56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on June 8, 2010
Parks & Recreation started promisingly enough in its (short) first season, but the in its second season, it has developed into my favorite thing currently on TV. Every episode is sharply written, and each character is well-defined, as are the relationships between the characters. This show has some of the best cast chemistry I've ever seen.
I think where this show went from being a good comedy to a great TV show is when the character relationships started developing more thoroughly. As the show progresses, there are more "serious" moments that show how these people care about and take care of each other. Make no mistake, these scenes are as funny as the "wacky" moments, but the show's heart shines through.
I highly recommend Parks & Recreation for fans of quickly paced sitcoms and strong ensemble acting
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 2010
The title of my review says it all.
The 2009-2010 season was incredible. Both veterans such as the Office and 30 Rock and brilliant new series like Modern Family, Glee, and Community made this one of the best TV seasons in years. But in its second season, Parks and Recreation rose above it's weak first season and is at LEAST as funny, well acted and written as the best comedies of the season. But not only that, it (perhaps along with Modern Family) was the most consistent. There were no "meh" episodes... I wouldn't rate any of them below a B+. And the addition of Rob Lowe to the show is a Godsend. Not only does he bring an incredible energy to the show, it may be his best work that I've ever seen.
Something that sets successful shows like the Office, Modern Family, and Parks and Recreation from the rest of the pack is having a big heart. And Parks and Rec. exemplifies this. It simply is not a cynical show, and while packing big laughs week after week, there is a deeper level of humanity and sincerity that in my mind makes it simply about as wonderful as television gets.
First season, while not without merit, failed to fully find it's voice, and ultimately led to a low rated second season. On any TV critic's score card, Parks and Recreation's second season was up there with the best of them. Worse still is that aside from Amy Poehler, it was unfairly snubbed of Emmy noms, and this is a shame. Fans questioned whether NBC would cancel the show, but happily, it will get a third season; sadly it will enter as a mid-season replacement. I'm hoping NBC's faith in the show is manifest in many marketing dollars so that this gem stays on the air.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2010
If you haven't seen this show, you are in luck just because you can grab the first two seasons and watch them back to back. Over the last couple of years, in my mind The Office has run out of fresh ideas and just keeps having people in the office hook up, break up, hook up, and break up again, and it's getting old. THANK GOD for Parks and Recreation. I am NOT the biggest Amy Poehler fan out there, but the main reason to watch this show is Aziz Ansari. The guy is amazing, and I think that in Season 2 Amy was able to step into her role better than Season 1, and the show hasn't looked back. There is a great supporting cast on this show, and Nick Offerman and Aubrey Plaza are both fantastic as well. I used to look forward to Thursday Nights for The Office, but now I look forward to Parks and Recreation, and then watch The Office to see if Dwight and Angela are together or not together, or back together, or not together, or back together...I forget.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2010
The way I see it, the more 5 star reviews for this show the better. And since the DVD release date has recently been announced (Nov. 30) I thought that was a good enough reason to add a review as any.
After a solid but not spectacular start in season 1, Parks & Recreation has improved by leaps and bounds in the 2nd season. Starting with "Pawnee Zoo" (the first episode) all the way to "Freddy Spaghetti" (the last episode) there hasn't been a lull in quality or a lapse in developing the various stories that this season covers. Part of what makes this show so great is that no matter how despicable, repulsive or pathetic the characters are the show's writers write stories that let you root for these characters. Whether it's Leslie Knope (a well meaning but bumbling and somewhat ineffective bureaucrat), Tom Haverford (a sleazy but harmless flirt who does very little of an actual job), Ron Swanson (an authoritarian who hates government programs but admires Leslie's spirit and effort [especially in this season]) or Ann Perkins (a good hearted nurse who through circumstance is tied to the Parks and Recreation department) all the major characters are multi-faceted who have a lot of depth and heart once you get to know them. The same is true for the minor characters like Jerry Gergich and Donna Meagle but especially April Ludgate and Andy Dwyer who also have their quirks and flaws but in this season these two characters in particular have a developing relationship that is the heart of the show. They aren't the only characters involved relationships; Leslie, Ron, Tom, Ann and Mark each have their romantic lives explored as well but more importantly each relationship covered is compelling. These aren't cliched relationships that are fodder for the show's writers meant to cheaply manipulate your emotions (or to get cheap laughs). No, these are believeable complex relationships that whether they are used for comedic purposes or not at the end of it each relationship is heart-warming/heartbreaking depending on the relationship in question. It's these relationships that ground the show.
