Amy Poehler's 'Parks and Recreation': Good, bad, or just okay?

Amypohler_l Me, I’m going with "good." As I said in my review in the magazine, NBC’s constant commercials gave away a lot of the jokes in the premiere episode of Amy Poehler’s new sitcom. And coming, as the ads said, "from the people who bring you The Office," shot in the same faux-documentary, no-laugh-track style, comparisons are inevitable and, perhaps, a little disappointing.

But I think Poehler’s character, the feisty, optimistic small-town bureaucrat Leslie Knope, is a terrific creation. Parks needs a few weeks to establish its own tone, and for us to get used to the characters surrounding her. (In addition to Rashida Jones and Human Giant‘s Aziz Ansari, it was really nice to see Everwood‘s Chris Pratt in a cameo as Jones’ boyfriend.)

Sandwiched between two fine episodes of The Office (I’m not totally buying Pam’s commitment to Michael’s paper company, even if it’s ambivalent commitment, but lines like "I have eggs in my crocs" were great), Parks and Recreation has some growing to do. But I enjoyed all the performances, the attitude, and the atmosphere that’s being created by Poehler and her collaborators. 

I’m rooting for it. How about you?

For more on Parks and Recreation:

Amy Poehler On Her New Sitcom

Parks and Recreation review


Comments (104 total) Add your comment
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  • Shea

    This was the first night in YEARS that I’ve watched EVERY hour of television NBC had to offer. Great night of TV. Parks was hilarious and Southland was great.

  • raprilc

    I say it’s just good, as well. I find Amy Poehler intensely likable, so I’m rooting for her. The story set-up is good. But it’s a little too similar to “The Office.” It needs to differentiate itself.

  • Mac

    I’m rooting for it too. Poelher and Jones should be reliable for laughs and I’m hoping the rest of the cast will be as well. Slapstick works for me, so Poehler falling into the pit had me laughing. A show dealing with government should have lots to draw upon nowadays, so hopefully the producers use that to their advantage without getting too heavy.

  • John

    It was okay. I’ll definitely give it the rest of the season to grow on me. I thought the two episodes of the office were great and 30 Rock never disappoints. I’m really enjoying this new angle The Office is taking- really makes me want to tune in every week.

  • peaches

    Hey I love Amy Poehler as much as the next guy but I thought P&R was simply unfunny. It was trying waaaaaaay too hard and didn’t really deliver. The characters are unlikable versions of Christopher Guest characters and not worth rooting for. Still, I’ll come back a few more times to see if it’s improved.

  • JD Walters

    I loved the trailers but can’t get into the show. Also, I love the palm trees appearing in some of the outdoor scenes. I didn’t know they grew outside in Indiana.

  • Bret

    Not a good show at all. NBC would have been better off with a spin-off of The Office than this. There were no comedic moments that would make you smile least of all laugh. It was so bad, I regret not watching Survivor, even though no one was voted off tonight. Thrity minutes I will never get back.

  • miss mary

    It’s not bad, but I don’t understand why it had to have the same documentary style as The Office. I’m tired of these shows that make me aware there is a camera.

  • Will

    I thought it was really boring. There just wasn’t anything entertaining in the episode.

  • Isembard

    It wasn’t great, but it definitely has promise. Plus, of course, I quite like Mrs. Gob Bluth, so I’ll stick around and see how this plays out.
    Liked the Ansari’s Tom Westwood (or whatever) from South Carolina. You just desperately want to know about his obvous Indian roots, and he’s not even acknowledging them – he’s just a redneck after all. Loved that.
    And Chris Pratt played the boyfriend, not the husband.

  • Melanie

    i felt like amy poehler was trying to be steve carell. same character, female version. we already have one Office.

  • Arlene

    JUst plain stupid…insulting, not funny. I like Amy Poehler, but what was she thinking? Very low brow, timing way off, characters not very likeable. F

  • confidential

    I thought Aziz Ansari was funny (he’s funny in everything.. I saw him do live stand up and he’s awesome) but thats about it. I know Amy has it in her to be hilarious but she wasn’t on tonight’s show.

  • julie

    I thought P&R was great. But I’m a city planner so I’m not sure if it was too much inside baseball for a general audience. The community meeting was spot on. I hope that it gets more appealing to a broader audience because I want to see more of this show.

  • EntertainmentBlogger

    I laughed a few times. So I thought it was OK. Not good, not great. Let’s face it, NOT original.
    The faux documentary style works for THE OFFICE…but why copy it here? It felt odd.
    And this is really a show with no legs. How can you see this parks and recreation gimmick lasting for many seasons? You cant. You can spot a show without legs from so, so far away.

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