The NBC sitcom “Parks and Recreation” is an unlikely hero in the television world. In what would, at first blush, appear to be a money-grab riding on the coattails of “The Office,” the public servants of Pawnee have proved once again what the right combination of people are capable of.
As of the Jan. 13 premiere of the show’s seventh and final season, “Parks and Recreation” is the highest-rated network comedy.
For those of you still unfamiliar, it’s time to treat yourself to a history lesson.“Parks and Recreation,” which premiered in 2009, details the political and social adventures of Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) as she navigates the frustrating and hilarious bureaucracy of the Pawnee Parks and Recreation Department. Accompanying her is a dynamic supporting cast of both new and familiar faces including Adam Scott, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Aziz Ansari, Chris Pratt, Radisha Jones and Rob Lowe. It is these capable performers coupled with equally capable writers – Poehler herself, Michael Schur, Greg Daniels and others – that elevate the series above the typical network environment.
Team players aside, undoubtedly the most iconic character to emerge into icondom is Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) and his truly astounding mustache. Yes, small-dog hating, bacon-and-eggs loving Ron Swanson.
Bringing us such nuggets of oddball wisdom as, “There is no such thing as bad weather, only inadequate clothing and methods of transportation,” it’s little wonder that the quote-crazy inhabitants of the Internet have latched onto Swanson as a poster boy for all things stereotypically manly.
As proven by consistent success and widespread popularity over a now six-year run, Pawnee has secured its unique niche in American popular culture. So what are you waiting for? Go fire up the old TV or Netflix and watch all the “Parks and Recreation” they have.
“Parks and Recreation,” the highest-rated network comedy as of this season’s premiere, airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC.
Brian McCray is a junior studio art major and an arts & entertainment writer for Cedars. He enjoys drawing, writing, watching movies and composing short bios of himself.