‘Parks and Recreation’

Parks and Recreation is a 2009 comedy show about a woman named Leslie Knope working in the Parks & Recreation department of her local government in the city of Pawnee, Indiana. She believes strongly in government, unlike her boss, Ron Swanson, who believes all forms of government are a waste. The two main characters of the show are total opposites and are still friends, which leads to a lot of comedic interactions.

This show is made in a fake documentary style like The Office, so there are often random interviews with the characters so we get to see what they’re thinking. However, unlike The Office, the camera crew following them around is never addressed and never had any relevance on the plot; it’s just used to let the characters monologue.

One of the strongest points of Parks & Rec is the believability of the situation. There’s never anything supernatural going on; it always just remains funny with a few people working in local government. Not only that, but the plot progresses between each episode really smoothly, so you can see the cast always working towards a goal. However, each episode is also contained, so you can skip the episodes you don’t like on a second viewing and still understand what is going on. 

Another great thing about this show is the characters. Andy Dwyer, played by Chris Pratt, is an absolute treasure, and fills the role of the sweet man child that could not have been cast better. There’s also April Ludgate, who plays an apathetic intern whom Ron takes a liking to because they both hate their job. Ann Perkins is Leslie’s best friend, and they meet in the first episode during a public forum, which also kicks off the show‘s end goal: creating a park behind Ann’s house.

However, this show is not without its flaws. The only character that is really unique is Ron Swanson and maybe Andy, but Andy only works so well because he’s played by Chris Pratt. Also, this show can be a bit insensitive, specifically surrounding Native Americans. There is a gag in the show about the history of Pawnee settlers and Natives and how it was super bloody, and even though it’s played off in the show like it’s a bad thing, it still makes fun of it. Also, the only Native American in the show is a stereotypical casino owner. Parks & Rec isn’t racist or anything, but if you are sensitive about Native American history, then skip this show.

All in all, Parks & Rec is really good. The characters are really funny, you don’t really see repetition until the seventh, and last season (which you should skip), and the way the show develops is better than most television shows.

My final rating for this show is 9/10.

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