However, if that was all this show was about it would be pretty one dimensional and not worthy of being called the best show of the 20009/2010 season (which it definitely is/was). Because mixed within the heart-warming/heartbreaking moments is some absolutely hilarious stuff. Funnier than anything on TV last year. From gay pet marriages (Pawnee Zoo) to accidental shootings (Hunting Trip) among other things, this show is full of original comedic moments that will have you laughing so much it hurts. Not to mention interesting plot twists/developments in characters that will keep you guessing and smiling.
Luckily after this season this show isn't finished. NBC has announced that it will be a mid-season replacement this year. However, this isn't all good news obviously. The sad fact is that P&R's ratings last year were abyssmal and without a marked improvement it's very likely the next season will be it's last. So if you are new to this show and curious about it I recommend you check it out not only because it was the best last year but because I selfishly want more. If you see what I and others see in this show I urge you to tell everyone about it. This show deserves more than three seasons(and two are/will be shortened ones at that)! Because from a creative standpoint Parks And Recreation is on a roll and it would be a shame if the show's writers weren't allowed to tell the compelling stories that are currently being told right now to a fitting conclusion at least. Here's hoping all P&R fans are enjoying season 4 in a couple of years...
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2011
First of, season two of Parks and Rec is a gigantic improvement in all areas.
The characters are much better drawn, each and one of them is unique, hilarious and incredibly memorable. Even characters like Donna and Jerry, who uttered maybe one or two lines in the entire six episodes that were season one, are now consistently given interesting and funny stuff to do.
Everything has just kicked into gear. This season has very few flaws, in fact all episodes are so consistently great that it's almost impossible to pick a standout episode.
It's not only the humor that makes this show so great. The relationships between the characters are simply sweet and heartwarming. These people are often goofy, but they are not caricatures. They can be outrageously funny, sad or genuinely happy, and it all feels very organic and tremendously relatable.
This season gave me a ton of laughs, but it also always put a smile on my face that lasted for a long time after I'd finished watching. If you're feeling down, this will make you happy. I guarantee you that.
And seriously, who couldn't love Ron Freaking Swanson?
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 2010
Created by some of the producers/writers of the (US) The Office. This show is really taking off this year it was decent last year but not as funny as it is this year. The reason is mainly in my opinion they have given the support cast more camera time. Aziz Ansari(Tom Haverford), Nick Offerman(Ron Swanson)and Chris Pratt(Andy) are clearly showcasing their comedic talent in this show about local government in Pawnee, Indiana. Amy Poehler's character, Leslie cares so much about her job and advancing her career but her boss Ron doesn't which is hilarious. Tom Haverford is her assistant hes basically always trying to be cool and he messes with Leslie, I think Aziz does some improv as well because some of the things he says seems like stuff he would write. The beautiful Rashida Jones is also in this show her character is more of the normal one surrounded by idiots. Ron Swanson is the best his blunt, dry sarcasm and to the point of what he is trying to say makes it funny. His character doesn't really care what people think of him. Andy shines shoes at the city hall he gets in on a lot of their activities, he kind of has ADHD or something to that extend kinda says whatever he is thinking before actually thinking about saying it. Check out this show if you like the office or sitcoms. I don't find Amy Poehler(Leslie)Main character that funny though she is alright but eh, that's why it gets 4.5/5 instead of 5/5.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2010
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
The first season:
This show started out with a 5-episode pilot season. Originally planned as a spin-off to the office, then changed to be more like a carbon copy of the office, in a different setting, with a female boss. I was originally very excited as I am a big fan of most of the cast. Something just didn't feel right. Seemed all the cast's talent was being wasted on trying to look like another show.
THE SECOND SEASON:
Somehow, NBC decided to give the show that was getting pretty poor reviews and ratings another chance. We should be so glad they did. The writers re-tooled the show. I think the key change was turning Leslie (Amy Poehler) from a female Michael Scott to someone who actually knew how to do her job and had the respect of her office, even though she is quite the character. She went from annoying and hard to watch, to very funny and original. Amy and the rest of the cast have become one of the best comedy ensembles on television today.
If you watched this show during the first season and were disappointed, I recommend you give it another shot.
