Parks and Recreation: Season One (2009)


I’ll Give You Two More Seasons, But Then I’m Out

I just realized recently that I had only done one TV show review. And, since I just recently cancelled my cable TV service, I figured this was the best time to do another one. This TV was one I had heard a lot about and only finally decided to try watching because I found it on Netflix streaming and I just finished catching up on 30 Rock. So I decided to watch a very similar show, Parks and Recreation, starring Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Paul Schneider, and Chris Pratt.

There’s not a lot of summarizing to do here. The whole premise of season one is that Amy Poehler is the head of a Parks and Recreation committee and Rashida Jones is an angry resident of a neighborhood where there is an empty lot with a deep pit in the ground that her boyfriend, Chris Pratt, fell in and broke his legs. Poehler decides that they should build a park on that lot and the rest of season one is basically about that. In episode two, they go around asking people in the neighborhood if they want the park. Most say “no”. In episode three, Poehler gets interviewed by a reporter about it. In episode three, Poehler gets in trouble because she was drinking with some guys from the office on the lot and underage Aubrey Plaza posted a video on the internet of her drinking. In episode five, Poehler goes to a banquet honoring her mother. And in the last episode, episode six, they go to a rock show of Chris Pratt’s band after his leg casts come off. The park has not yet been built.

I went into this show really wanting to like it. I like Amy Poehler a lot from Upright Citizens Brigade, Baby Mama, and SNL. I like Aubrey Plaza from what little I know about her, mainly from Scott Pilgrim. A lot of people like Aziz Ansari. And a lot of people also like this show. But I just didn’t find myself liking this show that much, at least not from the first season. I’m still giving it a shot with season two because sometimes it takes shows a little while to become awesome, but I’m not talking about later seasons yet since I haven’t watched them. But this show seems to be a lot like a midway point between the Office and 30 Rock, two shows that I really like. 30 Rock had a bit of a shaky start, but I’m pretty sure I was into it by episode 2 or 3. The Office also had a longer shaky start, mainly because they were so concerned with staying a lot around the British version until they decided to make the show their own. But this show shares the same style as the Office of having it be like a documentary film crew is watching the people of this building and they have a boss that means well but is kind of stupid and doesn’t have very good people skills. Liz Lemon from 30 Rock is smarter than the other two bosses, but definitely has people problems. I think what this one lacks is the strong supporting cast that the Office and 30 Rock has, or at least the storylines to allow them to shine. The Office has Pam, Jim, and Dwight to back up Michael Scott. 30 Rock has Jack, Jenna, Tracy, Kenneth, Frank, Toofer, and Cerie in Liz’s corner. Parks mainly focuses on Poehler and Rashida Jones.

Sadly, I didn’t laugh at all in these six episodes. I wanted to like it so bad and it bummed me out that nothing did anything for me here. I like Amy Poehler and Rashida Jones so much but there weren’t any good jokes in season one. Rashida’s boyfriend in this, Chris Pratt, was a pretty typical douchey boyfriend, just like Pam’s boyfriend in the Office. I have never really liked Aziz Ansari either. The persona he takes in the movies and TV shows I’ve seen him in just annoys me. And, since I’ve never seen him in a different role, I’ll stick to that. Aubrey Plaza didn’t have much of a part in the show yet, so not much to say there. Nick Offerman was an entertaining character that will hopefully get better as time goes on.

I don’t have very much to say about this show and that bums me out. I wanted to like it so much but I didn’t find it funny and nothing really impressed me yet. Again, that may just be something they’ll overcome as time goes on, so we’ll see about that when I finish season two. I just think it reminds me too much of two shows I like much more and that may have hurt this show. But I feel like it does have potential, so I’m still watching. So, I’ll give this show “I had hoped for more” out of “I may need more practice reviewing TV shows”.

Hey, peeps. Why not rate and comment on this as a favor to good ole Robert, eh? And tell your friends! Let’s make me famous!

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