An Open Letter of Thanks to Dan Harmon
I’m sorry to lead with that, but the next paragraph is just me rambling on and on about myself and I wanted some way to catch your attention.
December of my senior year of college was an odd time for me. My ex-girlfriend, who I had dated for two and a half years, was living down the hall from me in my dorm. She had begun dating someone else less than two weeks after we had broken up. It was around this time that she got engaged. As we had dated for the majority of our college careers, many of my friends had become her friends as well, leading to us intermittently spending time together. It was my own personal hell. Few of my friends on campus knew how uncomfortable I was just in day-to-day activities. There was a distance growing between my friends and I, and could not find a way to halt the fracturing. I was quite lonely. On top of this, I was in the process of applying for graduate schools which is itself an exhausting and stressful process. In a year, I would be somewhere else in the country; I didn’t know where but everything that was my life was going to remain in Massachusetts while I ventured off into the strange and unknown. Also, I was going through ‘Lost’ withdrawals. In summation, things were bleak.
It was at this point that I found Community.
Now, I hadn’t simply come upon it by accident. My good friend and roommate had been preaching its greatness since the season 2 premiere, though I had remained skeptical. It took a well-written article on Slashfilm about ‘Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas’ to finally get me to give the show a chance. And what I found was beautiful. The Christmas special struck a chord with me as I immediately empathized with Abed. Emotionally distant and pop culture obsessed, Abed has always represented both what I strive to be and what I fear becoming. Following the misty eyes caused by the episode, I was hooked. My roommate had season 1 and I ripped through those in the matter of days, followed by doing the best I could to catch up on season 2. Much as Abed in ‘Uncontrollable Christmas’ accepts the Study Group to be his new family, Greendale became my haven. These seven misfits became my Constant (if you don’t mind a Lost reference); though things were changing, Community would be there to put a smile on my face and to make me consider the relationships in my life.
Second semester senior year went fantastically. A lot of great memories were made. I ended up going out to Montana for grad school and things are going nicely here after my first full year. Things have changed and I do miss my original home. But, there are great people out here too and I’m making more memories. Now, I’m not sure how things are in the alternate time line where I didn’t start watching Community when I did. But, I know in this timeline, Community has greatly shaped the last two years of my life and I think I’m a better person for having it. So, I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the gift that is Community and your three brilliant seasons working on it. Thanks for letting us in.