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Parks and Recreation


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#31

bigredcat7

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Posted Apr 10, 2009 @ 1:38 AM

The reviews I read were mixed -- some average, some good -- so I was surprised when I flat out loved the show on first viewing. I laughed a lot. Of course, I adored Poehler on UCB and think Aziz Ansari can do no wrong.

I think it has great potential and fits in really well with The Office and 30 Rock.
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#32

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Posted Apr 10, 2009 @ 2:05 AM

Amy's character is not Michael Scott. She isn't so much incompetent as naive. She somehow doesn't know she's caught in a bureaucratic dead end and she's so sincere in her desire to do her job, that it makes the cringing not so much at her expense as on her behalf. Michael is obnoxious and incompetent and annoying. He makes everyone else uncomfortable with his oblivion, but Amy's character's oblivion is just kind of there.

I didn't even recognize Chris Pratt at first. And I was looking for him!
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#33

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Posted Apr 10, 2009 @ 2:26 AM

I was hoping and expecting to love this show and I loved the pilot. LOVED IT. Of course I was expecting to love it.

Favorite aspects were Amy, Rashida, Rashida's nasty boyfriend, and the hot love interest. I'm digging him - TOTALLY my type. Also I frickin' loved the conspiracy guy at the town house meeting - the one who was ranting about the Police Chief being a 9th degree Mason or whatever. I hope we see more of him!

Least favorite aspect was the sleazy sidekick. I was just grossed out by him. Not really feeling the college intern character either, but I guess we really need to see more of her first.
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#34

ScottLA

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Posted Apr 10, 2009 @ 4:43 AM

They made such an effort to showcase references to Indiana (Larry Bird photo, badly photoshopped Bobby Knight poster, state seals everywhere), but they couldn't find out something as basic as the fact that Indiana doesn't have a DMV, they have a BMV (Bureau of Motor Vehicles, not Department). I know I'm the only freak in the world who was bothered by that, but still, I was.
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#35

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Posted Apr 10, 2009 @ 6:02 AM

I just found this painful to live through, despite having enjoyed some of the actors in other things. But then I have often had that reaction to The Office too. Just not my kind of humor, I guess -- but that being so, I have to confess I have trouble even seeing where the humor is supposed to be. Oh well.
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#36

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Posted Apr 10, 2009 @ 7:31 AM

I didnít really understand what motivated Paul to call in the favor for Amy. He wasnít 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 hadnít lost her spirit in six years of municipal government experience? Was it just because he finally remembered their past relationship?


I'm going to say that he was clearly impressed with her persistance to get a yes or no answer about the lot. Days had went by since she asked for the lot and still wasn't getting answers, but she wouldn't keep trying. That what impressed him and why he went to bat for her.

I really like the show. The sleaze of the right hand man didn't bother me. I've seen the actor before and I knew what I was going to get with him before watching the show. I like his brand of humor though. I actually found his one track mind to ask out the nurse while she was clearly not interested and involved hilarious. The fact that he did that in a meeting capped it off nicely. He doesn't give a damn about his job so finding things to amuse him in his childish way is not suprising to me.

Other than the mockumentry format, I don't feel like this is a office clone at all. These days in hollywood there will always be shows and movies that have similar themes or material done already. What sets projects apart, IMO, is how you present the material. We already three characters Amy, Rashida and Paul's character who seem genuiely kind with there hearts in the right place. Also, the show actual has a plot arc to carry out rather then just watching the lives of these characters. For these things, I feel like it has a very different voice than The Office and I look foward to seeing more.

it doesn't hurt that Amy Poelher can do no wrong in my book.
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#37

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Posted Apr 10, 2009 @ 8:15 AM

Don't get me wrong...I've always loved Amy Poehler on SNL, but I wish I had that half hour of my life back. That was one of the worst shows I've ever seen. I didn't even laugh once. I really don't think that show is going to last, unfortunately.

It doesn't help that I think Rashida Jones is terrible at comedy.
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#38

secretagentman

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Posted Apr 10, 2009 @ 9:39 AM

I liked it. Has great potential. Amy always makes me happy no matter what she's doing. It was still ten times as funny as According to Two and a Half Men.
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#39

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Posted Apr 10, 2009 @ 9:54 AM

I am trying to remind myself how much I didn't like the 30 Rock pilot, so I think I will give this one some time to sort itself out.

Also I frickin' loved the conspiracy guy at the town house meeting - the one who was ranting about the Police Chief being a 9th degree Mason or whatever.

