Parks and Us

Lesley Knope in a PCP shirt

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!

6 thoughts on “Parks and Us

  1. Pingback: Hark! Songs for Christmas « Pop Culture Playpen

  2. I loved this episode of P & R – about as much as it evidently loves us 🙂 Funny and sweet, in all the right amounts. Oh Ron Swanson, you’re a marshmallow really…

    • A marshmallow who wuvs us! I really liked that episode, and I feel like they’ve found more for Rob Lowe to do so he doesn’t have to be creepy anymore. Yay!

  3. I have never watched a single episode of Friday Night Lights, but if it is similar to Parks and Recreation then I have a feeling that I’ll love it! I completely agree that their method in their Christmas episode was great. Since I use frequently, I looked up other Christmas episodes of Parks and Recreation. All I can say is that the writers really have a knack for writing and after watching other old episodes it is great to see how some of the characters really developed over the seasons. I love TV and movies, which is no surprise that I now work for DISH, but watching old roles with Rob Lowe like Paul in Tommy Boy and comparing his style of acting to recent characters like Chris; he is really a talented individual!

    • On the surface FNL and P&R don’t have a lot of similarities but I do think they share a certain “niceness”.

      I adore Rob Lowe, he was fabulous in The West Wing especially! We got to see him talking about his autobiography earlier this year, and he was adorable.

  4. Pingback: The end of days « Pop Culture Playpen

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