Just in time to cast a shadow over the small ray of sunshine that was the announcement of Community’s return, The Daily Beast gathered the show’s women—Alison Brie, Gillian Jacobs, Yvette Nicole Brown, and writer Megan Ganz—to talk about their forced hiatus and the show’s uncertain future. And then, everyone started crying. But hey, before that, at least there was some fun stuff. Gathering on the last day of shooting season three, the group talked about avoiding female stereotypes, dealing with Chevy Chase’s rape jokes, and Alison Brie’s reaction to your reaction to her sexy Santa dance (“I’m not sure if I’m aroused or put off”). They also discussed how working in the vacuum of this recent hiatus has allowed them a lot of creative freedom—and furthermore, contributed to it being their “darkest season.” According to Ganz:
“This is where everyone makes their decisions and atones with their fathers. Troy and Abed, their relationship comes to a fork. It’s perfect for two seasons, and then they have to deal with the things that are different about them. Then Season 4 is like spring and everything is new. People have adjusted to their environments and they’re ready to move on with the next phase.”
Tantalizing! Also, possibly never going to happen, should NBC decide that the show isn’t worth giving a fourth season. And of course, the interview inevitably had to touch on that possibility, at which point it dissolved into tears, hugs, and odd terms of endearment:
Jacobs: I’m going to cry. It so far exceeded my expectations of what the show would be. This is one of the best pilots I’ve ever read, so already my expectations were high. Then shooting the pilot—
[Jacobs begins to cry.]
Brown: Oh, it’s OK, Stinkers. She’s such a pretty crier. My God, she’s a pretty crier.
Jacobs: I’ve never worked with a group of people that have impressed me so consistently on such a daily basis. I feel like given the nature of this show, we’ve been thrown everything from an action movie to a noir to My Dinner With Andre. Everybody rose to it every single week. The writing and the creativity and the scope and the ambition of the show has been—
[Jacobs’s sobbing becomes ragged.]
Brown: Oh, well. I can’t sit here and not hug you.
[Brown and Brie embrace Jacobs.]
Brown: Whether we come back or not, whatever happens, this will be a show that will be studied. There are people studying Community. The totality of this show, people will look back and go, they really did change every week.
Jacobs: Yeah. For all the people that have only heard about our show—it’s spoofs, it’s pop culture, it’s genre—they’re missing the fact that these are different, new characters on television that people have grown to love. So even when we do an episode which is set in the apartment and there’s no obvious spoof or takeoff, people still want to watch it because they love and care about these characters.
[Brie begins to cry.]
Brown: Oh, Stinker, what’s happening? Oh, my girls. Oh, my little pumpkins.
Brie: This is so cliché for the women-of-Community interview. “Then they all cried.”
Jacobs: And they got their periods simultaneously!
At least this sad yet adorable scene culminated, as Community always does, in some meme jokes, with Ganz upping the ante on the standard “six seasons and a movie” with “12 seasons and a theme park,” after which Jacobs raised her a “30 seasons and a porno.” Still, even that came tinged with regret, as Jacobs revealed that the previously rumored Community porn has also been put off. Of course, maybe that’s for the best given that, according to Jacobs, “No one participating in it had ever seen our show.” But actually, no, it is not for the best, as apparently “they had a Spanish bodybuilder playing Abed,” which you will also probably never get to see. So, tears all around today.