‘Community’ returns March 15

For a while there, it looked like “Community” was finished.

The innovative, clever and — most importantly — funny NBC comedy seemed destined to fade into the land of dead-bef0re-their-time shows like “Freaks and Geeks” and “Undeclared.” A few months ago, NBC interrupted the third season of the show and said it would return to the air … sometime.

At least “Community” fans would have the comfort of knowing their show, about a collection of lovable oddballs hanging out at a second-rate community college, had lasted two, nearly three seasons.

But today, NBC announced that “Community” would return on March 15. True, the series will air at 8 p.m. Thursdays, opposite CBS’ uber-popular nerd comedy “Big Bang Theory.” But at least “Community” is coming back.

If all the talk about how offbeat “Community” is has discouraged you from trying it … don’t be discouraged. The show, created by Dan Harmon and starring a diverse and appealing cast, is a little odd. I mean, how many series can boast of a Christmas episode in which the characters act out a goofy, heartfelt fantasy set in “Rudolph” style Claymation?

Trust me. “Community” goes to extremes — the paintball episode that ended the first season was an amazing send-up of every action movie cliche ever — but it’s genuinely funny and doesn’t take a lot of effort to appreciate.

So check it out. For both of us.

And, for no apparent reason, here’s a drawing by artist Chris Schweizer of the “Community” cast as Marvel’s “The Avengers.” No idea why. I just came across it and had to share it.

I think my favorite part is Abed as the Vision. Classic.

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