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Parks and Recreation: Season 1

762 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From the people who bring you The Office comes Parks and Recreation, the hilarious saga of government employees and local citizens turning a neighborhood hole in the ground into a new public park. Comedy superstar Amy Poehler (Saturday Night Live, Baby Mama) stars as Leslie Knope, an ambitious and hopeful small town government worker, whose dreams are way bigger than her political talents. Created by Primetime Emmy® Award winners Greg Daniels (The Office, King of the Hill, The Simpsons) and Michael Schur (The Office, SNL), and featuring a stellar ensemble cast, Parks and Recreation is a “genuinely funny comedy” (Daniel Carlson, Hollywood Reporter) about bureaucracy, hope and America at the dawn of the Obama age.

Consider season one of Parks and Recreation the series' awkward toddler phase, in which Greg Daniels and Michael Schur's comedy about midlevel town politics not only attempted to stand on its own but separate itself from its parent (of sorts), Daniels's wildly successful take on The Office. Comparisons to that show weighed down much of Parks' freshman year, with critics and fans alike suggesting that deputy parks director Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), the series' relentlessly cheerful but socially awkward focus, was a wan carbon of Steve Carell's Michael Scott, with similar charges levied at its single-camera mockumentary style, aggravating office sycophant Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari), and the awkward relationship between Knope and city planner Mark Brendanawicz (Paul Schneider, who left the show after its second season). In truth, the similarities were mostly superficial: Parks played closer to a sweet if cracked indie character piece about the hothouse effect on the eccentric if likable personalities who clung to the lower rungs of government, while The Office took a harsher look at the more aggressive flora and fauna of the American workplace. That gentler tone, embodied largely by Poehler's energetic turn and Chris Pratt as Rashida Jones's dim but ingratiating Andy Dwyer, may have put off Office fans hoping for a similarly acidic take which, in truth, was still present in Ansari and especially Nick Offerman, the show's breakout star, as the disgruntled parks director Ron Swanson. Thankfully, its network allowed Parks the time to smooth out the rougher edges and continue to develop its characters (most notably Aubrey Plaza's April, who was largely trimmed from this season), which resulted in one of the more ingratiating and proudly offbeat comedies in recent years.

The season one DVD features commentaries on all six episodes by Daniels, Schur, and directors Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses) and Beth McCarthy Miller, who are joined by Poehler, Offerman, and Jones, among others. The tracks are lively and informative about the show's technical aspects and behind-the-scenes relationships. Deleted scenes, many of which are as funny as the broadcast episodes, are also included, as are a pair of amusing videos for "Pit" and "Ann," two hapless songs from would-be rocker Andy (and written and performed by Pratt) that feature several gag-reel moments. --Paul Gaita

Special Features

Disc 1 - Parks and Recreation Season One:
  • Deleted Scenes
  • "Hose" Cold Open
  • Music Videos
  • Pilot Commentary with Greg Daniels, Rashida Jones and Michael Schur
  • Canvassing Commentary with Dan Goor, Seth Gordon, Nick Offerman, and Michael Schur
  • The Reporter Commentary with Dan Goor, Nick Offerman, Morgan Sackett, Paul Schneider, and Michael Schur
  • Boys Club Commentary with Greg Daniels, Dan Goor, Nick Offerman, Chris Pratt and Alan Yang
  • The Banquet Commentary with Amy Poehler and Beth McCarthy Miller
  • Rock Show Producer’s Extended Cut Commentary with Greg Daniels, Rashida Jones, Chris Pratt, Michael Schur, and Alan Yang

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman
    • Directors: Jeffrey Blitz, Greg Daniels, Seth Gordon, Beth McCarthy-Miller, Michael McCullers
    • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
    • Subtitles: Spanish
    • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
    • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
    • DVD Release Date: September 8, 2009
    • Run Time: 157 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (762 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B002DPPH6W
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,978 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    72 of 82 people found the following review helpful By D. Barbour on September 9, 2009
    Format: DVD
    When I watched the first episode of "Parks and Recreation", I was let down. It was unfunny, unoriginal, and dull. Being an Amy Poehler fan though, I decided to stick with it to see if it improved. To my surprise, not only did it improve, it became better than most sitcoms out there nowadays. If you reviewed this negatively based solely on the first episode, I would suggest watching the entire season as even I agree with your first episode assessment. If you like "30 Rock" and "The Office", this show fits in nicely to that style of comedy.
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    53 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Richard Hine on September 19, 2009
    Format: DVD
    Back in 2008 there was much talk of a spinoff of The Office. Rashida Jones was attached. Would her Office character Karen Fillippelli be getting her own show? (Answer: no.)

