The latest episode of Parks and Recreation, ‘Citizen Knope’, featured Leslie Knope wandering around and saying “PCP” a lot. I’m pretty much convinced that the show is full on in love with us here at PCP. Obviously.
But we weren’t the only ones they were displaying an obsession with; the “clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose” line was an explicit reference to Friday Night Lights, which I’ve been marathoning recently myself. (I shouldn’t be, but I’m sick so I have a legitimate excuse. Ahem.)
There’s a lovely, lovely article from Time which draws on the comparisons between the two shows. I have very little to add to it (and not just cos my head’s all stuffy at the moment), but I think it does a good job of explaining why Parks and Recreation is so likeable. It doesn’t always provide the level of laughs that I expect from sitcoms, but it’s unerringly pleasant. The humour very rarely derive from the characters misunderstanding, or being mean, to each other. It’s not as complex a show as Friday Night Lights was, but Parks and Recreation shares with it the fact that it centres on a group of people simply caring about each other an awful lot.
I guess the explains why both shows made Time‘s top 10 TV shows of 2011 list (along with Community, natch), and why Parks‘ Christmas episode didn’t feel cheesy or schmaltzy in the way that holiday specials often do. It’s because the tone of the show doesn’t have to be altered for this weird bunch of people to gather around and be nice to each other. It’s business as usual- just with even more sugar, if such a thing is possible!