While Community and Parks and Recreation are gems on their own, one of the things that makes me happiest about the continued existence of both shows is that they’re training and credentialing a generation of writers on a particular kind of smart comedy. Parks and Recreation is bringing optimism about government, women in escalating positions of leadership, and feminist manly men into the television ecosystem, while Community is uniting high and low art nerddom and clever racial and gender-based humor.
And some of these writers are starting to get their own stand-alone projects. Katie Dippold, who wrote some of the best episodes of Parks and Recreation including “Fancy Party,” in which April and Andy get married, and “Indianapolis,” in which Ron Swanson pursues the perfect steak, just sold a movie about two female cops. I’m particularly excited for this project, given both that we’re allowed to have two male cops as partners, but women always have to be paired up with men, and that the idea of anyone from Parks and Rec tackling any part of government bureaucracy is inherently thrilling to me. Then, Community‘s Hilary Winston has a pilot about a woman who tries to pull her life together after a brutal dumping in development for the fall at NBC. For those of us who always enjoy it when Community‘s women step into the center of the frame, or out on their own, that’s delightful news. And Community and Happy Endings directors Anthony and Joseph Russo are, amazingly, in the running to direct the Captain America sequel.
This is the thing to remember for those of us who freak out about the potential for cancellation of either of these gems. It would be a tragedy to lose Parks and Recreation or Community at this point in their runs. But the prospect of unlocking the talent from these writers’ rooms and applying them to other projects, too, should be an exciting one.