If you like The Office then Parks and Recreation is your thing. It’s a female version of Michael Scott in a park setting. It’s solid, it’s funny and everyone does their job: Leslie Knope is the “quirky boss,” Mark Brendanawicz plays it “straight,” Tom Haverford is the “resentful second in command,” Ann Perkins is the “what am I doing here” gal, and of course, a documentarian.
If The Office rubs you the wrong way, then … maybe play some Facebook Scrabble while you wait for 30 Rock as P&R is eerily similar.
It’s still early and there’s time for the show to gain its own legs. Check it out:
In the second episode of P&R Leslie (Amy Poehler) continues her quest to build a park and is on a mission to gain the public and her mom’s support. Who do you have your money on?
We provide Leslie with the much needed moral support as she approaches her mom, a “big mucky muck” in the county school system, to attend a town hall public forum she’s running. Simple enough … Her mom is just “too busy” though. This gives us some insight into Leslie’s over enthusiasm yet underachieving.
Leslie’s office-mate Mark (Paul Schneider) and voice-of-reason hints that it might be premature for her to take her park pitch to the public. If they vote ‘no’ it’s ova. Not to worry, Leslie has the most brilliant plan to canvas the neighborhood going door-to-door. Yep, ‘cause everyone loves having strangers knock on their doors.
The first person Leslie and Ann (Rashida Jones) meet is all about the park but has no interest in attending the meeting. Worthless. Next? Team two, made of Mark, Tom (Aziz Ansari) and Aubrey the intern (April Ludgate) seem to have success with the next neighbor but his eagerness for the park is voided out by his lack of children. As Tom simply puts it, “Uh oh. Mark him down as ‘no.’”
Finally … Leslie comes upon a mom playing with her children in her front yard who must be gagging for a park. Nope. Leslie doesn’t take no for an answer and snaps back at her saying, “You don’t care about your kids if you don’t support this park.”
Seriously, don’t bring the kids into it. The mom embraced the Angelina in her and promises to be at the forum. Those are fighting words. Canvassing is not working. Leslie borrows Ann’s boyfriend, who was injured at the vacant lot where the park is to be, for pity points exclaiming,” He’s a cute FDR!”
Back at the office, Leslie, who is literally sweating through her suit, asks to postpone the meeting but she’s denied. Pressure is on. Fastforward … to the forum! It’s finally here. Is it just us, or did it take a while to get here?
Aww, her mom shows after all. Actually, we take that back. Her mom says out of the corner of her mouth, “This is going to be a train wreck.” Even though her mother is treating this like it’s a spectator sport, the forum has a healthy turn out. Except, the first person to the microphone is “Angelina”, the woman Leslie accused of not loving her kids who pretty much blasts her. Things get hairy when Leslie pulls a Hillary Clinton and calls on the “girl she’s never seen before in the yellow shirt” who is called out for being Aubrey the intern. One word, notgood.
Best line of the night: “Hey park lady.” “Yeah?” “You suck.” “Hear that? He called me Park Lady.”
The big boss takes Leslie aside and his game plan is … AVOID THE VOTE. She filibusters the rest of the forum, running the clock, so no one else can speak or vote. More public forums to come.
How long will P&R run the clock on this plot line: park or no park?