Community (season 4)

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Community (season 4)
Community S4 DVD.jpg
Season 4 DVD cover
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 13
Original channel NBC
Original run February 7, 2013 (2013-02-07) – May 9, 2013 (2013-05-09)
Home video release
DVD release
Region 1 August 6, 2013 (2013-08-06)[1]
Region 2 October 28, 2013 (2013-10-28)[2]
Region 4 July 3, 2014 (2014-07-03)[3]
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 3
Next →
Season 5
List of Community episodes

The fourth season of the television comedy series Community premiered on February 7, 2013 and concluded on May 9, 2013.[4] The season consists of 13 episodes and aired on NBC on Thursdays at 8:00 pm ET as part of the network's "Comedy Night Done Right" programming block.[5]

The season marked the departure of showrunner Dan Harmon and overall received mixed reviews from critics. In the series's fifth season, Harmon returned as showrunner.




No. in
No. in
Title Directed by Written by Original air date Production
U.S. viewers
72 1 "History 101" Tristram Shapeero Andy Bobrow February 7, 2013 (2013-02-07) 401 3.88[6]
Jeff competes to earn the group places in the over-booked "History of Ice Cream" class, while Abed struggles with the inevitable end of their time at Greendale, causing him to enter a mental "happy place" which shows bizarre alternative versions of Greendale. Annie and Shirley pull pranks around the school.
73 2 "Paranormal Parentage" Tristram Shapeero Megan Ganz February 14, 2013 (2013-02-14) 403 2.76[7]
After Pierce locks himself inside the panic room of his mansion, he calls on the study group to find the code that will unlock the room and let him out. The group searches the dark, scary mansion for the code, uncovering all sorts of secrets and oddities along the way.
74 3 "Conventions of Space and Time" Michael Patrick Jann Maggie Bandur February 21, 2013 (2013-02-21) 404 3.08[8]
The study group attends InSpecTiCon, a convention for fans of Inspector Spacetime. Abed meets a fellow fan named Toby (guest star Matt Lucas), who causes a rift in Troy and Abed's friendship. Meanwhile, while Jeff is attracting a female Inspector Spacetime fan (Tricia Helfer), Annie creates an elaborate fantasy involving her and Jeff after the hotel staff begin calling her "Mrs. Winger". Pierce and Shirley join a focus group for an American remake of Inspector Spacetime.
75 4 "Alternative History of the German Invasion" Steven Tsuchida Ben Wexler February 28, 2013 (2013-02-28) 402 2.83[9]
With the study group beginning their European History class, they are dismayed to learn that they will be sharing the class with the obnoxious German students that Jeff and Shirley dueled with over the foosball table the previous year. In addition, Chang returns to Greendale as "Kevin" suffering from amnesia (or "Changnesia"), which upsets Dean Pelton.
76 5 "Cooperative Escapism in Familial Relations" Tristram Shapeero Steve Basilone & Annie Mebane March 7, 2013 (2013-03-07) 405 3.29[10]
Jeff reunites with his father and meets his half brother. Shirley hosts a Thanksgiving gathering at her house with the study group, minus Britta, who has joined Jeff and his family. Abed narrates the group's time at Shirley's house in the style of The Shawshank Redemption.
77 6 "Advanced Documentary Filmmaking" Jay Chandrasekhar Hunter Covington March 14, 2013 (2013-03-14) 408 2.58[11]
Abed films a documentary on Ben Chang's "Changnesia" in order to help Greendale secure a $40,000 grant from MacGuffin Neurological Institute. Jeff at first is against the idea, but then goes along with it publicly only to continue trying to find evidence that Chang is faking. Annie and Troy team up to find out that Chang had been working a trout farm for three months as unpaid labour. At the presentation to the institute Jeff shows footage of Chang calling and hanging up a number, which turns out to belong to Chang's wife, Alessandra. Upset at Chang's nonchalance at the reveal, Jeff kisses Alessandra in order to evoke a reaction from Chang, but still nothing. Seeing such skepticism, the institute decides to grant the money. The study group exiles Jeff at his dishonesty, but later forgives him.
78 7 "Economics of Marine Biology" Tricia Brock Tim Saccardo March 21, 2013 (2013-03-21) 406 2.95[12]
