A colleague recently pointed out how some co-workers and I treat “Community” not like it’s a TV show, but as if it were a way of life. And it’s true. “Community” fans are notoriously obsessive, overanalyzing every joke and each episode’s most minute details.

If “Community” is a way of life, then that way of life was threatened Friday when Sony Pictures Television, which produces the NBC series, fired creator, showrunner and head writer Dan Harmon. He likened the situation to being beaten up as a child. I felt like I had been punched in the gut.

I know “Community” is just a TV show, but I’ve always felt a deep, personal connection to Greendale Community College and its misfit characters. Much of that came from Harmon, whose visionary genius gave us some of the most ambitious, weird and funny TV to ever air. It wasn’t always perfect, but it was so audacious that you couldn’t wait to see what he would try next. Now, we’ll never know.

Whatever airs next fall will look like “Community,” it will sound like “Community” and it will seem like “Community.” But without Harmon, it will no longer be the “Community” I felt like I was a part of.