I thought his line "And I have a few things to say about Laura Linney" (or something) was the funniest line of the night. I have to attend public meetings for my job and there is always some idiot who will not shut up about some completely unrelated matter. It might just be me, but I thought the show was funniest when it was dealing with these absurdities of local government. (Also, I have been in a City Manager's office that was so tricked out with Florida Gators' merchandise, that it put that Bobby Knight stuff to shame. To Shame.)

Edited by Aunt Pittypat, Apr 10, 2009 @ 9:55 AM.

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#40

Mad Hettie

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Posted Apr 10, 2009 @ 10:05 AM

I didn't LOVE the pilot - but on the other hand, I didn't like 30 Rock/The Office's pilots either. I didn't connect with any of the characters right off the bat, but sometimes these things take time.

P&R will get a season pass from me solely based on the presence of Amy Poehler and Rashida Jones. (And Chris Pratt! But I guess he's just a guest star. Can we dump the college intern and keep Chris Pratt?)
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#41

Limbonaut

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Posted Apr 10, 2009 @ 10:27 AM

Also I frickin' loved the conspiracy guy at the town house meeting - the one who was ranting about the Police Chief being a 9th degree Mason or whatever.


Was that Loudon Wainwright, who played the dad in Judd Apatow's short-lived TV show Undeclared?

I immediately knew the poster in Amy's boss' office was of Bobby Knight before they showed it fully! To Zach the TWoP reviewer who didn't know who he was I highly recommend looking him up. The fact that he is the mustached guy's hero says A LOT about him!

Edited by Limbonaut, Apr 10, 2009 @ 10:28 AM.

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#42

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Posted Apr 10, 2009 @ 11:03 AM

It was an OK pilot. There were some funny moments and I think they were just trying to introduce the characters more so than get huge laughs right off the bat.

That Bobby Knight poster is distracting. I found myself staring at it in every scene with the boss.
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#43

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Posted Apr 10, 2009 @ 11:10 AM

Was that Loudon Wainwright, who played the dad in Judd Apatow's short-lived TV show Undeclared?


I'm pretty sure it was.

That "Laura Linney" line cracked me up, too.
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#44

andreak1041

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Posted Apr 10, 2009 @ 11:15 AM

I thought it was only OK, but it had a lot of work to do laying the groundwork of introducing characters and developing the reasons for building the new park. I think it could get a lot better now that all that is set.

As someone who has begrudgingly worked for the government, I appreciated the different views of government employees. You have the anti-government boss, who thinks the whole thing is a farce. You have Paul and his "personal rules" for surviving. And then you have Amy's character who just can't be beaten down and wants to do the right thing. Those people all exist.

I thought that Paul's calling in his favor made perfect sense. There is this horrible dichotomy working in government where (1) you are totally disgusted with the waste and ridiculous nature of it all, and (2) you feel guilty about not embracing the system and just trying to do something with tax payer money. But then the system beats you right down. I think Paul sees in Amy someone who won't be beaten down, which, however futile, is still admirable. Ugh, government jobs. I feel you, show.
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#45

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Posted Apr 10, 2009 @ 11:58 AM

As someone who has begrudgingly worked for the government, I appreciated the different views of government employees. You have the anti-government boss, who thinks the whole thing is a farce. You have Paul and his "personal rules" for surviving. And then you have Amy's character who just can't be beaten down and wants to do the right thing. Those people all exist.


Yeah, I've worked for the federal government in the past and work in local government now, and a lot about this show feels familiar to me, if a bit exaggerated (which is to be expected; it's a TV show after all). I saw little glimpses of myself in Amy's character, though I'd like to think I'm not quite that naive.

That said, I was a little bored by the pilot, but I think it's because I saw most of the best parts in the online "preview" before it aired. I'll keep an open mind and see where it goes.
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#46

Enuma

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Posted Apr 10, 2009 @ 12:08 PM

They made such an effort to showcase references to Indiana (Larry Bird photo, badly photoshopped Bobby Knight poster, state seals everywhere), but they couldn't find out something as basic as the fact that Indiana doesn't have a DMV, they have a BMV (Bureau of Motor Vehicles, not Department). I know I'm the only freak in the world who was bothered by that, but still, I was.


It wasn't just you, I cringed every time Knope said "DMV." It wouldn't have bugged me too much if it had been just once, but "DMV" popped up at least twice in that episode and looks as if it could become a recurring joke.
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#47

Stasch

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Posted Apr 10, 2009 @ 12:13 PM

IMO, the pilot showed potential. Like others upthread have stated, the 30 Rock and Office pilots didn't entice much, but once both shows found their groove and the writers became more comfortable, it was a different story. P&R, I think, has good character and friendship sketches thus far, and the AP/RJ partnership is certainly going to be interesting to watch develop. My one con with the show thus far: Tom was a little too much subtle douche for my taste, and in not a very funny way either. Hopefully he'll be developed more as well, and will be given more layers.

