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Parks and Rec is annoying me.

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Kylee Peña
Parks and Rec is annoying me.
on Nov 23, 2013 at 8:14:11 pm

Parks and Recreation has become one of my favorite shows over the last couple of years. But this season, it's kinda pissing me off.

It seems like Leslie's career is just going backwards for no particularly good reason. In season one, she's assistant director (or whatever) of the Parks Department. She's got insane community spirit and while she's annoying, she's a nice person who's good at her job and wants to do more. Over the next couple of seasons, she naturally progresses into political office and gets elected onto the Pawnee city council.

Now she's been recalled and removed from office in a campaign led by enemies that make no sense. It seems like some kind of metaphor for selfish corporations (Sweetums) running the government while smart, good people (Leslie Knope) get tossed aside. I understand the concept, but it's super lame to watch it happen. It would be okay for a while, but damn man. Leslie has just been getting beat down for a season and a half.

At this point, her enemies don't even seem to have a hidden agenda. They're just screwing with her for the sake of screwing with her. And it works because the collective people of Pawnee are portrayed as complete idiots. They're easily manipulated conservative stereotypes.

And that makes me wonder: why did Leslie ever write her book about how Pawnee is the best city in the world? How do you become so well-known for loving a city only to have them hate you for no reason? Why would you ever love a town that sucks so much?

Nothing about this storyline makes any sense. Nothing except the idea of setting up Leslie and Ben to leave Pawnee. If you look at Leslie in seasons one and two, there's no WAY you could ask her to move. Opening the season with a trip to London and having Leslie removed from office is laying it on pretty thick.

I like that Leslie would move onto a new place where she can do more. She's the kind of person that should do something like that. I HATE that she would decide to leave Pawnee because she doesn't feel welcome anymore. It would be a much stronger story if she loved Pawnee and still decided to leave. It's easy to leave somewhere that tosses you out the front door, that's full of morons. But to move away from a place you've always loved filled with at least SOME people that aren't d-bags, THAT'S interesting.

I'm very annoyed. I like these characters a lot, but the writers aren't being fair to them OR to Pawnee.

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Scott Roberts
Re: Parks and Rec is annoying me.
on Nov 25, 2013 at 4:04:07 pm
Last Edited By Scott Roberts on Nov 25, 2013 at 4:06:00 pm

Well, it's not like Eagleton is anything to write home about either. They're swimming in debt.

I get what you're saying about the fall of Leslie, but I can only imagine that it will result in something even greater for her in the end? Ben just got promoted to city manager in the last new episode, so I don't see them leaving Pawnee. Maybe Leslie will get hired by Ben? Then she can force her way back into government through Ben? Or perhaps she will make a push for the Indiana senate or something? I don't know. Regardless of the depressing nature of the plot at the moment, I still think it's one of the funniest shows on TV (definitely the funniest on network TV), and I'll remain satisfied as long as the jokes remain good.

Also, I wonder if this new plot development is the result of Michal Schur focusing most of his efforts onto Brooklyn Nine Nine? That's a possible explanation for the abrupt shift to a new storyline, maybe?

Anyway, long story short, Kylee, I think you got Jammed.


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Tim Wilson
Re: Parks and Rec is annoying me.
on Nov 25, 2013 at 4:39:35 pm

[Scott Roberts] "Michal Schur focusing most of his efforts onto Brooklyn Nine Nine"

Which just keeps getting better. My current pick for best comedy on network TV.


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Kylee Peña
Re: Parks and Rec is annoying me.
on Nov 25, 2013 at 7:52:52 pm

I understand the fall of Leslie as a story arc, but it's going on forEVer. It's like they have no freakin' idea where it's going AND it makes no sense. Leslie said it best in one of the recent episodes: "I'm the one getting removed from this council??"

If you're going to have the town be a bunch of bumbling douche bags, let's at least see some of them rather than the same ol' 3 people.

We're all getting jammed, Scott. We're all getting jammed.

blog: kyleesportfolio.com/blog
twitter: @kyl33t
demo: kyleewall.com


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Jeff Breuer
Re: Parks and Rec is annoying me.
on Nov 27, 2013 at 3:34:03 pm

I agree with you 100% Kylee. To me it feels like the end of Newsradio which was another great character driven show. They dethroned the leaders and started throwing around bizarre soap opera stories. They also had their time slot tossed all over, which P&E is still a Thursday night show but they do two episodes here and there and then gone for a few weeks, which is really irritating. It was a little weird watching a NEW Halloween episode air weeks after Halloween.

Although one difference with Newsradio was the loss of the late great Phil Hartman. And you just don't recover from that. P&E has some losses of characters to recover from, but like you said Kylee, they all probably know the end is when this season is over.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Parks and Rec is annoying me.
on Nov 27, 2013 at 6:41:35 pm

Kylee, you must realize your reaction to the plot arc only proves it is working and has you completely fascinated.

All your complaints about how and why the Knope character got recalled? It's an EXACT mirror to real political life, in every possible way. Look at the California recall that knocked out Davis and replaced him with Arnold.

Parks and Rec is doing some incredible stuff these days. You may have thought the fluoride episode was parody, but I open my web browser today and darned if there isn't EXACTLY this same debate happening in Iowa right now.

The show is doing the best transitional season I've seen since The West Wing Second Term shows.

Fear not; I am sure the writers for P&R will make the arc pay off in a very satisfying way. The money is to be made in making you wait, keeping you in suspense.


The Ben arc with the accounting gig and "The Cones Of Dunshire" almost made me lose it. I wonder if that and doesn't become insanely popular and Ben doesn't make a dime from it.


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Tim Wilson
Re: Parks and Rec is annoying me.
on Nov 27, 2013 at 8:26:46 pm

Nobody who wants to see real world political interactions IN A SITCOM would ever have watched a second episode of Parks & Recreation. This ain't Larry Gelbart, and not even Norman Lear would have tried an even vaguely realistic comedy set in the actual world of politics. And obvious but entirely erroneous quips notwithstanding, there's nothing remotely funny about realistic politics, and in any case, less than zero chance that even one single person tuned into P&R to watch anything like that.

And for that matter, I disagree that it's realistic, except for the profoundly unfunny part.

Jeff, you're right. No show could have survived the loss of Phil Hartman in the kind of role he played on News Radio, but to have had a chance, they needed to all but reboot.

When I worked at Avid, the classroom footage they used for teaching multicam editing was from News Radio. So sad to look at, for so many reasons.


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