Why ‘Parks and Recreation’ plays nice

Comedic show's consistent humor out laughs 'The Office'

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Why ‘Parks and Recreation’ plays nice

The cast poses for a picture, each displaying their diverse personalities.

The cast poses for a picture, each displaying their diverse personalities.

The cast poses for a picture, each displaying their diverse personalities.

The cast poses for a picture, each displaying their diverse personalities.

Story by Margaret Debenport, entertainment editor

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The journey of a local government employee’s life is not something that one would usually consider comical or interesting. However, in the small, fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana, Leslie Knope is surrounded by some of the most hilarious people to ever grace a television screen.

When I was first introduced to the character Leslie Knope, she was a little bit of a mess, but overtime she became a fictional character that I looked up to.”

— Margaret Debenport

When I was first introduced to the character Leslie Knope, she was a little bit of a mess, but overtime she became a fictional character that I looked up to. She is undeniably passionate about her city and tries her hardest to help everyone around her. Even with a boss that continually attempts to stop her efforts, she rises to the top in Pawnee, and eventually becomes a leader for the nation’s “Parks and Recreation” department.

In and out of the workplace, there are many reasons why Ron Swanson is better than Michael Scott. Rather than relying on occasionally racist and sexist humour to be funny, Ron Swanson is such an oddly specific anti-government government employee that his mere existence is enough to bring comedy into an office situation. Sure, Scott has his shining moments, but as far as consistent humour and character development goes, Swanson leads. In one character, Swanson’s moustache, extreme libertarianism and love of the outdoors easily beats the ignorance of Michael Scott and quirks of Dwight Schrute combined.

I’ll admit that at first glance, Jim and Pam seem like the end all be all of comedic television romance. However, Pam is never cut from the side of a man. Even when things ended with Roy, she was already attached to Jim. It is almost like her character was only written to be someone’s prize. I agree that Roy was an unhealthy addition to Pam’s life, but it is presented that without Jim, Pam could have never freed herself from Roy’s grip. This is just one example of “The Office” presenting women as being incapable of saving themselves. On the other hand, Knope is presented with her own goals and strives to reach them, all while meeting Ben Wyatt in the middle of achieving her dreams. They mutually support and help each other climb the ranks of politics and exhibit evidence of a healthy relationship.

Although “The Office” ran for more seasons than “Parks and Rec,” there are no seasons in Parks that present the “just get through this season” dialogue like the Office does.  Also, Park’s ratings were much more consistent throughout each season. After through the roof ratings of seasons two and three, “The Office” took a nosedive for the rest of their time on television.

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