It's been a turbulent time for Community fans of late, no better highlighted by the creator of the much-loved, nerd-friendly, exceptionally clever NBC sitcom, Dan Harmon, leaving the show at the end of Season 3 only to come back for the upcoming Season 5.
Then there was the news of Chevy Chase's departure, Donald Glover dialling back his appearances (to just five of the 13 new episodes) and Harmon's unfortunate quotes concerning the quality of Season 4... but put all that to the back of your mind, because it's all good at Greendale thanks to some astute decisions from Harmon and his new co-showrunner, Chris McKenna.
This year's Comic-Con was where a lot of the most encouraging information was revealed by McKenna, Harmon and the rest of the Community crew - though Joel McHale and Glover weren't able to make it, alas - and here below are a few choice quotes for you, followed by the full video of the panel itself (complete with Sweded Iron Man outfit).
Most notably, Harmon describes the show as "like a rescue dog - it pees itself every time there's lightning. It's been through a lot. I really want to give it a milk bone and make eye contact and let it understand that I'm not going to hurt it."
"What that means is that for the first couple of episodes, it's all about the characters. As much fun as we have [with those high concept outings], where the camera is as much a character as anyone else - like on the paintball episodes - the first couple of new episodes are all about making these kids feel like they live down the street somewhere again."
"I want to get back to Greendale, I want to get back to that campus, those hallways. That's not a fun Comic-Con panel thing to say: 'Get read for more grounded story work! Who likes their characters dimensionalised?'"
We do, Mr. Dan Harmon sir, we do. Here's hoping the altogether more calming influence of McKenna, the new writer-turned-exec, will even out the kinks the show's been enduring of late and make everything - wait for it - cool cool cool come its return later this year.