Earlier this week I rewatched “Remedial Chaos Theory,” the third-season episode in which the simple act of going downstairs for a pizza delivery creates multiple overlapping threads of reality. At the time I thought it was the best episode of Community ever made. Now I realize it’s something even grander. Like a painting on a grain of rice, it’s a hilarious and enduring monument to obsession and detail, a testament to disappearing up your own ass and somehow emerging with something worth sharing. It was the high-water mark of Dan Harmon’s singular achievement…
Network sitcoms are still considered a lesser art form, the product of shticky groupthink, not unyielding vision. And if Dan Harmon’s outrageously exacting tenure on Community suggested the alternative, his absence confirms it.