As for the Leslie/Michael comparison, there are some parallels; the two are both naive in their own ways, ie: Leslie and her dream park, Michael believing it's possible to be everyone's friend, but they are both two completely different kinds of naivety, if that makes sense. I think saying the show is reminiscent of The Office following only its pilot is a little unfair. It's by Greg Daniels and is in the same format of TO, so of course, if you go in with the mindset that TO and P&R are essentially the same, it's going to seem like that. But nothing's been too developed yet, so I'm going to give it a chance to do so before evaluating whether the two shows equal one another.
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#48

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Posted Apr 10, 2009 @ 2:02 PM

I wasn't thrilled by the show, but it did have it's funny moments. Frankly, I will be watching mainly for Aziz Ansari, who played the right-hand guy. He's a comedian and a pretty brilliant one, IMO. I think he adds some well-needed actual humor to the show.

Here's hoping it gets better from here on out.
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#49

Camembert

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Posted Apr 10, 2009 @ 2:05 PM

I didnít really understand what motivated Paul to call in the favor for Amy. He wasnít 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 hadnít lost her spirit in six years of municipal government experience? Was it just because he finally remembered their past relationship?


I think you answered your own question (except it had nothing to do with their past hookup). Sometimes someone else's enthuisasm can end up inspiring you again. I thought his gesture was sincere.

The sleaze of the right hand man didn't bother me. I've seen the actor before and I knew what I was going to get with him before watching the show. I like his brand of humor though. I actually found his one track mind to ask out the nurse while she was clearly not interested and involved hilarious. The fact that he did that in a meeting capped it off nicely. He doesn't give a damn about his job so finding things to amuse him in his childish way is not suprising to me.


I really hated that part. It wasn't funny and his persistence, resulting in an unmitigated come-on, was simply uncomfortable. I guess they had to go there in order to make the payoff (Rashida pulling away in disgust when he shows up at her door and the whole scene at her house) worth it, but for me it was a bit much and went too far. I don't mind tooly characters in comedies, but he was just a straight up douche.

Other than the mockumentry format, I don't feel like this is a office clone at all.


Agree in part. My problem with The Office--either iteration--is that the main character is so utterly unlikeable that it's beyond me why anyone would want to to work with him (or why he hasn't been gunned down or sued for various forms of workplace harrassment). He's like a living version of Eric Cartman, minus the racism. Amy Poehler's character is the complete opposite. Yes, she's awkward, but it's only because her enthusiasm and (albeit somewhat manic) sincerity make her the odd-woman-out in a cynical world.

I think Parks and Recreation has a lot of potential and I will stick with it for the remainder of the season. As many have stated, the pilots for 30 Rock and The Office sucked something spectacular and both have improved (thought I still dislike The Office).
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#50

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Posted Apr 10, 2009 @ 2:32 PM

As many have stated, the pilots for 30 Rock and The Office sucked something spectacular and both have improved (thought I still dislike The Office).


People keep saying the Office pilot sucked. Wasn't it almost word for word the same as the English? I remember watching the first night of the American version and being horrified; I'd loved the English version and it really weirded me out to have other characters saying those lines. But then they re-ran it after the American Office had been for at least a year, and I liked the American pilot pretty much as much as the English one because I loved the American characters, too, now, and was completely comfortable with other actors in the parts.


The only thing I still miss from the British version vs the American is Tim calling up Gareth and saying, "You're a cock! You're a cock!" in a high voice. I guess they can't do that here.

Edited by Worldyfan, Apr 10, 2009 @ 2:38 PM.

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#51

NicoleMN6

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Posted Apr 10, 2009 @ 3:06 PM

As someone who has begrudgingly worked for the government, I appreciated the different views of government employees. You have the anti-government boss, who thinks the whole thing is a farce. You have Paul and his "personal rules" for surviving. And then you have Amy's character who just can't be beaten down and wants to do the right thing. Those people all exist.


Anyone who has worked or interacted a lot with local government (me) is bound to find this show funny, if not hilarious. I'm just worried that there aren't as many people like that out there, watching, as there are all those viewers who have experienced soulless offices watching The Office...
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#52

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Posted Apr 10, 2009 @ 3:21 PM

It's like a parallel universe version of The Office. For what it is, I like it so far. It was a pretty strong pilot, and I'm going to stick with the show. I like the cast.

