Community: Gillian Jacobs on Britta, Pizza Dance & Defending Season 6
Community star Gillian Jacobs on Britta, the pizza dance, the line that will follow her forever, giving Season 6 a second chance, and more.
With filming on Peacock's Dan Harmon & Andrew Guest-written, Joel McHale (Jeff), Gillian Jacobs (Britta), Danny Pudi (Abed), Alison Brie (Annie), Ken Jeong (Ben Chang), Jim Rash (Craig Pelton), and reportedly Donald Glover (Troy Barnes) set to kick off sometime this summer, Jacobs is offering up some entertaining & informative intel on the beloved series. During interviews with The A.V. Club and Salon in support of Transatlantic, Jacobs reveals what she appreciates about Britta, the line that will follow her forever, being a big fan of the costume episodes, and more, including why you should give the sixth & final season another shot – it's better than you think.
"Pizza Dance" & More: What Jacobs Loved About Britta: "I think of the moments that people always now reference to me, which is the pizza dance. It's just funny, these small moments that you do one day for 20 minutes on set that live on forever," Jacobs shared. "I can't think of a moment in particular. I loved her because she just kept trying. She just kept trying. She was undeterred by how much they made fun of her, which takes a really special personality type. She wanted to be a therapist. She was completely unqualified for it," Jacobs added. "I have an overall fondness for her."
Jacobs Appreciated the Costume Episodes: "I liked my Halloween costumes a lot. Dan would basically let me pick my Halloween costumes. The squirrel was my idea. It was supposed to be a T-Rex, but it kind of looked more like Yoshi Dragon Turtle. I enjoyed all of those a lot," Jacobs explained. "It was really fun because it's what you think Hollywood is like — walking around the back lot, dressed in a crazy costume, going to lunch. We would have that experience all the time as the cast of 'Community,' walking around the Paramount lot all dressed in whatever the theme was of the week and going to get a coffee at the Coffee Bean on the lot, and suddenly we're all zombies."
Jacobs on the Line That Will Follow Her Forever: "I feel like the line, 'Oh, Britta's in this,' is going to follow me until the day I die. Anything I'm in, no matter what it is, tonally, how different it is, like Mary Jayne Gold, 'Transatlantic,' it'll be 'Oh, Britta's in this?' Jim Rash has given me the gift that will go on forever.
Jacobs Defends Season 6, Believes It Deserves More Respect: "I think season 6 is underrated, so I would advocate for some season 6 episodes. I know it was hard to watch on Yahoo! Screen, but now it's all together, so you can watch it again! [Seasons] 1-3 feels like universal agreement upon, 4-5 mixed feelings, and then 6 I feel is unfairly maligned. I like the RV episode in season 6 [episode 10, "Basic RV Repair and Palmistry"] where we have a giant hand strapped to the ceiling of an RV… I feel like there were some great episodes in there, and we had really great additions to the cast in season 6 as well, so I would encourage people to check it out."
Dan Harmon on What Won't Work for Community Movie
Checking in with Six Seasons and a Podcast, Harmon had some intel to share on the script (written by Harmon and Andrew Guest) for the upcoming movie. In the following highlights (you can listen to the entire episode below), Harmon addresses some of the thematic concepts that worked during the show's run not making the cut for the film & why, and discusses why there needs to be a reason for the gang to reunite that doesn't go down cliched routes like "class reunion."
Community Fans Shouldn't Expect a "Greatest Hits" Tour: "It's a lot easier for me to rule stuff out than tell you what we're pursuing. For instance, we go, 'Do we really think it'd be a good idea to be a paintball episode?' It's one of the first things to rule out because it's the first thing off the top of your head, and that's an issue with the 'Community' movie concept. We did a lot of episodes where you are joyfully locked into a construct that isn't a traditional sitcom narrative but is rather through the lens of David Fincher or Martin Scorsese. There were a lot of special episodes that were kind of like genre homages. The paintball thing was one of them. We tried to do a bunch more paintballs, and they were all perfectly wonderful things to do, but would anything ever capture the joy of the original paintball episode?"
Harmon On Why "Paintball" Wouldn't Play Today, Dungeons & Dragons Out: "You're running around with guns in a school, which was never a good idea on TV, even back then. How can we do that in a way that's acceptable? You sit down to write the movie, and you're like, 'So, we'd do that, right?' Because it's so emblematic of what made our show special and the triumphs we had, the things we contributed as a show. Or we'd play Dungeons & Dragons for 90 minutes. I kinda gotta rule that out — maybe a better writer wouldn't."
Community Movie Won't Go Reunion/Closing-the-School Route: "You're not gonna do anything terribly clever with using the school's demise or resurrection as a device because you don't want too much of your movie to be spent unrecognizable. It wouldn't be outlandish to suggest that enough time has gone by in 'Community' that the world, and not these characters, has changed so significantly that there's a lot to deal with. They haven't been together in a long time, but it's not because they swore each other off… there's a reason to get together, and there's a reason they have to stay together."
Now, here's a listen to the entire episode of Six Seasons & a Podcast, "Intro to Remedial Cinematic Pitches with Very Special Guest Dan Harmon":