Friday, November 04, 2011

Viewer's Choice: Park and Recreation

I decided to start a new column here on the blog and it's all due to Facebook. A few nights ago when I was sitting at home (as I am wont to do), I was having trouble coming up with a topic to post about. After all, the glut of new fall shows is pretty much over, I couldn't think of any tv news that had really excited me in the past week, and let's face it I was feeling lazy.

So I headed over to Facebook and threw open my page for suggestions. And wow. Apparently a lot of people have a lot of ideas for posts. Mostly wanting me to write about shows that I had either not watched or had never heard of. And here we are! Based on YOUR feedback I'm going to expand my horizons and explore some new shows. Will I like it or hate it? Who knows?

First up: Parks and Recreation. This one comes from my friend Lauren who is a big fan, and while the show has generally been on my radar (mostly from people I know raving about it), I confess I never checked it out. I remember hearing that is was so-so in its first season, and kind of a rip-off from The Office, but had improved in the past few seasons. So I didn't have high expectations.

I watched the episodes that were currently available on my On Demand--which were three episodes from the most recent fourth season. For those of you familiar with the show they were the Gotcha! journalism episode, the Treat Yo Self and wilderness group episode, and the Halloween party episode.

And guess what? I loved it! Sure, the format was a blatant copy of The Office but who cares. It's effective, and staging the show in a local government office is just too perfect as it put the spot light on another type of soul-crushing monotonous work. The show seems to have a little more heart and optimism than The Office and while the people are weird, they seem more realistically weird. I bet we all know people with similar quirks so identifying with the characters (and the situations they end up in) is ridiculously easy. It's not often that I actually laugh out loud during comedies, but Parks and Rec had several scenes in each episode that had me rolling.

Also: Rob Lowe is in it and he is crazy. I'm officially hooked.

Thanks to Lauren for turning me on to another new show that I really enjoyed. I can honestly say that I am going to keep up with Parks and Rec and probably go back and watch it from the beginning. If you've got an idea for a show that you think would be good for a Viewer's Choice post, give a shout in the comments or give me a heads up over email or Facebook.

Don't cry Batman. You're on an awesome show!


Laza said...

YES! Great post! The first season is definitely weaker, but I think the writers do a good job of correcting things that aren't working. It's similar to the Office in good ways, and different from it in even better ways. It's worth watching from the beginning, so you can see how the characters have progressed. It has heart and hilarity. AND Adam Scott who is genius. But really, the entire cast is excellent. I'm so glad you are hooked!

Maggie Cats said...

I think I read on the wiki page that the writers paid close attention to fan response from the first season, and purposefully corrected some things (like not making Leslie ditzy). And I gotta say, one of the ways the show impressed me was that the main character was NOT incompetent, ala Michael Scott. I'm definitely a fan now and am going to Netflix it from the beginning!