I can’t compare any television show to Community; because there wasn’t a show like Community. I remember watching the pilot and hoping it would be a new television show for my bored high school self to watch. I will admit I fell off during the first season but I rediscovered it while in the midst of their second season. The show garnered critical acclaim but failed to find a large audience. Over the years, a cult following grew around the show and the battlecry #sixseasonsandamovie is still notable on social media. These #sixseasons deserve their #andamovie and here’s what I think it should be.
With any amount of time, all intellectual properties need a reason for their characters to get back together. For a Community movie, we need the personal and familial reason to get back together. The safe assumption is the gang joins together to save Troy Barnes (Donald Glover) and LeVar Burton (himself) from pirates that shipnapped them in season 5. However, I imagine Troy and LeVar’s charisma would save them from any treacherous situation the pirates put them in.My plot revolves around the recent Ari Aster film, Midsommar. In my film, the study group must regroup to rescue Shirley from an intense cult in the badlands of Georgia.
Jeff (Joel McHale), the law professor at Greendale Community College, is still the womanizing, self-absorbed individual from the show. He hasn’t connected with the other faculty after Annie and Abed moved on with their lives. Britta (Gillain Jacobs), the new psych professor at Greendale, has become the most popular faculty member in the school. She hasn’t actually “taught” anything to the students but her “Easy A” class is well-known by the students.
In the years since the show ended, Jeff has seen Pierce Hawthorne (Chevy Chase) going to the Dean’s office to receive his royalty check for the hologram in the library entry way. Due to the secrecy, and legal nature of his livelihood, it’s easy for Jeff to decline any offers to “hangout.” However, Dean Pelton (Jim Rash) and Señor Chang (Ken Jeong) are very much apart of Pierce’s social life.
Annie Edison (Alison Brie) has since moved on from Greendale. We see her investigating a homicide and using her CSI skills to solve it. Impressing the audience with her skills, we then hear “CUT!” We realize she was only acting in a police procedural television show. Annie has been using her education as a writer/actress for various police procedurals. She’s been living with Abed Nadir (Danny Pudi) in Los Angeles with Abed as his film career starts to get off the ground. Following her internship in D.C., she hasn’t been able to land a law enforcement job. She’s been deemed “unfit” during a psych eval and has been both a writer and a stand-in for Abed and his budding television directing career.
Jeff, Britta, Abed and Annie receive a letter from Shirley Bennett(Yvetter Nicole Brown), inviting them to Georgia. Each of them notice a “cry for help” within the letter. Jeff: remembering a conversation with Shirley regarding disdain for cults and her faith in Christianity. Annie: a conversation regarding Shirley’s faith in Christianity and how extreme humidity upsets her hair. Abed: seeing a call to adventure. Britta: thinking Shirley misspelt “Shirley” in her signature as a “cry for help.”
The duos fly out to Georgia and run into each other at the airport. Jeff and Annie have an uncomfortable reconnection after their “goodbye” kiss. They travel to the Georgia coastline where they run into students of Greendale past. Starburns, Garrett, Vickey and Magnitude have all been converted by Shirley. They learn Todd was in the cult but kicked out for being too “Todd.”
The group of four discover Shirley only joined the cult because of her unfaithfulness to Andre. Despite his recommitment, she never forgave him for cheating and, in turn, cheated on him with Detective Butcher (Steven Weber). Andre Bennett (Malcolm-Jamal Warner) took the kids and Shirley spiraled. She found solace in a local cult, lead by their charismatic leader (Patrick Stewart) that promised her kids safe return. She joined them and was told she needed to recruit enough people for the cult’s satisfaction.
After a few days, Shirley gets the opportunity to tell the group that she never cheated on Andre; the cult made the story up to hide their nefarious purposes. Knowing of Shirley’s friendship to Jeff and Abed, they kidnapped the kids in order to get Shirley to join and bring the two of them to Georgia. The cult wishes to use Jeff as a spokesperson to give a rousing speech to recruit more members and Abed to distribute the recruitment video using his Hollywood connections. The group asks as to how the cult learned of Jeff and Abed. Turns out Shirley has been bragging about her college friends to anyone who would listen. A cult member overheard her in the produce aisle of a grocery store. Ironically, they hadn’t heard anything about Britta. The leader then holds the group of five hostage and refuses to let them leave until they create the video.
When all hope seems lost, a sports car appears; and in it, Dean Pelton, Chang and Pierce. The trio learned of the cult and the location from Chang, who has been going through Britta’s (and Jeff’s) garbage. The trio, ignorantly unaware of the current predicament, ask to join the cult. Pierce boasts about his wealth and is accepted with open arms.
Turns out, however, that between Jeff’s general unwillingness, Britta’s incompetance, Abed’s perfectionism, Annie’s snooping and Pierce’s “Pierceness” becomes too much for the cult. They decide they’ll just continue recruiting the old-fashioned way; handing out flyers in various trailer parks. The cult decides they don’t have a reason for the group anymore so they plan to get rid of them as far away from their compound as they can imagine, dropping them into the Gulf of Mexico.
The group of seven is now at the hands of the cult, who decide to throw them into the Gulf of Mexico (after a long drive of course). Once there, they hop on a boat and travel out into the water. Chang, of course, switches sides and joins the cult into dropping each member of the study group into the water. Once that’s done, they return to shore and as all hope seems lost, a boat arrives to rescue them. It’s not however the “Childish Tycoon” we’ve seen before, it’s the Coast Guard.
One of the Coast Guard members is, however, Troy Barnes (Donald Glover). He tells the group (and the Dean) that LeVar struck a deal with the Pirates to read various children’s novels if they returned Troy to shore. Troy joined the Coast Guard in the hopes of one day rescuing LeVar from his pirate captors.
Now reunited, the group of eight alert the authorities of the cult. The gang gears up with experimental paintballs that renders the individual that’s hit, unconscious. As they enter the cult’s camp, they see that the Coast Guard has already infiltrated and arrested the higher ups involved. Turns out, the Cost Guard radioed in everything prior to the group reaching the shore.
Jeff is the leading attorney that prosecutes the cult members. Britta is allowed to dissect the cult leader’s psyche for the “Greendale Journal” which helps giving the school a little more notoriety. Annie finds a job with the Atlanta Police Department handling cases in the area. Shirley is reunited with her family. Troy joins Abed in writing and directing the film adaptation based on their adventure as well as finding a way to rescue LeVar. And Pierce goes back to his mansion like nothing happened.
The Study Group (and Dean) get together every year to have drinks and reconnect.
Chang and Starburns discuss collecting of the “Infinity Minerals” to help in their prison escape. Then a subtitle appears saying “the pair never escaped.”
Odds Of This Happening:
In all honesty; slim to none. I imagine a Community film will, eventually, exist in some form but not in the way I’ve described. As a lifelong fan, I hope we see these characters reunite in a feature film to live out the promise of #sixseasonsandamovie but only time will tell.
Joe and Anthony Russo (Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame) who produced nearly half of the episodes, as well as directed a handful, should have the pull to get this film made now.