Call me a curmudgeon, but I resisted Parks and Rec for a long time. I watched the first few episodes, and was underwhelmed: Was Leslie Knope supposed to be a female Michael Scott? Rashida Jones as the long-suffering girlfriend was really dry and boring, and Aziz Ansari’s over-the-top womanizing was annoying.
Giving it a second chance was the best decision I’ve made in a while. Unlike Michael, Leslie is not only really, really committed to her job, she also loves it (this, by the way, is a primary reason why I dug Rachel McAdams in Morning Glory). Jones’ Ann Perkins is a lot more interesting now, and her friendship with Leslie is fun to watch. It’s one of the few good, solid, female friendships on TV — it’s the kind of friendship that women have in real life. Usually, the best we get is the kind of friendship Blair and Serena have on Gossip Girl — two young women who obviously love each other, but who compete constantly and get into frequent (often physical) altercations.
The other characters have gotten better too — both the recurring drop-ins, and the one-offs — and Ron is a total gem.
(Question: Does anyone else find Netflix’s recs weirdly accurate? For example, it predicted I’d give Season 1 of Parks and Rec three stars, or an “it was okay” rating, but that I’d give Season 2 four stars, or a “really liked it” rating. Dead on.)