Amy Poehler's travel pillow neck brace reminded me so much of Michael's bubble wrap cast in The Injury.

Edited by Mads, Apr 10, 2009 @ 3:21 PM.

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#53

Sharon1059

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Posted Apr 10, 2009 @ 3:37 PM

I think it deserves a few more look-sees before it gets the thumbs down. Very few shows do a great job of setting up the premise or filling in background on its characters. It's certainly no Frazier or Seinfeld...but who knows?

I also give grace to the fact that Amy Poehler is heading up the show. She's great!
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#54

raidermo

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Posted Apr 10, 2009 @ 4:13 PM

I feel so stupid for asking this, but who was the woman in the framed picture on AP's desk? It's driving me batty. I feel like she's a U.S. Senator or something, but I can't put my finger on it. Anyone?
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#55

Limbonaut

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Posted Apr 10, 2009 @ 5:42 PM

I thought it was Nancy Pelosi.
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#56

michaelrbn

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Posted Apr 10, 2009 @ 5:50 PM

Well, without going back to the deleted TIVO recording, I want to say it was (Speaker of the House) Nancy Pelosi. I was distracted by it when I noticed it, but not enough to freeze frame it to be sure. Which only raises questions why her of all the possibilities. It might have been really funny if it was a picture of Hillary Clinton (what with AP playing her on SNL).
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#57

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Posted Apr 10, 2009 @ 6:25 PM

Wow, I don't think I laughed once. I really want to like this show because of Amy, so I'll give it til the end of the season.

I agree that the Leslie/Anne(?) friendship has good potential and that they need to lessen the douchiness of Tom.
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#58

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Posted Apr 10, 2009 @ 7:23 PM

I think it has potential. It was very piloty.

My favorite parts were the survey at the beginning and the town hall meeting. I works for my local parks department and we do both of those things. It is just as silly as it looks.

I am not sure if it would be funnier to dial back onthe mockumentary style or not. I like the office, 30 rock and spin city. They all had to grow on me though. I think this will be the same.
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#59

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Posted Apr 10, 2009 @ 7:34 PM

I agree that while the pilot was so-so, it has potential. I liked the Leslie/Ann potential friendship, and Amy kept me smiling whenever she was onscreen. I also liked the Mark character (I've been a fan of Paul Schneider since All the Real Girls). I like the choices Paul and Rashida made for their characters; they came off as real people. In some ways those two made me think of the British Office. If they really focus on Leslie, Mark, and Ann, I think this could be a unique, appealing show.

On the bad side: the intern added nothing whatsoever, the boss seemed unoriginal and wasn't funny, and I found Ansari OK but not great. Also, Ann did not seem like the type of person who would put up with such a loser of a boyfriend. Roy on The Office was a little boorish and definitely not right for Pam, but basically a good person. The Chris Pratt character was just a complete loser, and not even in a funny way.
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#60

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Posted Apr 10, 2009 @ 7:42 PM

I know pilots are usually pretty iffy, but that was bad. I've worked with local govt before and I know there's plenty to make fun of, but I didn't laugh once. Hell, I didn't even giggle. I can safely say that if Amy Peohler, Rashida Jones and Paul Schneider weren't in this I wouldn't watch another episode, but I'll tune in to a few more live episodes out of loyalty to them.

I could tell where the laughs were supposed to be, but I think the show tried to hard or something.

To the posters who liked the guy who played the Mark character (Amy/Leslie's crush) get thee to Netflix and add All The Real Girls (fist bump to TropGirl!) to your queue.

People keep saying the Office pilot sucked. Wasn't it almost word for word the same as the English? I remember watching the first night of the American version and being horrified; I'd loved the English version and it really weirded me out to have other characters saying those lines. But then they re-ran it after the American Office had been for at least a year, and I liked the American pilot pretty much as much as the English one because I loved the American characters, too, now, and was completely comfortable with other actors in the parts.

I gave up on the US version of The Office last season because I started to find it really tedious, but I'm 100% with you on the pilot. It wasn't that it sucked, it was that it was nearly identical to the British pilot and I thought, "The hell? I've already heard all these jokes." I remember they recycled UK jokes in the 2nd and 3rd eps too and that's when I checked out. It wasn't until after S1 ended that I went and rewatched only to find that the show got much better.

I hope P&R gets better because so far the cast deserves better writing.

Edited by hardy har, Apr 10, 2009 @ 7:47 PM.

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