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Parks and Recreation


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#1

dustdevil

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Posted Mar 24, 2009 @ 1:51 PM

I did a couple of searches, and it doesn't look like this thread has been started, so here it goes, minus a clever title...

I really, really want this show to do well because of the cast (I've loved Amy Poehler since her days as Andy Richter's little sister on Conan, and Asiz Ansari is great), and because of the topic. OK, I may be the only one, but I don't think that there's ever been a tv show--comedy or drama--about municipal government. Sort of fascinating, because anyone who has lived in any city or town can tell you, there's a lot of comedy and/or tragedy to mined from that.

The news today is that it didn't do well with focus groups (Deadline Hollywood and EW). So, it seems like some of the criticism about how it's too much like "The Office" is fair and all that, but this is the one that irked me the most:

The show could use a genuinely likeable male lead. The lack of quality male characters was evident in both the Dial Test and Focus Groups. While Leslie, Ann and April are good characters; all the men in the show were seen as “sleazy” in one way or another. Because there are no “datable” men in the cast, there is little “romantic tension” or “interesting relationship potential” in the show.

Wow, this sort of has me floored in the implications of women as consumers of comedy. I mean,yes, I do enjoy laughing at AND crushing on lots of funny guys, but I think I'm still capable of finding something funny if I don't find the men attractive. Huh. I have only seen the promos, so I can't comment on whether Aziz's character falls into the "sleazy" category, but I also feel like there may some underlying racial/ethnic reasons why he might not be considered "datable." I hope not.

Edited by dustdevil, Mar 24, 2009 @ 1:51 PM.

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#2

icyblue

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Posted Mar 24, 2009 @ 3:28 PM

I wonder how the potential fans of this show divide up – percentage of Office fans vs. percentage of Amy Poehler fans. I’m the latter – big-time Amy fan - and not an Office fan. (I only watch 30 Rock.)

I’ve had doubts about the premise. The producers take a conceit (mockumentary) that wasn’t even theirs to begin with and apply it to another show? It sounded like a lazy lack of creativity on their part. Also, how much do these producers know about the world they’re trying to write. (I’ve worked in nonprofits/ government so I know there is plenty of dysfunctional, absurdist stuff going on.) I’m also not certain the Office-type dry humor is most suited for Amy’s style. I wonder if she ever tried to pitch a series to NBC (or another network).

That said, I’m more than willing to give the show time to find its voice.

Edited by icyblue, Mar 24, 2009 @ 3:30 PM.

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#3

TropGirl

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Posted Mar 24, 2009 @ 4:13 PM

I'm definitely going to give it a shot, and am willing to wait it out for a few episodes even if the first one doesn't grab me, because I like Amy Poehler, I like Rashida Jones, and I like Paul Schneider. But while the promos are amusing, it looks so much like a female-centered retread of The Office. And what I've read about it only furthers that idea: socially-awkward but goodhearted protagnist (Michael Scott/Poehler), weirdo sidekick (Dwight/Ansari), and cute guy with a huge crush on his taken coworker (Jim and Pam/Rashida and Paul). I hope it's better and more original than it looks like it's going to be (The Office certainly wasn't great right off the bat), but I'm kind of thinking all of these actors deserve better.
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#4

uclagirl

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Posted Mar 24, 2009 @ 5:31 PM

but I don't think that there's ever been a tv show--comedy or drama--about municipal government.


Spin City.

Wow, this sort of has me floored in the implications of women as consumers of comedy. I mean,yes, I do enjoy laughing at AND crushing on lots of funny guys, but I think I'm still capable of finding something funny if I don't find the men attractive.


There's such a limited view of our demographic. Personally, I don't care whether characters are male or female, or if there's any romantic tension at all, as long as the show is good. I loved the first few years of Law & Order just as they were, and never thought, "Hey, what this show really needs is a woman!" Then they added interesting women characters, and I thought it was a fantastic show then, too (although I did miss Robinette). So now, apparently, we won't watch a show unless there's a dreamy guy in it? Make up your mind, TV!

I hope this is creative and wonderful and funny, and I'm definitely going to give it a shot. But even if it's just a retread of The Office in a different kind of office, it's still got a good chance of being better than an awful lot that's on right now.

Edited by uclagirl, Mar 24, 2009 @ 5:34 PM.

