5 Reasons Why You Should Be Watching Parks & Recreation
Whenever I’d read any AV Club recaps on the few TV shows I watch, I’d always see that little Parks & Recreation icon with Amy Poehler in the corner and feel guilty. I’d heard it was a good show, and it stars some of my favorite comedians, but, somehow, I just never really got around to watching it. UNTIL NOW.
And it’s easy to watch– you just go on the NBC site and that’s pretty much it. As Steve Brule might say: stop wasting time, dummy, and start watching Parks & Rec!
1. Tom Haverford!
Aziz Ansari just seems to be winning my heart over, one episode at a time. I don’t know if it was his Snakehole investment presentation, DJ Roomba (an ipod stereo he duct taped to his Roomba), the Ghost of DJ Roomba (I won’t spoil that one), or his fashion show for Justin (see video above) that really sealed the deal for me. All I know is that this character uniquely captures a particular strand of person that isn’t often given this much face time or complexity. Also, me and my roommate can’t stop shouting “SEQUINS! Minus the gloves” at each other.
2. Because you know you’ve dated Andy Dwyer
Another breakout character I’ve been enjoying is Andy Dwyer, the loveable dumb loser. I know there have been a bevy of chubby losery men on TV for the past oh, I dunno, 15 years or so, but honestly, this is the one you should care about RIGHT NOW. Why? Because not only can you relate to Ann’s (aka Rashida Jones) quiet suffering as Andy asks her to make him some pancakes real quick, but also the irrational crush that April (Aubrey Plaza) has on him, and the degree to which you know you totally want to stuff chewed up gum in Justin’s suit pockets. Plus the phrase: “By Day: Andy Dwyer shoe shine-ist. By different time of day: Andy Radical oppossum catcher. By night: Do whatever I want. No job.”
3. Because you’ve worked in or dealt with city government
I feel like there are a lot of shows and movies about office life (Office Space, The Office, etc), but none that I can recall that specifically address what it’s like to work in municipal government– or any type of non-federal government. Hell, even if you’ve worked in a non-profit, Leslie Knope’s (Amy Poehler) optimism shouldn’t be a stranger to you. Basically, I think it’s pretty genius that this show appeals to an untapped market, for the most part, and addresses larger issues that you’d think would be obvious in other office-type shows or movies, and yet I’ve yet to see anything comparable in anything else but this show. I especially enjoy how the show doesn’t necessarily villainize anyone, making Ron Swanson’s Libertarian rants actually quite enjoyable to watch. Plus, Ron Swanson’s mustache is tops. As well as the fact that he loves breakfast to such a fervent degree.
4. Because April’s life eerily resembles your own
She had a gay friend with a boyfriend that she makes out with occasionally when drunk, mocks people constantly– especially Andy for being such a “bro”. Because of this, she’s partly all torn up inside about liking Dave Matthews Band enthusiast Andy. In the Galentine’s Day episode, April finally cracks on her gay boyfriend, declaring “God, why does everything we do have to be cloaked in like 15 layers of irony?” What? That doesn’t resemble your life? Oh, uhhh, maybe I guess I just meant mine.
5. Because it doesn’t fall into the career woman stereotype trap
If I have to see another movie or show portraying women who care about their career as frigid, selfish, uncaring assholes, I’m going to vomit. Rather than villainize Leslie Knope, even with all the quirks played up for comedy purposes, she’s portrayed overall as a multi-faceted actual human being, who isn’t just “one way” for apparently no reason at all. You sort of feel for Leslie’s enthusiasm about her small-time job, her stubbornness to (almost) always do the honest thing even if she’s fucking herself over, and yet, you’re not always rooting for her when she makes a bad judgement call. She’s not put on a pedestal, nor is she portrayed as some sort of a warning for women who want a serious career.
Do you already love Parks & Rec? TELL ME ABOUT IT NOW (in the comments)!