Friday, February 27, 2015

Parks and Rec and Amy Poehler

You don't have to worry about a spoiler alert before reading on. I have not seen the final episode of Parks and Recreation. In fact, I have not even seen the final episode of Season 2...although that is coming up on my Friday night docket.

Until recently, I had not been very aware of Amy Poehler, aside from her generally existing on SNL. I was much more familiar with Tina Fey. I had read her book (and laughed out loud a lot) but I wasn't a fan of 30 Rock. I enjoyed the Fey/Poehler collaborations (Golden Globes, Baby Mama) but I never sought out Poehler's work. I dabbled in the occasional episode of Parks and Recreation when flipping channels but wasn't all that engaged. And then I listened to Poehler's Yes, Please on audiobook and I laughed and laughed and wanted to consume everything that Poehler had ever come in contact with. 

[As a side note, Poehler reads Yes, Please and brings in other voices, like Seth Meyers and her parents for a unique and engaging listening experience. Although I love reading a tactile book, this audiobook gave me an unparalleled experience. I know I got more from the audiobook than I would have from simply sitting down and reading.]

With all the hoopla surrounding the final season of Parks and Rec, Stephen and I decided to give the show a fresh try. Here are the top 3 reasons why I think Parks and Rec is a show worth watching:

1. It is an earnest endeavor. Leslie Knope truly wants to work in government and is willing to work hard. The show isn't cynical or snarky as a comedy and most importantly, it doesn't deliver the message that public service is a useless endeavor.

2. It is funny. I mean side splitting funny. The situations that these disparate characters find themselves in together makes for hilarious situation comedy. I am looking at you "Hunting Trip" episode.

3. It has a niche audience. I enjoy my fair share of shows for the masses: The  Big Bang Theory and How to Get Away with Murder, for example but Parks and Rec is not that show and it doesn't try to be that show. And I like that.

I will leave this clip here for your enjoyment. And if you don't think Parks and Recreation is for you, start and the beginning and give it a try. I have a feeling it is an acquired taste - it was for me.