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'Community' rebounds with Harmon

By Matt Gantos
On February 2, 2014

Dan Harmon is back at the helm and Greendale Community College is heading back to an era of prosperity. Season five of "Community" premiered on Jan. 2 and has continued to please its wavering fan base.
At the end of season four, Greendale said goodbye to one of its long time students, Pierce Hawthorne, played by legendary actor Chevy Chase. Despite Chase's renowned status, he felt he was simply done working on the show, frustrated with his character's roles and lack of respect.
At the end of last season Pierce "graduated" and moved on from Greendale. But the return of Dan Harmon would, eventually lead to Pierce's death as a character.
The episode following the discovery of Pierce's death kept the spirit of Chase's character alive by continuing to strain the relationship of his old study group, reformed as the "Save Greendale Committee," with his last will and testament.
In his bequeathal, Pierce left Troy Barnes, played by Donald Glover a.k.a Childish Gambino, his private boat and a mission to sail around the world to become the man Pierce could never be. Troy lamentingly accepted, hesitant to leave his friends behind.
More spoilers, this unfortunately means Troy will no longer be in the show. This departure was not in the least due to bad blood or contract dispute, but, as described by Glover himself, a choice he needed to make for his own career.
Glover also wanted to stress he was not leaving the show to focus on his rap career, though he did admit it would be a side effect.
To fill the void left by Chase and Glover, the casting team has been working overtime. Some of the quick appearances include Nathan FIllion of "Castle," Lavar Burton of "Reading Rainbow" and "Star Trek" and David Cross of "Arrested Development."
Some characters that have more than one appearance this season include Buzz Hickey, played by Johnathon Banks from "Breaking Bad," and Professor Ian Duncan, played by John Oliver from "The Daily Show."
Oliver's return is one of the best things that could have happened to the show. Between Oliver, Banks and Ken Jeong, the cast is still strong, just different. Relative to last season, the entire show is different.
Season five shows promise, despite having to reset a lot of loose ends left from the end of last season. With Harmon in the captain's seat, the show is starting to become what it was in its heyday.

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