Making the world a better place, one show at a time.

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Washington, DC, United States
I guess you would like to know a little bit about the person making all these proclamations upon good taste and horrid characters. I'm Andrea and when I was 15 I fell in love. An hour after meeting "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" I was forever altered in the way only love can, and I never questioned for one minute afterwards that television offered me an amazing chance to experience lives and moments that I could never imagine. So now, when I'm not getting distracted by my real life, I write about TV. I also read, am finishing a Master's degree in English Literature, travel, am attempting to learn vegan cooking, am the 5th of 6 children, and drive my roommate nuts by constantly cleaning our already clean apartment. Now that we're old friends, time for you to take my opinions as the be all and end all.

Monday, November 29, 2010

My Weekend Fling: Parks and Recreation, Seasons 1 and 2

I watched the pilot of Parks and Recreation when it aired; I wasn't impressed.  Jennie advised me to give it another shot, and reviews I read said it had improved immensely, so I gathered up all my love for Amy Poehler and Rashida Jones (I still maintain that Karen was awesome!) and queued up my Watch Instantly.

So glad I did, because this shite is funny.  The racist Town Hall murals sight gags are completely worth watching the show for.

Those, and the rest of the writing.  Like when Leslie marries the two male penguins.  Or when the whole office goes on a hunting trip.  Or Jerry's mugging.  Or my personal favorite Duke Silver.  I could go on.

From what I can tell, the conceit of this show is "the road to hell is paved with good intentions," because no one's intentions are as good as Leslie Knope's and no one ends up in as many hell-ish situations.  I mean come on, the premise of the show is turning an actual pit into a park, Dante would be all over this.  Or maybe he wouldn't be interested in the bumblings of a small-town's bureaucracy ridden government through the perspective of their Park's Department.  Leslie is unfailingly optimistic in the face of tax-payer antagonism, co-worker apathy, and continual personal embarrassment, but her determination, hard-work, and occasional bouts of drunken-ness prevent her from coming across as either cloying or sanctimonious.

The gem of Parks and Recreation is Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman).  Ron is the head of the P&R department, a breakfast-obsessed loud and proud Libertarian who wants nothing more than to do as little as possible.  He's not just lazy, he is lazy out of principle.  And that is the element that separates Parks and Recreation from The Office: self-awareness.  The characters have their flaws, they make mistakes, and often end up with a mess on their hands, but for the most part, they know their flaws are flaws, that their mistakes are their responsibility, and that they have to clean up their messes.  At this point, particular personality aspects have not devolved into caricature; for example, Tom Haverford's (Aziz Ansari) attempts to pick up women are still viewed and commented upon as creepy and desperate, not jovially dismissed as a fixed and worn affectation.

The only character who is really clueless is Andy Dwyer (Chris Pratt, in yet another wonderful dumb-but-lovable-guy role that he does so very very well).  Andy is essentially a kind person, just a little dim. The slow evolution of his relationship with surly and disconnected April (Aubrey Plaza) demonstrates a possibility for development, giving me hope that Andy won't degenerate into a one tick pony whose buffoonish behavior pushes the line of cruelty.

The weak link in this show is Mark Brandnawitz (Paul Schneider), but since he won't be a regular in S3, I don't really feel a great need to spend much time here talking about how Mark was boring.  Boring, boring, boring. Okay, I'm done.

But can I get an amen for Adam Scott's recurring role as Ben Wyatt?  I am in love with this guy, am terribly disappointed that Party Down got cancel, and his character is perfect for Leslie!

So really, is it January yet?

The TV Girl

1 comment:

The Rowles said...

Sweet! I thought it had been cancelled. Good to know it will be there in January.