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TV: Parks and Recreation

TV: Parks and Recreation

Suitable for 15+!


You might have heard of American TV series Parks and Recreation. It’s been the birth of many an internet meme, for instance the character Ron Swanson has simply become a living meme. Everything he says or does can and will be used against him on the internet. The series focuses around a small Parks and Recreation department in a Midwest local government, where all the characters have vastly different personalities and priorities.


Firstly, there’s main character Leslie Knope, played by American comedian Amy Poehler. She’s a bit of a hopeless romantic, and she’s definitely a workaholic, but she’s good at her job. Almost too good. Then there’s her boss Ron Swanson, who despite working in a government job, hates all forms of government and state interference in private matters. He also hates people, and is the total opposite of Leslie. As the show progresses, though, we learn he’s actually quite kind-hearted underneath the hard shell. Also in the office is Tom Haverford, the egotistical and vain office assistant. The series is such a long-running one that he has time to mature and grow, and by the end of it, he’s achieved his dreams.


April Ludgate is Ron’s grouchy and creepy assistant, but secretly she is really lovely. The actress Aubrey Plaza was actually chosen to voice Grumpy Cat, and who better to pick than Parks and Rec’s sarcastic, sardonic intern? On the opposite end of the grumpy spectrum is Andy Dwyer, the musician-turned-shoe shiner. He’s basically a big kid, but a big loveable kid who gets on with pretty much everyone. Then there’s Jerry, who everybody hates, for no apparent reason. The queen of the office is Donna, who appears to have a very mysterious personal life. Why she works at the office during the day is a complete mystery, seeing as she appears to be quite financially successful.


The series is set in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana. Pawnee has a very gruesome history, especially with regards to its Native American inhabitants, the Wamapoke. The Town Hall is covered with murals depicting horrendous massacres, and how Leslie utterly fails to gloss over it is hilarious. Pawnee has a deep rivalry with its next-door neighbour Eagleton, where all the rich people moved in the 19th Century. Seeing how Eagleton compares to run-down Pawnee is also hilarious, and the rivalry is something we’ve all experienced with a nearby town/city/neighbour/foreign country.


The show is 100% hilarious. As well as the Pawnee-Eagleton rivalry, there are many running jokes – you’ll just have to watch the series to see what they are! Although you might not see the attraction to the show at first, once you get into it, you’ll love it. Word of advice – the series starts hotting up towards the end of Series 2, but still go through the first few episodes so you get a feel for the show. Sad news, though – Parks and Recreation broadcast its last episodes in February of this year! The world wept, and social media exploded with farewell messages for the beloved comedy series. #pawneeforever.


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