Last night was superlatively uneventful, the only pseudo-excitement coming in the form of a drawing room mystery, or I suppose technically a tv room mystery, as for the longest time my wife and I couldn’t figure out why the den where we were watching (3/4 of) our usual Thursday night programming remained so stubbornly cold even with the fireplace blazing. Eventually it dawned on us that when I had gotten home from work I had opened the garage door, but not pulled in because the little guy’s push/ride Tonka truck was in the middle of my side, and I came straightaway inside the house with the intention of going out again a little later to rectify all of that, but I never did. Amazing how drafty an open garage can be.
Anyway, for the past few years my wife and I have been diehard devotees of Community, Parks and Rec, 30 Rock and The Office (in approximately that order of relative affection) and last night The Office and Parks and Rec returned from their December holiday hiatus, and 30 Rock rejoined the lineup for the first time since late last spring, but Community was nowhere to be found. This, in contrast to the previous paragraph, was no mystery at all, since I follow more than enough entertainment news on teh interwebs to have been warned well ahead of time that Community was going on indefinite hiatus (a specifically different thing from cancellation, I continue to hope) in the spring, to make room for 30 Rock’s return. I may even have mentioned it around here somewhere. Weirdly, a terrible new sitcom called Whitney was on Thursdays in the fall but got shuffled over to Wednesdays, which you would think would mean Community could stick around after all, but instead another new show called Up All Night got the fourth sitcom slot, and that’s definitely an improvement over Whitney, but still disappointing. My wife and I had been enjoying Community tremendously and faithfully ever since it premiered three years ago, and we each got each other Community licensed merchandise for Christmas, so not being able to watch the show as we’ve been accustomed to amounts to a dark timeline indeed.
And I relayed all of those things in a letter I wrote to the entertainment chief at NBC. I am not even a little bit joking. The news about Community not returning in January broke before the final episode of the fall aired, and in one of the online review write-ups for that episode the reviewer advised his readers that the best thing they could for the show was to write a letter to Robert Greenblatt, and proceeded to give out his business address. I thought about it for a month or so and ultimately realized that if I couldn’t spare twenty minutes and a 44 cent stamp then I was nowhere near the superfan I claimed to be. Granted, I also had to do a little bit of online research to refresh my memory as to how to properly format a business letter, because I wanted my plea for a stay of execution to be taken seriously, but that was still time well spent. Though it did make me wonder how middle school teachers these days expect their students to pay attention to anything when they know they can always Google or Wikipedia it later. Adulthood truly is one long open-book exam.
That wasn’t the only opportunity I had this week to reminisce about my old teachers this week, either. I’m in the middle of Stephen King’s latest novel at the moment (yet another awesome Christmas present from my wife, and it’s fan-freaking-tastic, so expect a longer post on it when I finish it next week) which is about a teacher who goes back in time to prevent the assassination of JFK. The protagonist’s profession in and of itself didn’t necessarily evoke high school memories, but at a certain point in the narrative he directs the school play, which is Of Mice and Men, and that did remind me of my junior English Honors teacher, who not only assigned Mice and Men on the syllabus but put us into groups for projects wherein we wrote our own playlets which were alternate endings to the story (like Lenny being put on trial for murder). Funny enough, King develops a running theme in the novel about the past and present harmonizing with one another with coincidences and repetitions, and that got into my head along with the events in the book harmonizing with my own life, which was a pretty trippy feedback loop. I haven’t fallen asleep once on the train this week; I’m not entirely sure which timeline I would wake up in.