In the fall of 2009, I was sitting in an Advanced Physics class. I didn’t really have any friends in this class because, well, I didn’t really have any friends at all. One day, our teacher wasn’t there so we just had some free time during lab, during which someone suggested we watch “Community”.
I never watched TV shows regularly. I’d catch an episode of things here and there whenever they were on, but I was more of a movie person. Even then, I’d only watch them online way after they came out, mostly because I’d never go to the movies because no one ever asked me to go.
So we watched Community, and I liked the episode. It was funny, intelligently written, and it had some seriously over-the-top ridiculous moments. I just didn’t like how this guy who didn’t want friends was literally put in a position where they were coming to him, whether he liked it or not. And here I was, unable to get a friend even when I did want one.
I think what watching Community gave me most was something to look forward to, and something to talk about. I’d look forward to a new episode every Thursday night, and then I’d look forward to talking about the episode with people in my class the next day. Those people ended up becoming friends, and those Thursday nights I looked forward to expanded to Mondays with HIMYM, and Tuesdays with White Collar. TV shows were never really worlds for me to escape into, but channels through which I could get more firmly grounded in this world.
I guess for someone who never really had much to look forward to, it was revolutionary.
Community has had its ups and downs, its brilliant episodes and its terribly forgettable ones. My friendships since then have been the same. This semester, I’ve gotten closer to certain people and gotten farther from others, but I know who I value and I hope that they know that they’re valuable. Even if I haven’t spent that much time with some of them, I’ve been pretty happy.
I’ve been happy since I know that, like Community during its hiatuses and breaks, they’ll be back and I’ll be waiting. And vice-versa. And if Community really is over, then I’m not going to be distraught, because I’m not that lonely, unreasonable 15-year old anymore.
Community and my friendships may just be stories. In my head. And they were very, very good ones. But they’re not over. Not by a longshot.
The effect that watching Community has had on my life since starting it, and the effect that some of those brilliant, maddening, amazing individuals have had on me since I’ve started watching it, can’t really be measured quantitatively.
The last episode of Community wasn’t the best, but that’s okay because there have been many amazing ones thus far, and there will be several amazing ones to come, whether they take place solely in my own head or if I can share my joy of watching it with the people that really matter to me.