Parks and Rec

Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope.

Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope.

While my brother Payton was home for Christmas break, we pretty much did one thing: watched Parks and Recreation. I had just finished watching every episode on Netflix, and he had recently done the same, so we went through and watched all of our favorite episodes together. It was fun. I haven’t watched a show that funny in a very long time. I remember in high school when everyone was obsessed with The Office and other various shows, but I could never get into those because mostly, the humor is either sex jokes or stupid jokes. Parks and Rec, on the other hand, was a breath of fresh air because it was actually clever.

The show follows Leslie Knope, the deputy director of the Parks and Rec department in the small town of Pawnee, Indiana, and her friends and coworkers. It follows their personal and professional lives through the random, meaningful, and hilarious situations that arise in their small town.

L to R: Andy, Ron, Donna, April, Leslie, Anne, Chris, Jerry, and Tom.

L to R: Andy, Ron, Donna, April, Leslie, Anne, Chris, Jerry, and Tom.

Sure, there are sex jokes and stupid jokes in Parks and Rec, but most of the humor comes from the quirks and idiosyncrasies of the characters. The show utilizes the extreme personalities of the characters for most of the humor, and the better you know the characters, the funnier the jokes are. There are witty puns, physical comedy, long running jokes, and a wide variety of humor that makes the show appealing to people with different sense of humor.

Ben and Leslie

Ben and Leslie

But in addition to the jokes, Parks and Rec also has plenty of real moments to keep the show grounded. The characters care a great deal about each other, and sometimes the things they do or go through for each other can be very endearing. The show also disperses surprisingly deep moments and life lessons in between the humor to make the show more valuable than a simple sitcom.

The show also progresses. There’s nothing more annoying than when a TV show remains stagnant in a particular plot or relationship, like in Bones. Rather than keep the plot stagnant at the Parks and Rec department, the show progresses from the department to a city council campaign, to city council work and beyond. Every character progresses, grows, and develops as the show moves on, which allows the viewers to feel like they are actually involved in the characters’ lives.

Parks and Rec is one of the best shows I’ve seen in a while because it is truly funny, something actually missing from most comedies today, but it also balances its humor with real, deep moments that allow viewers to truly invest in the characters and the story. The characters are all loveable, even the ones you love to hate. The show is full of romantic relationships viewers can relate to, but even more so, Parks and Rec is full of friendships that are the true heart of the show. It is self deprecating and wholesome at the same time, funny yet meaningful. It’s a well-rounded show that I would heartily recommend. Plus, it is hilarious as anything.

Best friends Ann and Leslie.

Best friends Ann and Leslie.

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