Dean Pelton enlists Jeff, Britta, and Annie to help Greendale recruit a "whale", a lazy young man whose wealthy parents would be pouring money fruitlessly into his college education for a long profitable while; Annie and Britta are the welcoming committee on campus, while Jeff is tasked to keep Pierce occupied off-campus so that he doesn't show up and ruin the plan. Jeff is surprised to enjoy spending time with Pierce at an old-school barbershop, while Britta quits the whale effort and Annie is horrified when she realizes the lengths they're going to in order to reel in their target. Troy and Shirley enroll in a new "Physical Education Education" class where they are taught how to be P.E. teachers, where Shirley is a natural and Troy a complete failure, until they join forces to do a good turn for Chang. Abed starts a new fraternity, the Delta Cubes, in general defiance of the Dean's dislike for such groups.
79 8 "Herstory of Dance" Tristram Shapeero Jack Kukoda April 4, 2013 (2013-04-04) 407 2.32[13]
To distract from Greendale's drinking fountains being removed by the CDC, Dean Pelton plans a "Sadie Hawkins" dance. Britta organizes a competing "Sophie B. Hawkins" dance in protest, confusing her with Susan B. Anthony. At the dance, Abed goes on two dates, set up by Annie and Shirley. But after he is found out, Abed realises that he enjoys spending time and has more in common with the coat check girl who aided in his night's mischief.
80 9 "Intro to Felt Surrogacy" Tristram Shapeero Gene Hong April 11, 2013 (2013-04-11) 413 2.84[14]
After a traumatic balloon ride leaves them stuck in an awkward silence, Dean Pelton helps the group come to terms with events through the new technique of "puppet therapy". After Shirley admits to the terrible secret that her paranoia over Andre's fidelity put her kids in danger, the rest of the group ends up telling their own psychedelically-induced shameful disclosures (Jeff broke up with a terrific woman because she had a kid, Troy accidentally started a major forest fire, Annie let Professor Cornwallis rub her feet in order to get a better grade, Britta has never actually voted for anything but The Voice, and Pierce only made out once with Eartha Kitt and never slept with her, while Abed has no secrets beyond his earlier puppet-rendered comment that his father is "withholding"). This episode feature several musical numbers and the cast are animated with puppets.
81 10 "Intro to Knots" Tristram Shapeero Andy Bobrow April 18, 2013 (2013-04-18) 409 3.13[15]
The study group hold a Christmas party at Jeff's apartment. Annie secretly invites Professor Cornwallis (Malcolm McDowell) in order to get on his good side and give them a good grade. At first thinking he was going to grade them with an F, Jeff is pleased to hear that they will get a C-. But after Cornwallis overhears Jeff arguing with Annie about Jeff's dislike for the professor, their grade drops to an F. The group hold Cornwallis hostage, not letting him go until he grades them with a C. Or, as Annie would like, an A in order to achieve valedictorian. After failing to have the group turn on each other, Cornwallis relents and gives the group a C+, confessing that he was willingly their hostage as he is otherwise alone during Christmas.
82 11 "Basic Human Anatomy" Beth McCarthy-Miller Jim Rash April 25, 2013 (2013-04-25) 410 2.33[16]
Annie and Shirley are being somewhat snide to each other over the valedictorian race, but they are united in disgust that Leonard is currently #1 in the class, until they bust him for having taken just one letter-grade class since 1968. Troy and Abed re-enact a scene from the original Freaky Friday that leads them each to act like they've really switched bodies. However, Abed is pretending that happened in order to support Troy, who is avoiding dealing with his deteriorating relationship with Britta after they both forgot their one-year anniversary. Through dialogue with Britta and Jeff, Troy and Abed come to terms with painful truths and the need to stand up for what's right.
83 12 "Heroic Origins" Victor Nelli, Jr. Steve Basilone & Annie Mebane & Maggie Bandur May 2, 2013 (2013-05-02) 412 2.67[17]
Abed pieces together the study group's past and reveals that their lives have always been intertwined. Chang attempts to destroy Greendale for good.
84 13 "Advanced Introduction to Finality" Tristram Shapeero Megan Ganz May 9, 2013 (2013-05-09) 411 3.08[18]
Jeff now has enough credits to graduate and contemplates his future; the darkest timeline again comes into play.


The series was renewed for a fourth season of 13 episodes on May 10, 2012.[19] Season 4 began shooting in August 2012.[20]

