While September is generally speaking my least favorite month of the year, I do enjoy the start of the Fall TV season. Summer TV has seen vast improvements over the past few years, but many of the best shows are saved for the school year. One of these shows is Parks and Recreation.
Parks and Recreation was conceived as a spinoff of The Office, but that was nixed early in its development. Rashida Jones, who plays Ann Perkins on P&R, was a cast member on the Office for its third season but she played a different character. While Parks shares many strands of The Office’s DNA, such as the mockumentary format, the two are very different shows.
Amy Poehler (a BC graduate!!!) stars as Leslie Knope, the deputy director of the Parks and Recreation department in Pawnee, Indiana. Knope cares way too much about her job and frequently crossing the boundaries of what her powers should entail. While Knope’s character shares a similar naive demeanor as The Office’s Michael Scott, the dynamic between her and the rest of the cast is very different.
The three dimensionality of the characters is really what makes Parks such a great show. Unlike The Office, which is comprised with a cast of one trick ponies, Parks’ character constantly grow and surprise us. Perhaps even more important than that, the characters actually like and care about each other.
While the characters are all funny and likable, there is one who stands above all the rest. Ron Swanson, the director of the Parks department, is easily the best character on television. Nick Offerman is such an amazing and versatile actor who commands every scene he’s in. I don’t think there’s a single episode that doesn’t have at least one hilarious Ron Swanson quote.
Parks and Recreation is easily one of the most consistently funny shows on television. It airs Thursdays on NBC. If you’re looking for a new show to get into, give P&R a try.