Stay Tuned
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Thursday, April 09, 2009

"Parks and Recreation" Review: Poehler Deserves Better

I had read all of the bad reviews of “Parks and Recreation,” but I was still hoping for the best since I’m a fan of Amy Poehler.

I’m still hoping…

If you missed it, Poehler is Leslie Knope, a mid-level bureaucrat in the Parks and Recreation Department of Pawnee, Indiana. Leslie finds a way to advance her career by taking on the cause of local nurse Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones) and turning an abandoned construction site into a park.

Helping her along the way is her colleague Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari) and her intern, April (Aubrey Plaza). She also gets a helpful hand from city planner Mark Brendanawicz (Paul Schneider), who she once slept with, but who has no interest in her now. Her boss, Ron Swanson (Paul Offerman), however, doesn’t really show her much support.

The show is shot in a mockumentary style, a la “The Office,” so many critics argue that it’s just a rip-off of that show. Since I don’t watch “The Office,” I can’t agree or disagree with that statement. I can only hope that for the sake of “The Office” it’s not true, because “Parks” is so unfunny it hurts.

The concept of following a parks and recreation department is lame and Poehler is given very little chance to shine. Probably the funniest part of the premiere was when Leslie, trying to illustrate solidarity with Ann, starts singing “Lady Marmalade.” The show will need A LOT more moments like that if it plans on being funny anytime soon.

NBC has a real star in Poehler, but they’ve given her a show completely unworthy of her talents. And with the current state of sitcoms these days, Poehler may need to take the Tina Fey route and write her own show.

It couldn’t be any less funnier than this one…

“Parks and Recreation” airs Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. on NBC…

Photo Credit: Mitchell Haaseth/NBC