Community just cannot catch a break. First showrunner Dan Harmon gets fired. Then it's the subject of a showtime shuffle that leaves its fans wondering if season four will ever actually premiere. (As of now it's February 7th. I'll believe it when I see it.) Then Chevy Chase quits. (Though that could be considered a bright spot, depending on who you talk to.) And now one of its star writers, Megan Ganz, has left to write for Modern Family.
EssayThe question of women in comedy can at times (read: most of the time) be vaguely ridiculous, and frequently conflated. Are we talking about the actresses, who may have trouble finding well-rounded or non-cliched characters to take on? Are we talking about the writers, who often face writers' rooms that are not exactly equally distributed, nor always welcoming? Both are going up against a world which sporadically bursts into debates over whether women are as funny as their male counterparts, which can seem especially ludicrous in times like these, when television is experiencing a veritable renaissance of funny women showcasing their talents, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey exist as a whole different type of triple threat (writer/actor/producers), and next season’s new series are looking to be largely dominated by female characters and creators. But the question itself played itself out a few dozen posts ago. Bored now. So instead of further "debate," we decided to showcase a few of the talents of women from the writing staffs of some of our favorite TV comedies.
It's A World of Laughter A World of TearsBefore starting on this, a caveat: Personally, Community is by far one of my favorite shows on TV right now. In fact, it might even be my absolute favorite. That said, it pains me to say that while he has some great things to say about gender equality on his writing staff, my favorite show's showrunner, Dan Harmon, had a rather patronizing quote in a recent interview with A.V. Club about female comedy writers. Everything else was actually pretty great, including how he's going to stick with an equally representative writer's room, but why -- oh why -- is it always such a revelation when men realize women have a different perspective on things?