    Then, despite the involvement of Greg Daniels and Michael Schur, the line became "don't call it an Office spinoff." (Answer: too late.)

    Then Amy Poehler quit SNL to headline the show.

    Then Parks And Recreation debuted in April 2009 and people immediately ripped it apart for being too much like The Office (mockumentary style, workplace setting) or not like The Office enough (no Michael-Jim-Pam-Dwight... not even a Karen Fillippelli).

    I have no idea how the show actually came about. But during the development process, there was also a rather inspirational Presidential campaign playing in the background of everyone's lives. A new day dawned in America. And somehow the non-Office-spin-off show that emerged was set in local government (the Pawnee, Indiana Parks & Recreation department). With a lead character who believes (perhaps, naively) that government can still be made to work for the people. With an emphasis on grassroots citizen involvement. And even a few raised voices at town hall meetings.

    The show centers on Amy Poehler's Leslie Knope. And Poehler nails it. She's created a character who is intense, focused, tenacious, clueless and annoyingly lovable. Her efforts to turn a dangerous abandoned construction project (a.k.a. "the pit") into a community park are, in her mind, a launch pad for a future presidential bid.
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    9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By dmahurdle on September 23, 2012
    I love this show. I've tried to get into the office, as it seems like a very cool show, but it always winds up boring me. This show does not. I find myself caring about the characters in this show far more than I do in most shows. The writing is good, the direction is good, and it's just all in all fun to watch. I hope it lasts a long time.
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    19 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Ben on August 27, 2010
    Format: DVD
    Season 1 of Parks and Recreation is difficult to recommend for several reasons. For starters, it's incredibly short. At only 6 episodes, I almost wish they waited and just released a set with both seasons 1 and 2. Secondly, for people that are interested in the show, the six episodes presented here are simply not enough to give an accurate representation of what the show would blossom into. Lastly, 29.99 is a bit steep for a DVD set this small (and by set I's only 1 DVD).

    I enjoy The Office. I'm not a huge fan by any means, but it's a good show that I'll turn on from time to time. The first couple episodes of P&R are a little too 'Officey.' By that I mean Amy Poehler's character spends too much time being the butt of every joke thrown her way. This 'awkward' style of humor is okay in short bursts. It even has the potential to be side splitting. However, most of it here comes across as mean spirited and irritating.

    Now that I've said that, rest assured Parks and Recreation picks up VERY quickly. If you can trudge through the first few episodes, you will be rewarded with some great characters, madcap story lines, and a refreshing view of what government *could* be if more people like Leslie Knope were involved. Leslie soon evolves from the show's goat to being a very sweet, positive, outgoing, and occasionally naive person...which is definitely much more (and much better) than just 'female Michael Scott.'

    Aziz Ansari and Nick Offerman regularly steal scenes as Leslie's employee and employer, respectively. The intern April, played by Aubrey Plaza, has little else to do in season 1 other than scowl and whine.
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    11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Westley VINE VOICE on January 21, 2010
    Format: DVD
    "Parks and Recreation" debuted in April, 2009, with a limited 6-episode first season run. The show was created by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur, who helped adapt the American version of "The Office" (Schur also plays Dwight's cousin, Mose). Filmed in the same mockumentary style as "The Office," the show is bound to draw comparisons. I'm a huge fan of "The Office," so that's what drew me to this show, and I was more or less satisfied. Both shows also feature rather mundane work settings populated with less than stellar workers. With "Parks and Recreation," we get Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), who is the naive second-in-charge at the parks and recreation office in fictional Pawnee, Indiana. Leslie believes that she can make a difference, and she aspires to be like some of her favorite female politicians (her office walls are lines with photos of the likes of Hilary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi).

    Leslie regularly holds town forums for parks and rec, and at one of these meetings a young nurse, Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones), relates that her boyfriend fell into a pit on a vacant lot and broke both his legs. Leslie is horrified and agrees to look into the problem; when the crowd responds favorably, Leslie begins to (as is her m.o.) overpromise and tells Ann that she will build a park on the lot. Ann is skeptical, but this promise sets into motion the main plot line for the series - Leslie's futile efforts to build the park.

    Amy Poehler makes a likeable protagonist, and the supporting players in the series are uniformly terrific. Rashida's Ann character is mostly the straight man, but the other supporting characters are often hilarious. In particular, Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari) is a great comic creation - equal parts horny flirt, sarcastic troublemaker, and suck-up.
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