Brainstorming Meeting: An Anti-Fan Fiction
Sony Executive: OK guys, welcome to our brainstorming meeting for improving Community, which as I understand from Wikipedia, is a show with Ken Jeong in it. Say, wasn’t he great in The Hangover?
General nods of agreement
Sony Executive: Unfortunately, showrunner Dan Harmon couldn’t be here with us today, because I didn’t invite him. So with us today have myself, NBC executive Robert Greenblatt, resident intelligence experts Sheldon Cooper and Chuck Lorre, and my son Neal, because it’s take your child to work day. He doesn’t understand technology yet, so please bear with him.
Oh, also our intern Disqus is here to take notes, but he’s not important.
Sheldon Cooper: According to my calculations, the variability of reception for a show similar in nature to the one we are discussing at this juncture is unlikely to vary.
Hearty chortles abound from the audience.
Disqus: I don’t get it.
Sony Executive: Disqus, you can’t expect to grasp such intelligent humor. Leave this to the professionals.
Chuck Lorre: I can explain. It’s funny because it sounded complicated.
Sheldon: That is an answer that observes with precision the fundamental aspects of my discourse.
Even heartier chortles abound.
Sony Exec: Okay, let’s get back to the topic at hand, although Sheldon, I have to say, that was hilarious. I’m a big fan of yours.
The heartiest chortles yet.
Sony Exec: Okay, so I’ve gathered you all here today because I need ideas for what to do with Community. As I’m sure you all are aware, none of us know anything about it.
Disqus: actually, I watch it sometimes. It’s pretty funny.
Sony Exec: Oh, well since your position as intern has made you sooooo knowledgeable about the workings of television, why don’t you grace us with a plan of action.
Disqus: I know that was sarcastic, but if you actually want my opinion, I would just leave it be. Sure, it’s not getting the best ratings, but it’s found a niche on the internet that
gives it an appeal to the more intelligent and conscientious TV viewer. There is very little that anyone can do to market it to a wider audience, so it will never be a smash hit, but if you allow it to continue on at the same level of quality that it currently has, the devoted fan base will extend a measure of goodwill towards your companies in general that can do nothing but help you in the long run. The online realm where Community thrives is ignored by a large portion of the television business industry, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t important.
Neal, Son of Sony Exec: What’s the internet?
Disqus: How can you not know what the internet is?
Neal Son: Whatever it is, I’m going to use my ignorance to assume that it’s not important.
Disqus: You weren’t paying attention to my speech, were you?
NealSon: Nope. I’m too busy having preconceived notions about how TV works.
Sony Exec: So does anyone have any ideas on how to improve Community?
Greenblatt: Well I was also not paying attention to your intern’s speech, but I did hear him say that Community has loyal fans, so being the greedy bastards that we are, why don’t we toy with their emotions by sticking the show in the worst possible timeslot next to the worst possible show?
Sony Exec: I agree that we should put them on Fridays, but don’t put them next to Parks and Rec again. That’s just too cruel.
Greenblatt: Agreed, I’ll cut them some slack and put them with something good like Whitney. But then how are we going to take even further advantage of them?
Disqus: This won’t work you know. Community fans have such a strong trust in the creators of the show that nothing you do will make them lose faith. We’ll follow Dan Harmon and his team to the ends of the earth, because we believe in their ability to make meaningful television.
Greenblatt: So what you’re saying is that in order for us to maintain our reputations as greedy bastards, we need to fire this Harmon guy.
Sony Exec: Sounds good to me. Only let’s replace him with some completely random people who nobody’s ever heard of. There are these guys, Port and Guarascio, who supposedly work for Happy Endings, but I’m pretty sure they don’t exist.
Greenblatt: What makes you think that?
Sony Exec: As you know, I get all my information from Wikipedia, and they’re not on there, so there’s no way that they’re real.
Greenblatt: Sounds good to me. What’d you say their names were, Torque and Fellacio?
Sony Exec: Something like that.
Greenblatt: Okay, so we’ll announce it on the internet on Friday so no one will care.
NealSon: What’s the internet?
Disqus: You’re not going to get away with this. The fans won’t stand for it. This will be saddening news for them, and it’s going to be enough to get them to do something about it.
Chuck Lorre: Did you say “sad”? That’s an emotion!!! Oh God!! If we give our characters depth, than they might become figures who people can identify with, instead of mindless caricatures!!!!! Quick, Sheldon, undercut this emotional moment with a cheap laugh!!!!!
The audience, as engaged as they are in their chortling, doesn’t notice when the Sony Executive suddenly transforms into the devil and destroy all of them.