This week saw the overlap of the end of Comic-Con and the beginning of the Television Critics Association press tour—like a mystical publicity equinox, when the tidings are glad and the moon is full of shit. Therefore it was also a week in which Dan Harmon got the rare opportunity to talk about his return to Community, which he did so at both the show’s official Comic-Con panel and yesterday’s TCA platform for his new Adult Swim show, Rick And Morty.
You can watch full video of the former below (via Emergency Awesome), in which Harmon took the stage in an Iron Man costume, gave an appropriately Tony Stark-esque, mock-arrogant speech, then slipped into his usual self-deprecation, and then promised both a return to a “more grounded” Community and an animated episode. Plus the ever-lingering possibility of an “Advanced Dungeons & Dragons” sequel, because this is still Community we're talking about, and “more grounded” is relative. You’ll also notice that, like much of the upcoming season, Donald Glover wasn’t there. (Neither was Joel McHale, though he didn’t have the all-purpose excuse of "rap.") Glover’s looming absence wasn’t addressed at the panel, though Harmon recently told TV Line that the show is “gonna make eye contact with the tragedy that is his departure, and we're gonna turn it into a story, and we're gonna feel the feels and laugh the laughs and deal with it,” so there's that.
Then yesterday, Harmon and co-creator Justin Roiland tried valiantly to promote their new Adult Swim cartoon Rick And Morty—about a mad scientist and his dimwit grandson—by talking up its influences, like Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy and Doctor Who. Yet mention of the latter was all the invitation necessary to shift to more Community-related questions. Having recently learned yet another lesson about how everything he says immediately gets transmitted straight to the Internet, Harmon remained exceedingly diplomatic about his relations with NBC and Sony, saying of those who fired him, “I'm sure that they meant no harm and are really good people.”
And while he'd previously played right into the "six seasons and a movie" campaign at Comic-Con, at the TCAs he demurred on the inevitable question of it continuing beyond this year. (“It depends on what fails.”) He also said of his reason for returning, “If I had not gone back, the worst-case scenario is 30 years of wondering what would have happened if I had gone back. If I go back, the worst-case scenario is one shitty season… I had to go back." And so ends the last word on that situation and the whole upcoming Community season, at least until NBC’s TCA panel this weekend.