“Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television” is the series finale of the sitcom Community, serving as the thirteenth episode of its sixth season. It was written by series creator Dan Harmon and Chris McKenna, and directed by Rob Schrab. It is the 110th episode overall and was first released on Yahoo! Screen in the United States on June 2, 2015.
As another school year comes to an end at Greendale Community College, Frankie (Paget Brewster) officially disbands the “Save Greendale Committee” during their last meeting of the year, claiming that their mission of “saving Greendale” has been completed and that they would need a new name to appropriately describe their job. As their meeting comes to an end, Elroy (Keith David) reveals that he got a job in California at LinkedIn, delivering an abrupt farewell to the group.
As the rest of the group hang out at “The Vatican”, the bar where Britta (Gillian Jacobs) works as a bartender, the group discusses what next year will look like for them. Britta mentions Abed’s tendency to refer to their years spent at Greendale as seasons of a television show and asks Abed (Danny Pudi) what he thinks “season seven” will be like. Abed explains how he doesn’t think a “season seven” is likely. During their conversation, Annie (Alison Brie) arrives at the bar revealing that she got an internship with the FBI and will be moving to Washington D.C for the summer. Jeff (Joel McHale), seeking certainty for their future as a group, pushes the topic of conversation to “season seven”. Abed reveals that he also has got a job in California as a Production assistant on a sitcom. Jeff imagines a nightmarish “season seven” where he is the only one left in Greendale, on the “Sustain Greendale Committee” with students Todd facts about bottled water, Vicki, Leonard, Dave, Garrett, and a new student named Scrunch.
Jeff leaves the bar and goes back to Study Room F. Alone again, he imagines a future of him living a happy married life with Annie and Sebastian, their imaginary son, only to realize that he doesn’t really know what Annie actually wants romantically. Annie joins him in the study room, he tells Annie that he feels attractive to her and says that he has to let her go, but “the heart wants what it wants”. Annie asks him to kiss her goodbye before he regrets it forever. They kiss, but Jeff realized he didn’t like Annie instead he just felt attractive to her because she was young and he wanted to feel like he could still get a younger girl to date him. Soon the rest of the group joins them. Frankie suggests everyone imagine their own version of “season seven”. Jeff imagines a future where he has made peace with the fact that being a teacher at Greendale means that he will be at Greendale for the foreseeable future while students will eventually leave. Jeff thanks the group, saying that they saved his life. Jeff drops Annie and Abed at the airport, hugging Abed. Jeff rejoins Frankie football jerseys for sale, Dean Pelton (Jim Rash), Chang (Ken Jeong), and Britta at the bar as the screen fades to black and “#andamovie” appears on screen.
Chang uses Friends, The Simpsons, Seinfeld t shirt soccer designs, and South Park as examples of TV shows that peaked after their sixth season. Jeff and Annie describe the Marvel Cinematic Universe (several movies of which have been directed by Community alumni Anthony and Joe Russo) as “boring” and “flavorless”. The episode’s end-tag references St. Elsewhere’s series finale and Chuck Lorre’s vanity cards.
The song “Ends of the Earth” by Lord Huron plays during the final moments of the episode as Jeff drops Abed and Annie off at the airport.
This episode features the first and only use of explicit language on the series, spoken twice by both Dean Pelton (Jim Rash) and Britta Perry (Gillian Jacobs), in reference to the series move to Yahoo! Screen. In an interview with TV Insider, creator Dan Harmon explained how it happened:
The episode received critical acclaim. Joshua Alston of The A.V. Club gave the episode an “A” rating, praising that it “works so well as a series finale, and makes such a strong case for moving forward with the ‘and a movie’ portion of Community’s hashtagged endgame”. Eric Goldman of IGN rated the episode a 9 of 10, praising its character development and stating “if this ends up being the final time we see these characters, it was a really well done farewell, acknowledging the important time they’ve spent together”. In TV.com’s ranking of every episode of the series, they placed the episode fifth overall, and wrote “the Season 6 finale was one of the show’s best offerings, and frankly, the only season finale that felt like an appropriate send-off for the characters.”
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