‘tis always a nice moment when one discovers a new bit of culture which one can connect with emotionally. Thusly we started watching Parks and Recreation on a whim and, what ho, it’s most excellent! Starring comedy stalwarts such as Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Chris Pratt (yes, him from the massive Jurassic World blockbuster – this was a pre-fame shindig), and Rob Lowe judging from the poster above (we’re only on season 2 – he’s not turned up yet).
It’s a mockumentary very much along the lines of the brilliant Arrested Development, merged with the likes of The Office (in the sense it takes place in an office, and the people who write the American version of The Office write this… confused?). It follows the life of quirky, relentlessly optimistic Leslie Knope (Poehler), the deputy director of the Parks and Recreation Department in an American town and her general hijinks. And it’s excellent.
“What’s the setting?!?”, you grunt. After local musician Andy (Chris Pratt) drunkenly falls into a neighbourhood pit and smashes his legs, his girlfriend Ann (Rashida Jones) takes on the local council and demands something be done about it. Knope decides, impulsively, to get planning permission to fill in the hole and build a neighbourhood park. That’s when the chaos starts, as attempting to overcome bureaucratic red tape leads to increasingly bizarre mishaps.
As always with these shows, you need strong characters. One of the highlights is Ron Swanson (played terrifically in deadpan mode by the truly awesome, moustachioed Nick Offerman), an anti-government libertarian (who is also the director of the park). But the cast really play off each other well, particularly the local nurse and Knope, who quickly become good friends, and it’s all rather charming and funny.
If Arrested Development is your thing then, we swear to Sweet Zombie Jesus, you’ll get a kick out of this fast paced, rewarding, groovy, and gosh-darned smile inducing show. Hurrah!