Friday, May 6, 2011

Parks and Recreation, Watch it Already: A+

Originally published for The Maneater.

When “Parks and Recreation” first popped up, it mostly got brushed off as a ploy by NBC to to cash in on the popularity of "The Office"; it seemed like just another mockumentary in another office, except this time the boss was a girl. Shoot, it was even co-created by the same guy. And for a little bit there — for those first couple episodes — it seemed like it actually would just be another carbon copy.

Thank freaking Greg Pikitis that assessment was dead wrong. Not only has “Parks and Recreation” proved itself one of the best comedies currently running on television, it’s proved itself as one of the best shows on TV period. It’s somehow succeeded in finding the sweet spot of golden television. All those "aw-shucks" moments between Jim and Pam on “The Office” have been mastered to a science and applied to pretty much every character on the show. Amy Poehler’s Leslie Knope easily stands as one of the sweetest and most sincere characters in television history.
And Poehler isn’t the only embodiment of delightful; the rest of the cast boasts what might just be the greatest ensemble presently gracing TV (Aziz Ansari! Rob Lowe! Rashida Jones! Aubrey Plaza!) and that’s with a chemistry that’s spot on flawless to boot. I mean, really, I love every single character on the show. There's not a single person on the show that I dislike in the slightest. Furthermore, the guest spots shine with such talent (Will Forte as a crazed "Twilight" Fan, Louis C.K. as Knope’s boyfriend cop) that the feeling of sadness always looms after they have their final scene. Louis C.K. and Poehler's brief relationship remains one of my all time favorite TV romances (even if it was just for a couple episodes).

But the greatest trait of “Parks and Rec” is how successfully it blends together laugh out loud comedy with real life. It’s genuinely unlikely that a show has ever handled relationships as well as “Parks and Rec.” The show feels like real life: the break-ups, the co-worker interactions, even the economy mirror the real, which makes everything about the characters a hundred times more relatable than the average show.

By now, “Parks and Recreation” has transformed beyond what anyone could have ever hoped. It has totally surpassed “The Office” in every aspect, be that comedy, relationships or just overall adorableness. It is one of the golden comedies of the decade and belongs to be ranked among the greats “Arrested Development” and “Seinfeld.” Now go watch it. Please, watch it! It needs to last seven seasons! Netflix it! Hulu it! Pirate it if you have to! But start with the second season! Because that first one they're still finding their vision, which they find in the second season! Exclamations!

Seasons one and two are available on Netflix Instant Streaming.

Joel Samson Berntsen (Frank Ocean - lovecrimes)


Jesse said...

You made me reconsider this show and I'm glad because I like it now.

Joel Samson Berntsen said...