Milk and Cigarettes

Rambles about stuff I like.

More Parks & Rec. God I love that Leslie Knope! PLUCKY!!!

Oh! Em! Gee! I just can’t get enough of Parks and Recreation!

I’m noticing it take various comedy elements from other shows. There’s one of the cast members – who’s not one of the main cast – who’s this perfectly nice guy called Jerry. But each and every person in the show sees fit to dump on Jerry whenever possible. I think this borrows some elements from the Meg character on Family Guy. The key difference being that Jerry is a very likable, inwardly sensitive and talented person – whereas Meg is pretty disgusting and messed up.

I’m only on Season 2 still, but my favourite character so far has gotta be Leslie. It’s the combination of wide-eyed enthusiasm versus the non-stop government oppression. Leslie is naive and believes in the system, so at about every turn, she’s shut down by bureaucratic nonsense. Not to mention it’s standard sitcom fare to get involved in wacky situations due to lack of communication – and this happens to Leslie quite a lot.

The show is actually very smart about it’s gender politics. It’s clear that Leslie is a gal trying to make it in a man’s world, but instead of having everything she do wonderful, and everything men do harmful, the show manages to bring subtlety and nuance to the discussion.

For example, there was a recent episode wherein Ron Swanson (Leslie’s boss) wins a “Woman of the Year” award from a woman’s political group. This crushes Leslie, who desperately yearns to be recognized for her tireless efforts on behalf of the city of Pawnee. Ron, being the bureaucratic master that his is, recognizes the award is political and tries to refuse it. This sets up an amusing dialogue between Ron, Leslie and the chairwoman of the women’s group. Both Ron and Leslie have argued that Leslie should get the award, but the chairwoman answer’s with

No. Leslie doesn’t get the award. We’re giving it to Ron, a man. Frankly, when the award goes to a woman, no one gives a rats ass. But if we award it to a masculine, mustachioed man like Ron, then the press will pay attention.

That is an undeniably hilarious thing for a leader of a woman’s group to say.

I was supposed to really focus in and write my thesis this morning, but the lure of P&R kept calling back to me!

Not to mention it’s an interpersonal comedy, so there’s lots of relationship drama, and people having crushes on other people, heartbreak, emotion, that part of the show where the music goes soft and a man talks about his feelings to a woman. Yeah, some of it is a bit ridiculous – but all the characters are supremely likable, which goes a long way towards making the formulaic parts of the show tolerable.

I suppose because this is Amy Poehler’s show, I will eventually have to compare and contrast it with Tina Fey’s 30 Rock. When I watched 30 rock, I found it really smart. Not terrifically laugh-out-loud funny, but very very clever. I’m sure the majority of writer’s were from Harvard and Yale.

However, with Poehler’s show, I find myself laughing out loud a lot more! Because it’s a formulaic show, it can never be as smart as 30 rock – as they were all about turning the formula on its head. But I would argue that so far, P&R has the funnier jokes.

Anyhoo, this has been another blog entry about Parks and Rec’s! I’m sorta deliriously happy that I’ve got this new comedy to watch with at least 5 more 20+ episode seasons ahead of me! I’ll never graduate!!!

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February 17, 2015 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , ,

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