The fourth season sees several behind-the-scenes changes as series creator and executive producer Dan Harmon no longer serves as showrunner, as writers David Guarascio and Moses Port (co-creators of the short-lived Aliens in America) took over as showrunners and executive producers. Sony Pictures Television, which produces the series with Universal Television, says that Harmon would serve as a consulting producer, but Harmon affirms he was not informed of any of this and will not return in a position without executive prerogatives.[21] Other departures include executive producers Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan, writer/producer Chris McKenna and actor/writer Dino Stamatopoulos. Frequent episode directors and executive producers Anthony and Joe Russo also left in order to direct Captain America: The Winter Soldier.[22][23] Returning writers for fourth season include co-executive producer Andy Bobrow, producer Megan Ganz, and staff writer Tim Saccardo, who have been with the series since season two; and co-executive producer Maggie Bandur, and writing team and executive story editors Steve Basilone and Annie Mebane, who joined the series in season three.[24][25][26] New additions to the writing staff in the fourth season include co-executive producer Ben Wexler, co-producers Hunter Covington and Gene Hong, and staff writers Issac Gonzalez and Jack Kukoda.[26] Tristram Shapeero, who directed several episodes during the first three seasons, was promoted to an executive producer and directed the majority of the season four episodes,[26] while former showrunner Dan Harmon is credited as an "executive consultant".[26]

Cast member Jim Rash (who won an Academy Award for co-writing The Descendants) wrote the eleventh episode of the season, with the episode featuring Abed and Troy switching bodies, serving as a homage to Freaky Friday.[27]

The series was initially scheduled to premiere on October 19, 2012, airing in a new time slot on Fridays at 8:30 pm.[28] In early October 2012, NBC delayed the premiere.[29] released a video of the cast of Community in character addressing the delay of the season premiere.[30] On October 30, 2012, NBC announced that the fourth season would premiere on February 7, 2013, returning to its original time slot of Thursdays at 8:00 pm.[4]

Chevy Chase's departure[edit]

On November 21, 2012, it was announced that Chevy Chase left the show by mutual agreement between the actor and network. As a result of timing and the agreement made, Chase's character Pierce is absent for two episodes—he did not appear in tenth episode (produced as ninth), "Intro to Knots", or the twelfth episode, "Heroic Origins".[31][32] He also appeared in a voice-only role in the episode "Intro to Felt Surrogacy", which was the final episode produced for the season, and as part of his agreement to leave the show, Chase was required to record all audio for the scenes where his character, alongside the other characters, appeared as a puppet.[33][34]

Critical reception[edit]

The fourth season of Community scored 69 out of 100 based on 17 critics on Metacritic based on episode 1 and 3, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[35] On Rotten Tomatoes, it was reported that 76% of critics gave the season a positive review.[36] Verne Gay of Newsday stated, "Still defiantly Community, still good and still uninterested in adding new viewers."[37] On the other hand, Hitfix‍ '​s Alan Sepinwall stated, "It feels like [Moses] Port, [David] Guarascio and the other writers decided to reverse-engineer the [Dan] Harmon version of Community, but couldn't quite manage without the missing ingredient of Harmon himself."[38] Mike Hale of The New York Times has stated that the series "has been dumbed down, its humor broadened past recognition, and the two episodes provided for review...have fewer laughs between them than a single good scene from the old Community."[39] At the end of season 4, The A.V. Club's Todd VanDerwerff confessed, "I never thought I would say this, but I just don't care anymore."[40]


