Parks and Recreation: Season 1
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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
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Great actors, and the show is generally light hearted and very funny.
If you liked the The Office, you'll like this show. They have very similar humor and feel.
But now that it's the only documentary style sit com I'm watching it's suddenly really funny to me. One of the things that makes the show funny is the reaction shots of other characters to the stupidity of the shows situations. Those make scenes funny and really bring the jokes home.
Also somehow the Ron Swanson character didn't appeal to me back when this show was new. Now I see why people think he's one of the greatest characters on TV.
All in all, if you gave up on this series years ago like I did, give it another shot.
If you do not like it in the beginning, stick with it ... it gets better! But watching the show in its entirety allows you to fully understand many of the running jokes that appear throughout the seasons. And yes, it is fairly juvenile ("fart attack") but everything else makes up for it, if fart jokes aren't your thing.
The characters are human, they screw up, they love each other, they hurt each other ... but they all do the best that they can and, in the end, they care for each other and it always shows.
Watch this show, give it a chance :)
It definitely is for a different sense of humor. The key to a great comedy is that every character has funny qualities. Some shows, like Parks and Rec and The Office take a while to understand the characters and appreciate them. I didn't care for the Office the first time I watched, but learned to love it as I got more into it. Shows like this are like an ongoing inside joke.
There are people who find Will Ferrell's comedies hysterical whereas I cannot stand the sight of him. I nearly stopped watching The Office until I realized he was not going to be on there permanently.
Different strokes for different folks. Some like stand-up, some like sitcoms, some like toilet humor like the American Pie series, most Adam Sandler or Tom Green movies, other people like mockumentaries. To each their own but I love Parks and Rec!
Amy Poehler is genius. I wish that I could have even 1/8th of the energy and positivity that Leslie Knope has. Ron Swanson is the character that keeps everyone grounded and in-check when they get in above their heads. I honestly cannot even begin to pick a favorite character, they are each so unique. The dynamics of each character mesh so well with the others. This is a great show, honestly, I recommend binge watching it!