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#5

Teague

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Posted Mar 27, 2009 @ 1:03 PM

Spin City.


Granted, but at the same time, I'm fairly sure that the NYC Mayor's Office setting is nowhere close to that of the Parks & Rec department of the seventh-largest city in Indiana... :)

Is this replacing The Office on the schedule? I was hoping it was going to replace the disaster of Kath & Kim.

Edited by Teague, Mar 27, 2009 @ 1:03 PM.

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#6

teddysmom

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Posted Mar 27, 2009 @ 2:20 PM

The news today is that it didn't do well with focus groups


If it helps at all, Seinfeld got terrible remarks from focus groups, and we all know how that story ended...
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#7

amyfloyd2

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Posted Mar 27, 2009 @ 2:22 PM

It is replacing Kath and Kim at 8:30 (EST), at least for the remainder of this season.
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#8

shinkie

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Posted Mar 29, 2009 @ 3:14 AM

What odd complaints from the focus groups, "no datable men" . Oh dear. Is that all they want in a TV series, some eye candy?
I'm still looking forward to this, although i can't really support it, since i'm not in the US.
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#9

missdavenport

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Posted Mar 29, 2009 @ 6:11 PM

I was hoping it was going to replace the disaster of Kath & Kim.

It is replacing Kath and Kim at 8:30 (EST), at least for the remainder of this season.


Aww, I love Kath & Kim. I'm sad to see it go. I think the writing is sharp and the characters are vivid. I'm a bit peeved that Parks & Recreation is taking its place. The previews for Parks & Rec leave me empty. It looks so gray and boring. Nothing about the previews makes me want to watch this show. Admittedly I'm not familiar with the work of Amy Poehler, so maybe I'll warm up to her. I'll try my best to give the show a fair shake and not hold any personal bias against it. We'll see.
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#10

samsnee

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Posted Mar 30, 2009 @ 8:55 PM

The ads just aren't doing anything for me. I like The Office, and this seems like another variation of it. In other words, I'm not really sold, because I already have a show to watch if I want cringe-worthy humor about a clueless leader.
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#11

wingster55

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Posted Mar 31, 2009 @ 11:43 AM

I'm actually really looking forward to this. It doesn't seem exactly like the Office to me.
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#12

stinkymcgee

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Posted Mar 31, 2009 @ 1:00 PM

Way too close to the hijinks in my real-life job. No thanks; I live that life for 9-10 hours a day, don't need it at night too.
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#13

uclagirl

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Posted Mar 31, 2009 @ 2:44 PM

Granted, but at the same time, I'm fairly sure that the NYC Mayor's Office setting is nowhere close to that of the Parks & Rec department of the seventh-largest city in Indiana... :)


Lots more caveats and conditions than I was responding to, though. :)

It is nice to see shows set outside NY and LA, though--I've lived in or near both, and love both, but there's a whole country out there!
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#14

The Mad Maple

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Posted Apr 1, 2009 @ 5:04 AM

Well, I'm a fan of The Office, and I liked Amy Poehler on SNL, so I'm definitely planning to tune in. At the very least, it looks funnier than Kath & Kim...
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#15

icyblue

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Posted Apr 1, 2009 @ 12:55 PM

fyi Amy's doing a fair amount of publicity for the show. She'll be on Kimmel Wed. night. 4/1-2. She was on Leno Tues. night, showing a clip from the show that I hadn't seen yet and looking cute in a black dress. (And her hubby was on Kimmel last night, also looking cute, but not in a black dress).
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#16

lukey37

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Posted Apr 7, 2009 @ 10:24 AM

http://www.variety.c...3...yid=32&cs=1

OKish review from Variety. It kind of confirms what I thought the show might be like. A bit too much like The Office (and not as good). I guess it might make a nice little show to pass 30 minutes.

Edited by lukey37, Apr 7, 2009 @ 10:25 AM.

