A passionate and focused Community community organizer, Catherine Boyd has been mentioned in the New York Daily News, on MTV Geek, and several like sites thanks to the flash mobs and other fan events that she has worked to set up in an effort to bring attention to her favorite show’s perpetual ratings struggle.
Now, in the midst of what may be the show’s deepest struggle, one that isn’t just about ratings, but the very soul of the show, Catherine and her merry band of Community Super-Fans continue doing everything they can to keep the show on air.
In our interview, we ask Catherine why Community inspires her, what she thinks about Dan Harmon’s departure, and the show’s recent struggles.
What is it about Community that inspires such a devout following and what percentage of your average week do you spend watching the show, tweeting about it, and talking to friends about it?
Catherine Boyd: I’m going to sound like a preacher for a minute, so bear with me.
“Community” will always be my favorite TV show, ever. I don’t know what it is, exactly. Maybe it’s because I’ve always been a misfit. I’ve never had a show that “gets me” before. But at its heart, it’s a show about broken people, finding redemption and love with each other. Before the recent ratings drop, I wasn’t doing much. Right now, I’m 100% focused on keeping this show on the air. I spend about 3 hours a day doing NBC Community fan work.
Do you think that the show has suffered creatively from the loss of Dan Harmon?
Boyd: I was not expecting much, to be honest. I was pleasantly surprised by how surreal and magical S04E01 was. I got to tell Andy Bobrow in person (at CommuniCon) how much I love his work. I can’t imagine the pressure the writers are under. Can you imagine that job? The biggest problem is that all the fans love Dan Harmon SO MUCH. I mean, we gave him a microphone at CommuniCon and said, “GO NUTS!” Yes, we had a CommuniCon. @CommuniConNews is GOD; she organized it by herself! Here’s a scrapbook from CommuniCon.
I’m pleased with what the writers created so far. I think that the writers are under a crazy level of stress, having to fill Harmon’s shoes. There are other TV shows that survived the ouster of their creator, and I’m hoping the writers will settle in and calm down. They certainly have plenty of fan support.
In the past few days, we’ve seen a steep decline in ratings from History 101 to Paranormal Parentage and Bobrow, went on Twitter and bashed his episode (History 101) and seemed to almost throw in the towel. With all of that going on, how’s morale amongst the Communies?
Boyd: The 43% ratings drop (from a 1.9 Nielsen rating, which pretty much guarantees renewal on NBC, to a 1.2, which is borderline cancellation) was a massive shock to my system. Don’t get me wrong: I’ve read all the criticisms. I’m savvy enough to understand what people are saying, and heaven knows I have the literary background enough to parse things with the best of them.
I’ve also observed many of the fans saying they’re unhappy, and that it’s not Dan Harmon’s Community anymore. I’m also aware of what “fandom” means, and that I’ve been labeled an uber-fan. That becomes a bit like politics, which is pointless to argue. You either love a thing or you don’t there; it’s very binary.
I would like to believe that I have enough of a critical mind to step outside that umbrella. In general, I think mindless following of anything is loathsome.
It’s this one show; it’s this one thing. I saw the 43% ratings drop and went crazy. I will do anything to keep it on the air. I want the writers, cast, and crew to have #SixSeasonsAndAMovie, if possible. I just LOVE them that much, okay? I literally worship at the temple of Bobrow, man. And don’t even get me started on how much I love Yvette, the rest of the cast, and the other writers.
If you want to join the cause, check out communitywarriors.freeforums.net and use the following hashtags on the twitter: #CommunityWarriors and #CommunieConfessions.