Unfortunately, I've heard the show won't be back for a third season until mid-season. Which means the DVD will most likely have a delayed release as well.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 1, 2010
finally, i have a reason again to watch tv on thursday nights. ever since the beginning of season 6, the office has been running out of steam and as much as the show "tries" to be funny, it just isn't anymore. it's over, and they need to wrap up the franchise this season when steve carell/michael scott leaves, but from what i've heard they are going to continue on which i believe is a BIG mistake. the writers act like they don't know where the show is going and they don't know how they want the characters to come across thus the show's characters do not act like themselves anymore and makes you ponder the question, "would their character really say or do that"?? michael scott is having the biggest identity crisis of them all starting in season 6 to present. michael gary scott use to have substance and depth to his character and even though he was incompetent, oblivious jerk he was a likeable underdog who you want to root for because at the end of the day he is a human being struggling to find love and trying too hard to make friendships and to keep his family (coworkers) afloat in troubling times. now, his character comes across as shallow, childish, and selfish with no humility. i just don't know where the show went wrong. seasons 1-5 were/are something to be cherished because all 5 seasons are classics and are best at what television comedy has to offer. i've came to the point to where i really don't care about the characters or the show and who's dating who in the office and the messy storylines. i'm even embarrassed to say that i'm a "fan" of the show anymore, because frankly i am not a fan of season 6 & 7, and people don't understand when you try to explain to them that "well, i was a huge fan in seasons 1-5 when the show and humor was still quality and the characters still acted like themselves". so i don't even talk about the office anymore to avoid this confusion and long explanation. how sad is that? sorry for that rant but as you can tell, i'm still a little bitter about the situation.
the other comedies on thursday night (30 rock, community) are really good comedies but are not "have to watch" shows that i want to watch religously every thursday night. i'm glad to say that parks and recreation has taken the place of the "love" and "excitement" for television comedy that i use to have for the office in seasons 1-5.
i remember the season being terrific as i watched it on tv but rewatching the episodes on dvd i have realized that this season is brilliant and even rivals some of the office's best seasons. yeah, it's that good. this proves that creators/writers greg daniels and michael schurr know what their doing and can make a great comedy series. i still wonder why they stopped writing for the office? the office's quality dropped significantly at the very end of season 5 and that was the same time parks and rec started to air. it's very obvious that the office's drop in quality and direction started when greg and michael had less input into the episodes.
anyways, this season is just fantastic. everything you can want in a great, hilarious, intelligent comedy: good writing, character development, interesting and surprising storylines, intelligent/quick-wit humor, and the main ingredient/key that the office is currently missing but use to strive at in previous seasons, "heart".
not to mention, the great cast of characters and actors. amy poehler as (leslie knope) is kind of like a version of the office's michael scott but this season we find her growing more confident, competent, and her character is very likeable with lots of quirks and heart. rashida jones plays (ann perkins) who is the gorgeous, level-headed nurse who is one of the less quirky and more straight-forward characters on the show and she compliments leslie's character very well. then you have the deadpan and mustache raises of nick offerman who plays (ron swanson) and his character's greatness and abrashed honesty is equivalent to dwight schrute on the office. comedian aziz ansari plays (tom haverford) and is definitely the funniest character on the show as he brings some of his skills from his stand-up to the screen. aubrey plaza plays the apathetic and sarcastic intern (april ludgate) who reminds me of a mix between ryan howard and jim halpert from the office. then you have one of my favorite actors paul schneider playing the clever-witted, charming nice guy (mark brandanowitz) and his character is instantly relatable with lots of heart and humility. finally, you have the goofy and lovable (andy) who is played by chris pratt. he has become a regular character on the show in the second season and rightfully so. his character seems to add a lot of quirkiness to the show to help level out the seriousness and dryness of the humor. the rest of the minor characters are just OK and will say that i don't really care for the (jerry) character. also, this season we saw a lot of guest appearances including andy samberg, rob lowe, fred armistan, adam scott, justin theoraux, and the comedian Louis CK who plays the small-town, literal cop and leslie boyfriend for several episodes in the first half of the season. i thought his character was flat-out hilarious and his interactions with leslie and the camera were just brilliant and hilarious!! definitely would love to see him back on the show in the future seasons.
so if you are a fan of "the office" (mainly earlier seasons) or the classic short-lived, genius "arrested development", or the family-oriented "modern family", then you have no reason not to watch and love this show. most say that "modern family" is the funniest show on tv right now. this is partially true, i think parks and recreation is tied in that category and when season 3 starts in mid january 2011, i think it has the capabilities to take the comedy reign and sit on the throne. let's just all hope that parks and recreation can keep going for at least 2 or 3 more seasons and hit that milestone of 100 episodes and that greg daniels and michael schurr stay put and keep making this one of the funniest and quality shows on television
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 2, 2010
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I was going to write a long review, but everything has already been said by other reviewers here. Simply put, then, if you want to watch a series transform itself into one of the greatest on television, then buy this. After a slow start in season one (which was only 6 episodes), the second season catches fire with amazing characterisations, hilarious gags, outstanding cameos and disarmingly effective romantic twists. Must-see.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video
Hilarious show, Every character is hilarious and personable. It truly is a great show built on simple principles - a wide range of characters each carefully built on some of the best comedy writing on TV right now. I highly recommend this show and suggest watching it from the very beginning, the characters build throughout the seasons and they often slip inside jokes into the show from earlier episodes.
I want to live my life as Ron Swanson does!! "This is my number one favorite food wrapped around my number two favorite food"