Thursday, February 17, 2011

Parks & Rec 2.0

In the past I haven't been shy about expressing my disdain for the NBC sitcom Parks & Rec.

("Thursdays on NBC -- in the tradition of The Office, starring Steve Carell in a mockumentary sitcom that pokes fun at corporate bureaucracy, we present Parks & Rec, starring Amy Poehler in a mockumentary sitcom that pokes fun at government bureaucracy. It'll be hilarious! Trust us, from the network that fucked up the Jay Leno-Conan O'Brien late-night!")

It's particularly frustrating because I've always had a crush on Rashida Jones, and would like to watch more of her but not under these circumstances. (At times, I confess I've watched the show with the mute button on.)

That said,  recently I've gotten into the habit of watching Parks & Rec again, now that it's come off of hiatus as a mid-season replacement.  It's gotten a lot better this year.  I don't know what happened, except that the writers must've figured out that:

* You have to come up with a more original idea than "Let's-cast-Amy-Poehler-as-a-female-Michael-Scott" to make the show work. The less the show is like The Office, the less it'll look like an Office ripoff.

* There are some pretty talented actors around her, so maybe they should utilize them, developing plot lines and story arcs that revolve around them as well.

* Rashida Jones and Aubrey Plaza are both very attractive. (Rob Lowe gets to play the role of Jones' girlfriend and Plaza's boss. How the fuck did he get that gig.)  OK, maybe that's not really part of what makes the show funnier, but just thought I'd mention.

Anyway, it sounds as thought the ratings are still mediocre, so who knows what the show's future will be. I'm also not saying it's a great show yet, but now at least it's a competent show. But it just goes to show that 1) I can have an open mind about something I don't initially like, and 2) shows are redeemable.

Now I'll continue my crusade against 30 Rock.

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