  1. ^ "Community: The Complete Fourth Season". Retrieved March 20, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Community - Season 4 [DVD + UV Copy]". Retrieved July 10, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Community: Season 4 (DVD)". Retrieved May 15, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Villarreal, Yvonne (October 30, 2012). "'Community' goes back to school Feb. 7 as NBC sets midseason slate". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 31, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Shows A-Z - community on nbc". The Futon Critic. Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  6. ^ Bibel, Sara (February 8, 2013). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'Community' & 'The Big Bang Theory' Adjusted Up; 'Person of Interest' & 'Elementary' Adjusted Down". Retrieved February 8, 2013. 
  7. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (February 15, 2013). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'Zero Hour', 'Big Bang Theory', 'Community', 'Idol', 'Elementary' & 'Grey's Anatomy' Adjusted Up; 'Scandal' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 15, 2013. 
  8. ^ Bibel, Sara (February 22, 2013). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'The Big Bang Theory', 'Parks and Recreation', 'Grey's Anatomy' & 'Elementary' Adjusted Up; 'Beauty and the Beast' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  9. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (March 1, 2013). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'Community' Adjusted Up; No Adjustment for 'American Idol' or 'Zero Hour'". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  10. ^ Bibel, Sara (March 8, 2013). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'The Big Bang Theory' and 'American Idol' Adjusted Up; 'Glee' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 9, 2013. 
  11. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (March 15, 2013). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'The Big Bang Theory', 'American Idol' & 'Community' Adjusted Up; 'Elementary' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 15, 2013. 
  12. ^ Bibel, Sara (March 22, 2013). "Thursday Final Ratings:'The Vampire Diaries', 'American Idol', 'Grey's Anatomy' & '1600 Penn' Adjusted Up; 'Beauty and the Beast' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  13. ^ Bibel, Sara (April 5, 2013). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'The Big Bang Theory', 'American Idol', 'Grey's Anatomy', 'Two and a Half Men', 'The Office', & 'Wife Swap' Adjusted Up; 'Scandal' & 'The Mindy Project' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 5, 2013. 
  14. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (April 12, 2013). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'Hannibal' & 'American Idol' Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 12, 2013. 
  15. ^ Bibel, Sara (April 13, 2013). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'The Vampire Diaries' & 'American Idol' Adjusted Up; 'Glee' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 19, 2013. 
  16. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (April 26, 2013). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'The Vampire Diaries', 'The Big Bang Theory' & 'American Idol' Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 26, 2013. 
  17. ^ Bibel, Sara (May 3, 2013). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'The Big Bang Theory', 'American Idol', 'The Vampire Diaries', 'Two and a Half Men', 'Grey's Anatomy', 'Glee','Parks and Recreation' & 'Hannibal' Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 4, 2013. 
  18. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (May 10, 2013). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'Big Bang Theory', 'Grey's Anatomy', 'American Idol', 'Vampire Diaries', 'Two and a Half Men', 'Wipeout', & 'Elementary' Adjusted Up; 'Glee' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 10, 2013. 
  19. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (May 10, 2012). "NBC's 'Community' Renewed with 13 Episode Order". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 10, 2012. 
  20. ^ Siegel, Tatiana; Belloni, Matthew (July 12, 2012). "Ken Jeong Signs on for Expanded Role in 'Hangover: Part III' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 14, 2012. 
  21. ^ Harmon, Dan (May 19, 2012). "HEY, DID I MISS ANYTHING?". Dan Harmon Poops. Retrieved May 19, 2012. 
  22. ^ Adalian, Josef (May 18, 2012). "Dan Harmon Is No Longer Showrunner on Community". Vulture. Retrieved May 19, 2012. 
  23. ^ Sepinwall, Alan (May 19, 2012). "Can 'Community' work without Dan Harmon?". HitFix. Retrieved May 19, 2012. 
  24. ^ Fitzpatrick, Kevin (May 24, 2012). "‘Community’ Writer Confirmed to Return for Season 4". ScreenCrush. Retrieved June 15, 2012. 
  25. ^ "Andy Bobrow, Annie Mebane and Steve Basilone Also Returning". Dan Harmon Sucks. May 25, 2012. Retrieved June 15, 2012. 
  26. ^ a b c d "Community - Credits". NBC. Retrieved April 19, 2013. 
  27. ^ Masters, Megan (February 23, 2013). "Community‍ '​s Jim Rash Previews His Freaky Friday-esque Episode: 'It's Very Greendale'". TVLine. Retrieved April 19, 2013. 
  28. ^ Ausiello, Michael (June 14, 2012). "Fall TV: NBC Sets Premiere Dates, Including Summer Debuts and Late Start For Community". TVLine. Retrieved June 15, 2012. 
  29. ^ Carter, Bill (October 8, 2012). "NBC Delays Premiere of ‘Community’". The New York Times. Retrieved October 9, 2012. 
  30. ^ Snierson, Dan (October 19, 2012). "'Community': 'Troy & Abed in the Morning' addresses the show's delay -- VIDEO". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 19, 2012. 
  31. ^ VanDerWerff, Todd (April 18, 2013). "Intro To Knots". The A.V. Club. Retrieved April 18, 2013. 
  32. ^ VanDerWerff, Todd (May 2, 2013). "Heroic Origins". The A.V. Club. Retrieved May 4, 2013. 
  33. ^ VanDerWerff, Todd (April 11, 2013). "Intro To Felt Surrogacy". The A.V. Club. Retrieved April 17, 2013. 
  34. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (November 21, 2012). "Chevy Chase Leaving NBC's 'Community'". Deadline. Retrieved November 22, 2012. 
  35. ^ "Community: Season 4". Metacritic. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  36. ^ "Community: Season 4 (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 9, 2014. 
  37. ^ Gay, Verne (February 6, 2013). "'Community' review: Never fear, the gang's all here". Newsday. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  38. ^ Sepinwall, Alan (February 7, 2013). "Review: NBC's 'Community' not the same without Dan Harmon in season 4". Hitfix. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  39. ^ Hale, Mike (February 6, 2013). "Same Classroom, New Curriculum on ‘Community’". The New York Times. Retrieved February 10, 2013. 
  40. ^ VanDerWerff, Todd (May 9, 2013). "Community: Advanced Introduction To Finality". The A.V. Club. Retrieved January 30, 2015. 

External links[edit]