Alison Brie’s “Underdog” Hopes Highlight Community’s Big Movie Problem

Alison Brie believes that the Community movie can’t be bigger than Greendale and should stay true to its roots, so how can the sitcom movie succeed?

Alison Brie’s belief that the Community movie should retain the TV show’s underdog spirit highlights a potential problem that faces the project. Announced by Peacock in September 2022, the long-awaited Community movie will reunite Brie with her co-stars Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Ken Jeong, and Jim Rash. However, as a feature-length movie, rather than a half-hour sitcom, it’s expected that the scale of the plot will be a lot bigger — something that Alison Brie doesn’t think the Community movie needs.


Speaking to GamesRadar+ alongside Danny Pudi to promote their new movie Somebody I Used To Know, Alison Brie said that the Community movie “can’t be bigger than Greendale.” As the central location for the show, Greendale Community College should be at the forefront of the film, but it’s hard to make a movie and not go bigger than what’s been done before. Movie adaptations of TV shows regularly take the central characters outside their comfort zone.

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If the Community movie can’t be bigger than Greendale or go too big, it will face a challenge to justify its feature-length runtime. A regular criticism of movie adaptations of beloved TV shows is that they just feel like a long episode. This is the challenge that faces the Community movie, how to tell a story that justifies being told as a movie while still staying true to the fact that it is spun off from a TV show. However, Community is a show that stands a better chance than most for solving this problem.

Community has always been an incredibly meta-show, with characters like Abed (Danny Pudi) treating his life as a TV show, aware of all the sitcom tropes and generic conventions. This provides a smart workaround for how the Community movie can have its cake and eat it by using this meta-commentary to justify the movie’s inability to go too big. The fact that the Community movie is going to Peacock rather than getting a wide release in theaters will also help it stay true to its small-screen roots.

From Community‘s troubled season 4 to its cancelation after season 5 and subsequent renewal on the short-lived Yahoo! Video, it’s been a rocky road to fulfilling the promise of six seasons and a movie. However, as filming is due to commence in the summer, it will be a while before fans find out if it was worth the wait. It’s always risky for beloved shows like Community to return for one last hurrah because they risk ruining the character’s perfect endings. It’s one of the reasons that a Seinfeld revival would never happen in real life but it provided a fun meta storyline for Curb Your Enthusiasm season 7.

However, while it does pay off a Community fan’s dream, there’s also surely a good story reason to return to the Greendale study group one last time. The long gap between Community‘s finale airing in 2015 and the movie being announced in 2022 means that Harmon has seven years of character growth and change to play with when reintroducing them. The new dynamics created by the characters’ new lives, or lack of them, will mean that there’s an interesting story to tell. One that will benefit from the longer runtime and beloved sitcom’s underdog spirit.

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