PARKS & RECREATION Tuesday 13 March, 2012
Welcome to Pawnee. Welcome to incompetence.
Politics. It makes great TV. The Thick of It, The West Wing, House of Cards and Yes Minister to name but a few. In a fair world Parks & Recreation would nestle in snugly amongst the ranks of these greats. It’s not a fair world though so it probably won’t. However, within the pages of Geek & Spell it is my world and I will place it right there on that list.
Whereas the greats of political TV focus on high-level national politics Parks & Recreation details the prevalent buffoonery of civic politics in Pawnee, Indiana, specifically the Parks & Recreation department. The central character is Leslie Knope a civil servant (Deputy Parks Director), brilliantly played by Amy Poehler. Leslie is so enamoured with political life but is almost completely lacking in the required aptitude. Hilarity is never far away as she tries to manoeuvre the political minefield.
When she discovers that a citizen has been injured by falling into a pit which was dug by a developer who went bankrupt Leslie goes on a mission to turn the now abandoned plot and pit into a new park. This gives the opportunity to explore all of the incompetence of local government.
Brilliantly written and excellently played (Aziz Ansari, Aubrey Plaza & Rashida Jones stand out for praise) Parks & Recreation is another great addition to any comedy collection. You might struggle to get hold of it in the UK but it’s a struggle worth making.