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The Latest “Community” Dropout: Writer Megan Ganz

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In another blow to Community‘s already shaky status, veteran writer Megan Ganz announced this week that she has taken a staff writer position at Modern Family.

Ganz wrote some of Community‘s most memorable episodes, including the fantastic homage to Hearts of Darkness. The decision to leave was clearly hard for Ganz, who touchingly reached out to the masses on Reddit:

For the last three years, the sum total of my contribution to this planet (in terms of effort, passion, and things I let myself go soft and pimply for) could be described as follows: Community. Recently, I was offered a job writing for Modern Family, and although it’s unclear what will happen with Community for the fifth season (or the sixth season, or the movie), I’ve decided to take this new position. Tomorrow is my first day and I’m excited and scared to start this new… well, everything. I’m sure the coffee will probably be the same.

This isn’t the end of me and Greendale. Community was my world for four seasons and my job for three, and has hold of my whole heart like a bad-news high school boyfriend. I’ll never really get away. The chemistry is too perfect and the writing room couches aren’t really that uncomfortable to sleep on and I just can’t stop writing for Britta. Plus I still have to do my editing pass on the finale. I think I left a box in my office, too…

I guess what I’m saying is, it took me a really long time to write this to you guys, and it’s not even that good. Pretty sappy, no punchlines, kind of vague about my future with the show, too little excitement about the new gig, etc. Okay, so not my best work. Maybe I’ll take it down and not say goodbye just yet. I just need a little more time.

It’s hard to blame Ganz for leaving. Community is in tumult. You know the details: Dan Harmon was booted as showrunner over the summer. Chevy Chase burned another bridge. And who knows when–or even if–the show is returning.

As Warming Glow wisely observed, folks should be thrilled that Community had four seasons. It’s one of those shows–like Get a Life, Party Down, Freaks and Geeks–that begs to get axed. Network executives can’t categorize it. Viewers have to pay too much attention. The plots aren’t familiar. Blah, blah, blah.

The neat part about Community is that it’s provided a launching pad for so much great talent: Donald Glover, Alison Brie, Ganz, Gillian Jacobs.  Those folks will go out and improve other movies and TV shows for years. That will be the show’s legacy–along with the predictably awesome oral history “Vanity Fair”produces.

Disclosure: I know Ganz a little. Though I haven’t seen her in years, I’ve been following her career with the pride of a cool high school classmate who made it to the NBA. Editorial distance aside, I wish her luck.

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