviously the show wouldn’t have been the show without Dan Harmon, and we’re so grateful for him.”
That sentiment is one that is echoed across the board from everyone in the Community cast, who bravely and discreetly fielded the many questions about Dan Harmon’s departure as show runner. “It’s been a very odd time because Dan created the show and gave me the job of a lifetime, and it’s definitely a time of transition,” Joel McHale notes. “But I worked with the new show runners back in 2007 and I know those guys are really good and a lot of the writers are back.” It’s a similar feeling for Yvette Nicole Brown, who promises that “it’s gonna be a good season. I know everyone’s worried and concerned…I get it, but I feel confident about it.”
Harmon’s abrupt exit isn’t the only snafu the cast has had to grapple with during what was considered a tumultuous television season. While there were many celebrations over the show’s fourth season renewal, fans were outraged to learn that the show had been moved from it’s Thursday night perch to a Friday night timeslot – what many consider a “kiss of death” for a show, no matter its popularity. Still, that won’t stop them from tuning in – and the cast knows it.
“Our fans are incredible,” Alison Brie remarks. “They know we love them and they’re the reason we’re still on the air, so I would hope that they watch our show whenever it’s on.” McHale shares that same sentiment. “The fan support is unreal,” says the actor. “The fire only was fueled to be louder, and when people walk up to me wearing the Abed beard on the street for no reason, it makes me emotional. I’ve never seen anything like it. The art show, the flash mob, the websites, the online campaigns, all those things! I’m in their debt and as I’ve said in a number of interviews, it’s a real cult. I could not be happier about it.”
So what can we expect in season four, since Jacobs couldn’t say much in the way of Britta’s storyline? “We’re going to mostly speak in Spanish, wear school uniforms, and the show will no longer be at a community college – it will be on the deck of the Starship Enterprise,” McHale deadpans before becoming serious again. “I haven’t seen any of the scripts, but I do know that we’re going to see Jeff’s father and I’m hoping for more duets with the Dean.”
And what would the rest of the cast like to see from their characters? “A Leonard/Britta storyline,” Jacobs shares. “I mean, we know that I made out with StarBurns and that was a discovery for me in season 3. Maybe Alison [Brie] and I can both be Catwoman.” Brie, for her part, mentioned that she’d like to see more romance for her Annie. “The third season didn’t see a lot of it, and it was such a part of her in the first season that I’d love to see that come back around,” she says. “Any Annie and Jeff stuff, I love, and I’d love to see Annie and Abed.” Yvette Nicole Brown had an even simpler request – working with fellow cast member Donald Glover. “I realized the only time Shirley and Troy have spoken privately is the paintball episode in the first season. It’s been three seasons!” Nicole Brown laughs. “So I would love to have a storyline with Donald before this thing is over.” As for the classic themes that have become so much a part of Community’s culture and a staple of the show, Brie wants to see the horror genre spoofed while Jacobs hopes for something even more outlandish. “I always wanted to do a black and white episode or something in a different language for the whole episode,” she shares excitedly. Hey, in this new age of Community…who knows?
Catch a new episode of Community tonight at 8/7c on NBC.