Parks and Recreations

While I have vaguely known about this show for a while, it wasn't until I was at a Popular Culture Association panel, wherein its comedically anti-librarian stance was discussed, that I first really learned about it. Since then it was espoused by both CEJ and Katie, so I finally decided to give it a try (and I was desperate for 20 minutes breaks in-between phD study). The first season, which is a paltry six episodes as opposed to the 20+ of subsequent seasons, introduces us to Leslie and the parks department, run by an Antigovernment libertarian/tea party-ist, but quite the manly outdoorsman, and an array of various incompetent but lovable government employees. Leslie is the deputy director, has energy, motivation, and upbeat personality of the perfect government employee, basically allowing her to single-handedly run the entire department. The show is quite enjoyable, filled with zany moments of a government overwhelmed by absurdist citizens and foolish employees with plenty of moments for laughter, character development, romance, and all the stuff that makes for fun lighthearted television. I especially enjoy where they subtly but not so subtly but too subtly for my own taste interject real world government nightmares to illustrate a point or make a political commentary. If I had to lodge a complaint (and which department would I lodge that with, please?) It would be the typical one of all successful shows: budgets increase and therefore secondary cast members get replaced with better looking versions (for a town that is supposed to be the fourth fattest in America, there's a lot of hot people there) and the once goofy absurdist bad luck that happens to various characters gets replaced into upbeat happy ending stories. Why? Because we come to love the characters and we want them to be happy as opposed to our original feelings which were that we enjoyed their buffoonery and the floundering around that is typical of life (although I guess Jeff is exception to this change). I am impressed that I managed to keep up-to-date somewhat on my PhD work as well as watch six seasons (now in its final 7th) of the show within the semester. The show has shifted a little too much from its roots (the original plot was to build a park), which, again, I guess is to be expected, yet season six was really all over the place and none of those places were very good (there is always a problem when you shuffle cast members and bring in babies). Give it a try.