Sunday, September 11, 2011

NBC does Comedy Right with Parks and Recreation and Community

This past week two of NBC's best comedies were released on DVD, Parks and Recreation and Community.  These are some of the best comedies NBC has ever produced, and their commitment to these shows displays a commitment to quality programming.  In my down time this week I was able to watch both season three of Parks and Recreation (two times), and season two of Community.

Parks and Recreation had one of the best seasons in television history.  The show started out as a copy of The Office.  Greg Daniels the creator of The Office started another show in 2009 which would star Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope the bumbling boss of a parks department in Pawnee Indiana.  Daniel's surrounded Knope with a group of bumbling office workers, and the show sounded too familiar.  The show soon found its own niche within season two and evolved added a few new characters and formed a show that is in my opinion much better than The Office.


Leslie Knope stopped being like Michael Scott, and moved toward having more heart.  I think the problem with Michael Scott is that he often appears more unsympathetic.  When the central character of your show can be incredibly polarizing this can often leave even loyal viewers (like myself) cringing at awkward moments.  Parks used its supporting cast in less gimmicky ways.  Ron Swanson is one of the best characters in television history; he is an abrupt honest, meat loving Libertarian who shakes things up.  Aubrey Plaza (April) and Chris Pratt (Andy) play a Jim and Pam like couple but there relationship steers away from the cute and allows more laughs because their characters are unconventional.  Rob Lowe has never been funnier, and he is "literally" such a great comedic actor.

Community is a show that like Arrested Development will gain more respect from people when its off the air.  The show filled with wonderful pop culture references to Cougartown, a hatred towards Glee, and numerous D list movies, and of course Pulp Fiction is great in my book.  The show like Parks started out slow, but soon found its path with obscure pop culture references with style and wit.  This rag tag ensemble with Joel McHale (The Soup), Alison Brie, Danny Puddi, Donald Glover, Yvette Nicole Brown, Gillian Jacobs, Ken Jeong, and (shockingly as the weakest link) Chevy Chase.  The creator of Community, Dan Harmon used the Arrested Development brains Anthony and Joe Russo to add that quirky flare to make this one of the best shows on television.


One thing is for certain these shows are not something everyone will enjoy.  They both have a specific brand of humor.  While cashing out at Best Buy (which I will no longer be going to-another story), the cashier had told me she had never heard of either of these shows.  I was both stunned and saddened.  I know both shows have low ratings, but thought their cult status would have hit employees at a chain electronic store.  She asked if the shows were similar to Glee, I laughed and said "They are for sure nothing like that show, and I am grateful their sarcasm will be around for another year.

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