Is there a network that simultaneously treats a show as good and bad as NBC? Parks and Recreation, easily the best series on broadcast television wouldn’t have survived if NBC hadn’t kept it after all these years, even in its weak first string of episodes. Then again, NBC gave it only half a season back in 2011 and had the show on a month hiatus until last week. Now, Parks and Rec had only two more episodes for the rest of the year. Is that fair for the network’s highest rated sitcom (though that bar is not too high)?
But no matter. Parks and Rec is near the 100 episode mark and it’s still as funny as ever. While some of the episodes earlier this season were a bit bumpy, the series still is as fresh and innovative as ever. In comparison, Modern Family, another mocumentary sitcom, feels stale and dated, repeating scenarios and clichés for the last few years (the writers haven’t had a single original idea since 2010). Parks and Recreation, on the other hand, keeps moving up the risks. Thursday’s episode showed that the series was going to push its very high limits and I’m eager to see where the show’s going next.
The two episodes focused it on the season long plot about Leslie’s recall election. ”Filibuster” featured everyone’s favorite councilwoman calling a filibuster in order to protect the Eagletonian citizen’s right to vote, despite the fact that they would vote for another candidate said. ”Recall Vote,” in a surprising turn, saw Leslie Knope’s fall, as she badly loses the election, despite all her efforts to help Pawnee.
“Filibuster” and “Recall Vote” concluded with its characters slowly realizing how to continue on. Leslie is still committed to the Pawnee government, Tom sold his “rent-a-swag” business due to some very good negotiating, Ron is learning how to adjust to his marriage, April and Andy are trying to deal with living apart, and Anne and Chris are preparing to leave. When it first came out, Parks and Rec resembled the tone of The Office, with Leslie playing a Michael Scott-like role, but over the years has become more like The Simpsons (which co-creator Greg Daniels was a writer for). Pawnee is a town where anything could happen, like Springfield, and the characters are eccentric but loving and caring people. And if Parks and Rec is ignored by the Emmys once more, it will always have the support of its loyal fans.