Last night Sarah Warn Tweeted an astute assessment of Thursday night TV:
It’s true! Even with a DVR that lets me watch one thing and record two other things at the exact same time, it still takes Saturday and Hulu for me to catch up. I take TV seriously — I mean, I have a spreadsheet — so I understand the gravity of what I’m about to say. Deep breath.
Parks and Recreation is the best thing going on Thursday nights (better, I think, than 30 Rock). And here are seven reasons you should be watching.
1) Amy Poehler — She was the buoy of hilarity that kept Saturday Night Live afloat for the last few years of her tenure, and she brings that same energy and earnestness to Leslie Knope, Deputy Director of the Pawnee City Department of Parks and Recreation. Poehler has found subtlety and nuance in a character that could have easily been a caricature of Steve Carrel’s caricature of Ricky Gervias’ managerial style. In early episodes Poehler’s eagerness played like naivety, but now it’s pure affability.
2) Grrrl Power! — Leslie Knope is all feminism. She is constantly quoting female politicians and comparing herself to Hillary Clinton. And while her (somewhat delusional) aspiration is to one day president of the United States, she’s happy for now to be doing her part to further the cause of women in Pawnee.
Take, for example, her stint as a judge in this season’s third episode, “Beauty Pageant.” The contest basically comes down to two contestants: Susan, a modest and talented college student; and Trish, a voluptuous moron whose claim to fame is that she’s “been on YouTube.”
First Leslie tries to convince the judging panel that they should vote for Susan.
And when they vote for Trish, she interrupts the celebration to give a speech to the “Susans of the world.”
3) Leslie’s Wall of Fame — Speaking of grrrl power, this is the reason I kept watching the show in the first season:
And she’s got Madeline Albright framed right behind her desk.
4) It’s super gay-friendly — Leslie herself may not have taken a stand for gay marriage in the season opener, but the episode highlighted the stupidity of the whole “Society for Family Stability Foundation” agenda.
5) There’s rapping — Oh, the rapping. So far this season, Leslie has rapped the entirety of “Parents Just Don’t Understand” and the p-p-p-p-p-oker face part of Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face.” And you know there’s more to come. Poehler’s Palin rap from SNL is legend.
6) Rashida Jones — Poor Rashida Jones was doomed when she joined the cast of The Office as Jim’s love interest in the third season. Karen Filippelli could have been a demon, but Jones made her likable (maybe even lovable). Jones is brilliant at the mockumentary thing, and she really gets a chance to show it off as Poehler’s BFF, Ann, on Parks and Recreation.
Leslie and Ann had some really sweet scenes together in “First Date.”
7) Entertainment Weekly, A.V. Club and Bitch Magazine also think you should be watching.
Bitch says “A big feminist yep to LeslieKnope.”
Entertainment Weekly says “You really should be watching this show’s second season.”
A.V. Club says “Every episode [is] so much better than the one before it.”
So, go on and give Parks and Recreation a try! Who’s with me?