|Parks and Recreation|
Parks and Recreation title card
|Created by||Greg Daniels
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||23 (List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Greg Daniels
|Original run||April 9, 2009 – present|
Parks and Recreation is an American comedy television series. It was co-created by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur, part of the creative team on the NBC version of The Office. The series follows Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), the deputy director of the Parks and Recreation department in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana. Knope takes on a project with a nurse named Ann to turn an abandoned construction pit into a park, while trying to navigate her way through the politics of local government.
On January 29, 2010, Parks and Recreation was renewed for a third season.
The series follows the ambitions of perennially upbeat mid-level bureaucrat Leslie Knope, on her quest to better the town of Pawnee, Indiana. As deputy director of the city's Parks and Recreation Department, her sense of enthusiasm is rarely shared by her unmotivated colleagues, who include the wisecracking Tom, placid city planner Mark Brendanawicz, deadpan department head Ron Swanson, and his droll assistant April Ludgate. Leslie's newly found best friend is a local nurse Ann Perkins, whom she meets when Ann's immature boyfriend Andy Dwyer tumbles into a large pit near their house. Bessie takes on the quest to turn the pit into a park, which becomes her ultimate personal project. However, she finds herself repeatedly frustrated by bureaucrats and townspeople who stand in her way. While the pit-park storyline occupied the show's first season, the pit was filled in during second season, and the plot gradually began to explore Leslie's other projects and personal issues, including a fledgling romance. The second season also focuses on the personal lives of all of the Parks Department employees, as well as Ann's new romance with Mark and April's affections for Ann's ex-boyfriend, Andy.
Beginning with season two, one character, who was credited as a guest star during season one, received star billing:
The style of cinematography is consistent with that of The Office. The mockumentary style is seen in several ways. Any music featured on the show is strictly diegetic, meaning that the music is never used as part of the score, but rather it is only presented in the context of boom boxes, CD players, etc. Characters have one-on-one time with the camera crew for The Office style confessionals. This is most frequently seen with Leslie and Ron. Characters also modify their reactions to certain events and dialogues to remain consistent with the mockumentary format. For example, in the episode "Boys' Club", Ann is embarrassed by a comment that Andy makes about sex because she doesn't want the camera crew to hear it. One way that the format of the show differs slightly from The Office is that, unlike early episodes of The Office, the crew of Parks and Recreation follows the cast more closely than the The Office crew did. They also seem to have less of an ability to hear through walls and doors than the crew for The Office does although in "Boys' Club" they are able to hear what is being said in the courtyard through Leslie's window.
Most of the City Hall scenes are filmed at Pasadena City Hall in Pasadena, California. The show's logo is based on a design rejected by the City of Fort Collins. Instead, the City used a similar logo with left swooping shape replaced with the outline of Fort Collins' famous landmark, Horsetooth Mountain.
The show's musical theme was written by Gaby Moreno and Vincent Jones. Michael Schur said of the opening credits, "It does a really good job of explaining what the town is like. (The) credits do a really good job of establishing it's just sort of a normal, every-day town in the middle of the country."
The series debut was met with mixed reviews from critics. Entertainment Weekly praised the series, stating, "While I laughed out loud only a few times during Parks' pilot, I dug the performances, the attitude, and the atmosphere that's being created. One would be foolish to underestimate the series this early on." Metacritic assigned a rating of 59/100 based on 25 reviews. A less favorable review from Robert Bianco of USA Today said that the show "never expends enough energy to even approach funny". Jonathan Storm of The Philadelphia Inquirer dismissed the series, saying, "Parks and Recreation emerges a miscast mess".
Because the show was created by some of the same team and filmed in the same mockumentary style, many anticipated 'Parks' to be a spinoff of NBC's hit show The Office. In its review of the show, New York Times called it an "outdoor version of an indoor comedy". Linsa Stasi of The New York Post attempts to prove it's the "same show simply transported" claiming the two shows have "the same sitcom set-up, the same self-congratulatory, hipster style and an identical lead character". Daniel Carlson of the Hollywood Reporter contradicts these claims stating that while the show "bears stylistic similarities to 'Office'", it "has a heart and mind all its own".
One fairly consistent source of praise goes to Saturday Night Live star Amy Poehler for her performance as lead character Bessie Higgenbottom. Bessie has a bubbly personality and undying enthusiasm which is very much incongruent with her surroundings: a dull office with bored employees in a seemingly insignificant town. Tom Shales of The Washington Post prescribes that "Poehler's show unfortunately isn't worthy of her". Daniel Carlson of the Hollywood Reporter also had praise for Poehler claiming that she "has the comic intelligence to carry a series like this one" and delivers a performance that is "awkward but not alienating" and "eager without being repelling".
Reviews grew from mixed to more positive during the second season. James Poniewozik of Time magazine praised the development of the characters. He thought that the show has a "handle now" on the main character Bessie Higgenbottom, and does an "excellent job of finding things for its supporting characters". He also opined that the series is "living up to its potential now". Tim Goodman of the San Francisco Chronicle commented that Parks and Recreation is "finding its comedic mojo" this current second season and added that the show is "here to prove there is such a thing as creative comebacks". IGN gave the show the award for Best Comedy Show of 2009, beating out Curb Your Enthusiasm, Modern Family, and 30 Rock, saying, "Last Spring, we talked about how much potential Parks had. Well, not only did Parks quickly come into its own, but it became the shining beacon of NBC's Thursday night lineup."
In fact, the cinderella first year was capped when P&R landed on over 20 "Best of 2009", "top 10" and "breakout" lists including:
– GQ Sitcom of the Year – New York Times – TIME's Top 10 TV Series of 2009 – Los Angeles Times' Best TV Shows of 2009 – Los Angeles Times' Top 10 Good Things About TV in 2009 – People Magazine's Top 10 Shows – Entertainment Weekly's 2009's Breakout TV Stars – Entertainment Weekly's Ken Tucker's Top 20 TV Shows of 2009 – New York Magazine's Killer Dads and Family Comedies: The Best TV of 2009 – San Francisco Chronicle's Season's Top Comedies – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Best of 2009 – Newark Star-Ledger's Best of 2009
|Season||Timeslot (EST)||Season Premiere||Season Finale||TV Season||Rank||Viewers
|1||Thursday 8:30 P.M. (April 9, 2009 – May 14, 2009)||April 9, 2009||May 14, 2009||2009||#96||5.35|
|2||Thursday 8:30 P.M. (September 17, 2009 – TBA)||September 17, 2009||TBA||2009–2010||TBA||4.90*|
Parks and Recreation is simulcast on Citytv in Canada. In the Philippines, it airs on Jack TV every Friday at 9:30 pm, Wednesday at 2:30 am and 10:00 am. In Australia the series premiered on Channel Seven at 11pm on Tuesday December 1, 2009, between 30 Rock and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Season 1 has finished its run and Seven followed through with Season 2 immediately after. It now airs Mondays and Tuesdays, 11:00pm. In South Africa the show airs on Pay-TV operator MNET.
Parks and Recreation (2009–) is an American comedy television series. It was co-created by Greg Daniels and Michael Schur, part of the creative team on The Office. Despite initial speculation it would be a spin-off of The Office, the two programs are not related beyond the fact both shows share a similar mockumentary style. The series follows Leslie Knope, the deputy head of the Parks and Recreation department in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana. Knope takes on a project with a nurse named Ann to turn a construction pit into a park, while trying to mentor a bored college-aged intern.