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#17

secretagentman

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Posted Apr 7, 2009 @ 4:37 PM

hollywood reporter review good to great review.
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#18

spec

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Posted Apr 7, 2009 @ 9:11 PM

I miss Amy Poehler on SNL so I'm definitely going to give her show a chance. She's funny as hell...wish she would return to SNL for some guest spots. Or at least do something with Tina Faye.
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#19

Inquisitionist

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Posted Apr 9, 2009 @ 2:30 PM

I forgot this was premiering tonight until I checked to see why there was a half-hour gap between the 2 episodes of The Office that I set my DVR to record. Looking forward to it!
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#20

bybrandy

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Posted Apr 9, 2009 @ 8:02 PM

Didn't do anything for me at all. Sad because I like AP a lot.
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#21

chochpbiscuit

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Posted Apr 9, 2009 @ 8:15 PM

I really liked ep 1. I've never watched full episodes of The Office, so I can't make that comparison, good or bad. I hope P&R gets a chance.
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#22

samsnee

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Posted Apr 9, 2009 @ 8:17 PM

It was what I expected, which wasn't much. Granted I didn't like the 30 Rock premiere that much and now it's my favorite show. So I'll give it a couple more shots.
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#23

icyblue

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Posted Apr 9, 2009 @ 8:30 PM

Iaughed much more than I'd expected to. But I'm not certain this is really something I'd want to stick with. However, if it doesn't last it'll still look good on Amy's resume - she's really carrying show.
The guy who plays her crush (Paul Schneider?) is cute. They must've redone his scenes - he was more sympathetic than I thought he'd be.
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#24

meknownothing

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Posted Apr 9, 2009 @ 8:48 PM

Flat and lifeless. Amy does silly so well, and this seems like such a letdown.
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#25

5 Roller Skates

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Posted Apr 9, 2009 @ 9:06 PM

I laughed a few times, but never at the AP scenes. She's trying too hard or something. I just didn't think she was funny, and the boss guy was way weird.
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#26

Big Machine

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Posted Apr 9, 2009 @ 9:18 PM

I liked the pieces I saw so far. It looks like there are a lot of political/governmental elements up for satire, especially the characters' different approaches to government. Hopefully it comes together well.

Aziz Ansari's character was hard for me to get a handle on and the slapstick stuff was easy to see coming and seemed kind of out of place (it was obvious she was going to fall in the pit. Still kind of funny to see it, though).
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#27

Whosures

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Posted Apr 9, 2009 @ 9:28 PM

I live in Indy so I was a little nervous about how doofy they were going to make us look. I did laugh out loud when she mumbled, "my clavicle IS broken."

Mr. Whosures and I cracked up at the Bobby Knight poster behind the boss man. He seems like one of the people who are still hanging on to Bobby as the King of Indiana.

I definitely got a Michael vibe when she was sitting in her office talking about sleeping with her co-worker.

Edited by Whosures, Apr 9, 2009 @ 9:32 PM.

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#28

Eegah

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Posted Apr 9, 2009 @ 10:24 PM

Interesting how they're going with a strong story arc right off the bat, something The Office inched its way towards until season three. Going by Rashida Jones' presence this isn't actually a spinoff like I'd assumed, but still a fun way to pass the time.
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#29

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Posted Apr 9, 2009 @ 11:12 PM

I don’t know any character names yet, so I’ll just refer to the actors. At the beginning, I did think it was a little too much like The Office. When Amy finally got her lot, though, I thought the story nicely came together and showed some real potential. I sense some good friendship possibilities between Amy’s and Rashida’s characters. I might like to see Amy’s right hand man there turn down the douchiness factor, though: hitting on women while married and enjoying Amy nearly killing herself in the pit was a little too much.

I didn’t really understand what motivated Paul to call in the favor for Amy. He wasn’t moved by her optimism when they first met to talk about the lot, so what changed when later, he was talking somewhat admiringly about how Amy hadn’t lost her spirit in six years of municipal government experience? Was it just because he finally remembered their past relationship? Regardless of that, though, I liked the dynamic that has started to develop between Amy and him. All in all, I liked the show. Light years ahead of the dreadful Kath & Kim.
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#30

Noblet

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Posted Apr 10, 2009 @ 12:13 AM

Maybe my expectations had been appropriately lowered, but I liked it a lot more than I expected. I laughed a few times, and I liked the idea of the Rashida Jones and Amy Poehler relationship being at the core of the show-- I thought they worked well together in their scenes. And I think there is something admirable about Leslie's dopey can-do attitude, so I felt myself rooting for her. I'm definitely willing to give it a few episodes to figure itself out.
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