I am rewatching Community on Netflix.  I watched it when it originally aired on NBC, but watching several episodes back-to-back is a whole new experience.  As I’m watching, I keep thinking I can’t believe this was on broadcast television! Because it’s weird, really weird.

Ostensibly about a seven member study group at Greendale Community College, the show’s heart is a love of pop culture.   Almost every episode is an homage to a specific show or genre and it’s pretty genius, especially to a story geek like me. But it is not mainstream.

the cast of the TV show Community
The cast of Community

Community’s mere existence, let alone the fact that it lasted five seasons on NBC, before a final season on Yahoo television, is remarkable. The show is still so popular that last year there was a  bidding war  over the rights to make a movie.

Content is King

Community’s ongoing popularity is testament to the world we live in now where content is king. Gone are the days when you had to create something that appealed to everyone. No matter what kind of storytelling or subject matter you are into, if you create it your people will find you. Whatever kind of weird and wacky ideas you have bouncing around in your head, there’s an audience out there waiting to gobble it up.

So fly your freak flag! Create the kind of content you want to watch and read. From sourdough bread to railroads to alien romance there is literally something out there for everyone. This range of storytelling is good news for creators and audiences. It’s good news for people like me that are interested in a bunch of random things. It’s good news for people that are really interested in one thing.

Everything is Cool

Judging people by the kinds of stories they’re into is an attitude of the past. The Big Bang Theory, a sitcom about geeks into science fiction and comic books, was a huge hit that was on for 12 years. Things that were once considered niche like Doctor Who and zombies have gone mainstream. Romance readers, once looked down on, invented Book Tok, talking about their favorite books on Tik Tok, propelling romance sales into the stratosphere. Creators are inspired by their favorite things, whether they are considered cool or not. A big mystery buff, writer-director Rian Johnson created modern versions of his favorites, Agatha Christie’s Poirot (Knives Out) and Columbo (Poker Face).

Don’t be afraid to go against the grain and create content that is truly one-of-a-kind. Whether you’re into creating hilarious sketches, heartwarming stories, or hair-raising horror, there’s an audience out there just waiting to lap it up. So, let your creativity run wild and create content that will make your audience laugh, cry, or scream (in a good way, of course).

Don’t worry if what you want to write about doesn’t seem to in anywhere. Fly your freak flag and stand out. Comment below and let me know some things that you are really excited about creating.

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