Monday, January 31, 2011

Top 10 TV Shows of 2010: #2 Parks and Recreation

© Chris Haston/NBC
I did not like the first season of this show to a point that I don't believe I watched it all. Being a fan of The Office and Amy Poehler I of course had to check out Parks and Recreation. Right away I didn't enjoy it that much. Poehler's character was more annoying than entertaining, the premise of the show seemed boring, and it felt all over the place. What really was going on had to with the writers and actors clearly trying to figure out what they wanted make out of this show. Greg Daniels and Michael Schur, who had developed and written for the US remake of The Office, brought too much of that show into this one. It originally aired before The Office, which seemed silly to begin with, and I honestly got tired of the format each week by the time the show I really enjoyed started. For example, the mockumentary style of having sit down interviewed sound bits that made The Office work so well seemed so out of place on Parks and Rec. It was if they put that in there because they had to, or felt it was one of the ways they could be funny.

The first episode of the second season I watched was titled "Greg Piktis". It was the seventh episode of the season. I took a look at it for two reasons: 1) Critics I follow on Twitter kept raving about how this is the funniest show on television and how it had changed drastically from season one. And 2) It was the Halloween episode and TV always does Halloween well. The differences were drastic. They no longer seemed to be relying on Poehler and were giving true voices to every character within the show's world (and process that also took The Office some time but made it what it is today). The show also had figured out that they didn't need to force the taped sit down interviews; they would come when they would make sense whether it was to segway from one scene to the next or to explain something that had happened in the past. After that one episode I went online that weekend and watched the first six episodes I had missed of the season and was HOOKED.

The show works best because the actors and the characters know their place within Pawnee, IN and the story of each week. Poehler gets to shine and use everyone to play off of while turning her character Leslie into a real person rather than just a workaholic. Nick Offerman, as alpha-male Ron Swanson, is used just the right amount to maximize his awesomeness without overdoing it. A nice surprise is the chemistry and friendship that has organically been created with Ron and Leslie. It adds a really nice dynamic that you can look back on week to week that was missing in its first season.

I'm sure everyone has their own favorite characters that make them laugh the most. I love each character a lot but my favorite that gets me the most is the friendship between Chris Pratt and Aubrey Plaza. Their reactions and polar opposite attitudes always adds a laugh to any scene. And I know a lot of people clearly love Aziz Ansari who has finally gotten a place to shine (and had my favorite moment of the season, DJ Roomba). The late additions of Rob Lowe and Adam Scott to the cast at the end of season two has only added more dynamics to the show without messing anything up, and that has to be hard to do. So if you haven't yet, please check out the next episode of Parks and Recreation now airing Thursdays after The Office where it was always meant to be. The second season is also available on Netflix Streaming to help you get caught up if you need to as well.

Now for you viewing pleasure here is a very random video using the Parks and Recreation opening credits called "Hutts and Recreation". Cracks me up every time:

Contact Kevin

No comments:

Post a Comment