On Oct. 8, with 11 days left in my countdown to Community season four, my roommate mentioned that NBC had announced a hiatus for the show. After unleashing a “Why do bad things happen to good people?” rant reminiscent of Ross Geller’s shampoo explosion discovery on Friends, I went online to investigate. My eyes searched the screen frantically, finally landing on a truly ominous pronouncement for TV aficionados: “on hiatus indefinitely.”
Community isn’t the only one. It’s less than two months into the TV season, and every one of the shows I follow religiously has had at least one week off. There is nothing more annoying to me than when my TV shows “take a break.” Okay, there are a few things I can think of that might be worse — the word “moist” being a prime example — but it is still very annoying.
Sure, maybe it’s a holiday, and maybe these celebrities want to spend some time with their kids while enjoying a slice or two of non-fattening organic turkey, but what about their loyal viewers? We’re forced to watch last season’s repeats, or worse, we’re sucker-punched when a show like The New Adventures of Old Christine gets thrown into the slot.
In April 2012, TV Guide Magazine announced Community the winner of the prestigious categories “fan-favourite comedy” and “fan-favourite ensemble.” But, just months later, NBC “temporarily” pulled the show. And for what reason? So that it could promote newer shows like Animal Practice (about a veterinarian and his poker-playing capuchin monkey)? What is the TV world coming to? (The good news is that Animal Practice was recently cancelled, too, so maybe NBC has learned a lesson about foisting bad shows on us.)
Back in the good old days, and by that I mean seven years ago, a season of Grey’s Anatomy had 27 episodes. In 2010, it was a paltry 22. You may think that’s no big deal; it’s just a TV show, and a fairly ridiculous one at that. But, when you are part of a dedicated group of six who meet weekly for the sole purpose of watching it, well, it’s a big deal. Sure, we could still get together, maybe talk about literature or current events — how about that Obama? But let’s get real. We just want the on-call room hookups, the cheesy monologues and the overnight shifts in sexual orientation.
So yes, these actors may have actual lives and are probably nothing like their characters on TV (except the cast of Friends — that I’m not willing to accept). But they should think about their humble audience once in a while. And as for getting restitution from TV networks in general, I will just have to rely on the power of a strongly worded letter.
Community is now scheduled to premiere on Feb. 7, but I’m not holding my breath. Because there’s nothing worse then waiting for the “next time on,” which may or may not come.