Column by Stephanie Kocer
Kocer is a sophomore magazines and English double major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursdays have been very emotional for me this year. Every week I get sadder and sadder knowing that we are one step closer to the last episode of “The Office.” Now I’m lying awake at night worrying about what’s going to happen to Jim and Pam and who’s going to take care of Andy when the show ends in a few months. The best kinds of shows are the ones you become emotionally invested in. Although I miss “30 Rock” and will bawl like a baby when “The Office” ends, I am thankful I still have “Parks and Recreation.”
“Parks and Rec” is the show that is often undervalued by audiences because it is so sneakily funny. It was created by the guys who made “The Office,” so it has an off sense of humor sometimes, but the lovable characters are what make the show stand out against all other comedies currently on TV. The cast is led by none other than the hilarious Amy Poehler. Poehler plays Leslie Knope, the sweet and often clueless leader of the Parks Department in fictional Pawnee, Ind. She likes to believe the best in people and is very concerned with the well-being of Pawnee.
Now in the fifth season of the show, Leslie has become a city councilwoman and is finally trying to create a park on the land with the giant hole Andy fell in during the first season. Hey, give her a break. Leslie’s been dealing with a lot the last five years including Tom’s (played by the ridiculously funny Aziz Ansari) antics, Ann (the adorable Rashida Jones) and her men issues and her dark intern April’s (the deadpan Aubrey Plaza) weirdness.
The cast of crazy office characters doesn’t end there, though. Not even close. There’s the misfortunate Jerry (Jim O’Heir), who nobody seems to really like and Donna (Retta) who always tells it like it is. Andy Dwyer (the comedy genius Chris Pratt) has become more than just the guy who fell in the hole during the first season. He’s in a band, he married April (best couple ever) and is working on becoming a police officer. He’s a big guy with a big heart and a small attention span.
There’s everyone’s favorite boss, Chris Traeger played by Rob Lowe. If you aren’t watching this show for at least Rob Lowe then I have to ask what’s wrong with you? It’s Rob Lowe! Dude hasn’t aged since 1986 (believe me, I’ve seen “St. Elmo’s Fire” enough times to know)! He plays the health crazed and always upbeat Chris. He’s been going to therapy lately, which seems to be making him funnier than ever. His best friend is dorky Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott). Ben likes numbers and “Star Wars,” but we keep him around because he’s in love with Leslie.
After Ben and Leslie got engaged earlier this season in true Leslie fashion (she had to stop the whole proposal just so she could take it all in), we have been waiting every week to see when the big moment will happen. Lucky for us, the wait is over! Today we finally get to see these two lovebirds tie the knot and I for one cannot wait. Something will probably go wrong and Leslie will find a way to fix it like she always does.
Of course, I haven’t forgotten about the character that holds the whole show together — Mr. Ron Swanson. Played by the great comedian Nick Offerman, Ron does not like government even though he works for it and he would rather be in a cabin somewhere making something out of wood and eating a big piece of meat. His hair and mustache maybe stiff, but deep inside this iron man is a sweetheart who usually only shows his true self to Leslie. Ron is also notorious for the best one-liners on TV. His most recent from last week’s episode, “Ditch the terrier and get yourself a proper dog. Any dog under 50 pounds is a cat, and cats are pointless,” is a perfect example of how he holds this cast of insane characters together while being the craziest of all of them.
If you’re not watching “Parks and Rec” you need to ditch your vampire shows and start. After a long week it’s nice to let Leslie Knope and her friends entertain you with their ridiculousness. Just imagine all of these unique characters in a small town trying to run the Parks and Recreation Department. We all know how interesting small towns can be. That should be reason enough to watch. These characters make “Parks and Recreation” the funniest show on television, so start watching. As Ron Swanson would say, “Under my tutelage, you will grow from boys to men. From men into gladiators. And from gladiators into Swansons.”