TV Shows »Parks and Recreation

parks and recreation tv showParks and Recreation is by no means perfected; it's a little too aware of its faux documentary feel and, even though I like Amy Poehler a lot, she's a bit too broad for the kind of subtle pathos that makes a similarly structured show like the Office so successful, it almost feels like it's hard for her not to treat every scene like an over-the-top SNL sketch. But it is pleasant to watch and I laughed way more than I expected to.

The show gets better and better with each episode, and you can now watch them all in a row on the Prime Time on Demand channel (if you have Time Warner here in NYC). The cast is strong; I love Aziz Ansari and he's great here playing a character who is harmlessly sleazy and really lazy. Rashida Jones is as adorable as ever as the straight man to Poehler's wild naif and her lay-about dude of a boyfriend is played to perfection by Chris Pratt.

My favorite character, though, is the anti government government official (a man who, like all true Libertarians, wishes all public parks were owned by private companies – in the pilot episode he explains that he thinks Chuck E Cheese would do a much better job administrating parks… he goes on to eventually admit that he'd much rather work for Chuck E Cheese) played with wonderful subtlety by the furrowy browed, manly mustached, and seething with hate for his ex-wife Nick Offerman (who is hopefully more happily married to Megan Mullalley off-screen).

It's a raw show that needs some time to grow, but already some really great dynamics between characters are developing and, as is true with most ensemble comedies, more laughs and a deeper sense of sympathy are evoked the longer you just spend time with them. I hope the show's given a chance to evolve and grow an audience.

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Posted on May 25, 2009

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