Once again, NBC has masterfully created a comedy that is unique to all others. Where NBC hits of 30 Rock and The Office have been hits, Parks & Recreation has its own cult following. Those who have worked in an office can relate to things that The Office touches upon like inter-office fighting, romance, and a dense boss. But Parks & Recreation is like The Office but in a small, rural town where it seems like nothing happens.
It’s great to see Amy Poehler on television again after her maternity leave and thus leaving Saturday Night Live. The series is built around her character Leslie Knope, the deputy director of the Parks and Recreation department in Pawnee, Indiana (the town is fake). Knope is an uber-feminist whose office is decorated with distinguished women such as Condeleeza Rice, Madeline Albright, and Hilary Clinton, but is also downright oblivious of the most obvious things. Being the smartest dumbest person in the office makes her the butt of many jokes and gets her into troublesome situations. The base of the show is that there is a pit in the town and that Knope is trying to convert it to a park. Parks & Rec is centered around this pit and the fact that there is government hoops that need jumping through in order to make the park a reality. It is satirical in that makes fun of both local governments and those who take their civil servant jobs so seriously.
The show also stars Rashida Jones, best known from her Office days as Jim’s one-time romance. The pit is in her back yard and her then-boyfriend Andy fell into it, breaking both his legs. The story as since then progressed and it seems like she is the only normal person who live in Pawnee. Having her be so normal is both a relief and sometimes funny in the show. Poehler takes her advice like it is handed down from the heavens. The make quite the park-making team throughout the story.
There are other characters that have limited roles but when they appear, it seems like the less they say, the funnier they are. Tom Haveford, played by Aziz Ansari, is an Indian-American who was born in South Carolina (where he was actually born in real life). Haveford is like that Dave Chapelle skit about Clayton Bigsby, the black white supremacist. Viewers just don’t expect what comes out of his mouth because of what he looks like, something that gives the show even more flavor and laughs. Haveford is married to a smoking Canadian girl in the show. But of course, the only reason they got married was so that she could remain in the States legally.
Parks & Recreation is on NBC’s loaded Thursday night of comedy at 8:30 pm between Community and The Office. You really should watch NBC from 8-10 pm. But Parks & Rec certainly brings a refreshing story as well as some new idiot characters to NBC. And of course, it is all topped of with Poehler’s great acting prowess.
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