I just had to write a post about my new obsession, A.K.A Parks and Recreation. If you’ve not heard of it, which I hadn’t until a few weeks ago, then take this a your cue to (please!) watch it!
But first, let me fill you in. Parks and Recreation is an American TV sitcom starring comedian Amy Poehler and Guardians of the Galaxy legend Chris Pratt, and basically a handful of fabulous actors. But I’m not going to name every one because this show doesn’t need to have an all-star cast to sell it, it can do that by itself in the first episode. If you want to know more about the cast, click here.
So, what’s it all about? The show, originally aired on NBC, is a mock-documentary chronicling the highs and lows of the Parks and Recreation department in Pawnee. It follows the characters in the office as the experience relationships, coming up with crazy schemes to raise money for the department, and dealing with budget cuts by the government. I would liken it to shows such as The Office (actually, one of the creators worked on the US version of The Office), with strong characters similar to Friends.
I was at a friend’s house with my boyfriend a few weeks ago and over dinner we watched a couple of episodes from season 2. I wasn’t familiar with the show and didn’t really understand what was going on. Watching something half-way through is never a good idea and it didn’t really grab me, but then a few days later I was looking for something to watch and thought, ‘I know, I’ll try watching Parks and Recreation from the beginning!’ and that’s exactly what I did. And I haven’t stopped watching. Every evening I look forward to sitting in bed and watching about three episodes, or more, until I literally can’t keep my eyes open and send myself to bed. I’ve been telling all my friends and family about it, but nothing I say can really do it justice, you have to just trust me and give it a shot.
The humour is just the right amount of sarcasm, situation comedy and light hearted banter. Each character is extremely well-developed, with traits that allows them to bounce off one another. For example, Jerry is the butt of the office jokes. He is a bumbley, kind-hearted but clumsy guy that gets blamed whenever something goes wrong with one of the departments crazy schemes.
Then there’s Leslie, the main character, and the energetic, whipped-cream obsessed lady who comes up with all those crazy schemes. Most of the comedy is provided by Chris Pratt’s character, Andy, who in the first series is dumped by his girlfriend, Anne, and then decides to live in a pit outside her house. This provides an endless amount of laugh and the joke never gets old. He’s not the brightest guy, and his comments to the camera are usually the highlight of the episode. There is also head of the department, Ron Swanson, a moustachioed guy who loves meat, woodworking, and never having to do any work. There are some top-notch scenes between him and his insane ex-wife, Tammy (played by Megan Mullally A.K.A Karen from Will&Grace). Ron is the complete opposite to Leslie’s character, and although they annoy each other at every turn, they always look out for one another.
Most of the laughs are provided by Tom, the office clown and basically sleezy guy. He is hilarious but doesn’t have much luck with the ladies. Many of
his scenes feature him finding new ways to chat up girls, only to be knocked back dramatically.
Parks and Rec features some excellent storylines, especially in the romance department, but I can’t say anything without spoilers. The most important ingredient that holds the entire show together is the heart that is at the centre. The characters all genuinely like each other, and it seems that the cast are all friends in real life too, which comes across to the audience. There are some great stories about filming that Chris Pratt often tells in interviews, so if you’re interested it’s definitely worth looking them up.
There are six seasons from start to finish (the show ended in February of this year) and I can’t speak for every episode as I’m only up to mid-season three as I write this, but each scene is just as good, if not better, than the last. I just cannot get enough of Parks and Recreation.