Community clip show: Examining the recursive collaboration between producers and viewers of a postmodern sitcom | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 1, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2046-6692
  • E-ISSN: 2046-6706



In the new media landscape, exclusive communication within a TV show’s creative team or amongst its fans is no longer sufficient to maintain the continuation of the programme. Instead, a community arises through the collaboration of those behind the scenes and those in front of the screens. By utilizing interactive technologies, showrunners and audiences have redefined notions of media consumption and mass media. An illustrative case is NBC’s postmodern sitcom, Community (Harmon, 2009–). The show features metadiscourse on media production, responds to viewers’ feedback and preferred narratives and shares the creation of meaning with the audience. As a result, the show has developed an ardent following because viewers feel their concerns are directly addressed by the show’s creative team. Further, their contributions challenge the conventional belief that fan interpretations are merely secondary discourse to the primary television text, as Community fans’ works have helped shape the televised narrative. One episode, Season 2’s ‘Paradigms of Human Memory’, deals with the creators’ and viewers’ mutual conceptualization of time and reality encapsulated in the series.


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