“Harmontown” Is a Touching Portrait of “Community” Dan Harmon

Dan Harmon has developed into an enigmatic figure in the world of television; notably serving as show-runner/creator on the cult program Community before being famously being fired in 2012. This caused a wave of polarizing viewpoints on the matter, some stated that he is impossible to work with and others claimed that he is a misunderstood genius.

imgresHarmon took this forced hiatus to the road to tour his podcast Harmontown he hosts in a live setting with Whose Line Is It Anyway? veteran Jeffrey Davis. The duo have forged an a community (no pun intended) that has become an institution for those are culture obsessed misanthropes; including resident D&D dungeon master Spencer Crittenden.

Documentarian Neil Berkley (Beauty is Embarrassing) has no direct correlation with Harmon, but the film seems to be just shy of a promotional video to the famed podcast. We see a montage of Harmon’s famous friends, (Ben Stiller, Joel McHale, Jack Black, Sarah Silverman) in talking head form recanting the exploits of television’s favorite maverick.

Harmon comes off as a tender guy and a damn funny one for that matter and Berkley’s lens casts him in a juxtaposing light. It’s easy to connect to this film especially if you are familiar with his work. Harmontown hasn’t received much attention since its premiere at SXSW earlier this year, but that is almost fitting for public figure such as Harmon. His work hasn’t garnered the mainstream acclaim for which it deserves, but he always finds his audience. Harmon states in the film he wasn’t aware of the impact his sit-coms and podcast has had on the hoard of his fans that show up for his tour.

Even if Harmontown isn’t necessarily a nuanced documentary, but it’s heart-on-sleeve sensibility translates quite well and is a place where everyone is welcome.

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