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4.8 out of 5 stars41
4.8 out of 5 stars
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I found this by chance on BBC4. As has been said, there are overtones of the Office in both the documentary style of the filming and the lead character's complete lack of self awareness. Where this differs is that Amy Phoeler's brilliant Leslie Knope is an entirely likeable and sympathetic character (an aspect of David Brent that only appeared toward the end of the run). Season two has allowed all the chacracters to develop much further, especially that of Ron Swanson, who I understand is a bit of a cult figure in the US. As the Head of Department he has some excellent lines, such as "I like to say no, it dampens their enthusiasm"; all delivered entirely deadpan. It's all very good; well written and acted, and with a level of irony that I haven't seen in a US sitcom before. And no laughter track, which makes a huge difference to my own enjoyment.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 13 June 2013
As with many shows I end up watching, it was first recommended by a friend (then another, then another) so I gave it a go. Though many online reviews advised against the need to watch season 1, I wanted to start from the beginning and I'm glad I did as there were a number of gems and "quotables" contained within to make it stand out (in a more character development kind of way).

My first impression was that it reminded me of the Office, but as others have said the main character (Leslie Knope) is infinitely more likeable than David Brent and this really helps the audience (and even the other characters) to root for her throughout.

Having worked in local government, some of the situations and politics that the characters are presented with undoubtably resonated with me, but my wife (who has never worked in local government) also really enjoys the programme so it has a wide appeal.

Keep an eye out for the "Miss Pawnee" episode in particular as this, along with many other episodes, has really made this a favourite in our house.
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on 11 August 2012
After an enjoyable but inconsistent first year, 'Parks and Recreation''s second season sees the show getting into its magnificent stride, with plenty of wonderful one-liners, excellent character development, and some incisive and genuinely hilarious plotlines. For the uniniatiated, it's fine to skip the first season - as fun as a lot of it is - as there's nothing in Season 2 which will confuse those who haven't seen the previous season. The show centers around the Parks and Recreation Department, a Government branch in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana - "the fourth fattest city in America", a city filled to the brim with bizarre locals and a history of oppression to the Native Americans. Pawnee provides an excellent backdrop for some of the best characters and dialogue of any recent U.S. sitcom (no surprise considering the show's creators were behind 'The Office' [US]). At the head of the show is the earnest, excitable and sometimes competent Leslie Knope, deputy-director of the department, surrounded in the office by a hilariously macho boss, a sulky intern, and a married flirt who fancies himself as a style mogul, and turns up to a halloween party dressed as T. Pain (Tom Haverford, excellently played by stand-up comic Aziz Ansari).

For the initiated, Season 2 is the best so far from 'Parks and Recreation'. The character development, especially on the front of the previously rather one-dimensional April, and perennial joker Tom Haverford, is exceptional, and genuinely moving. The comedy is still the show's bread and butter, though, and from Leslie inadvertantly promoting gay Penguin marriage ('Pawnee Zoo'), to Leslie providing Tom with money for a stripper, and the appearance of ultra-sleazy would-be playboy Jean-Ralphio, who invites Donna to a club, "either in your Mercedes-Benz or my pre-owned Acura Legend" ('Woman of the Year'), it is absolute gold. There isn't really anything I can say wrong about Season 2 of 'Parks and Rec'. With the exception of one poor, borderline offensive episode ('Sister City'), there's nothing here not to love. From surprising new relationships, to Ron wearing a fur-lined hat, it's all great. A wealth of deleted scenes, insightful commentaries, and an extended version of a few episodes, is just an added bonus.
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on 30 August 2014
I started watching Parks and Rec by accident one day. I saw that the pilot episode was on BBC Four so I decided to start watching it then. Had they not been airing the pilot episode at that precise moment, I would never have started watching it and it never would have become my favourite show of all-time. The first season is iffy, but after that it just keeps getting better and better (season 4 is my favourite season). Season 2 of Parks is what truly solidified it as my favourite show ever. 24 episodes is a lot to work with, but they hit the nail on the head with every single one. The cast is outstanding (as Amy Poehler says, "the best cast in TV or film, comedy or drama") and the writing is hilarious. The humour is refreshing, as it's not the usual self-deprecating stuff we hear, but it's actually smart comedy. It's well worth your time.
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on 3 September 2013
I love this show so much that I wanted to call our new family pet (a hamster) Ron Swanson because of the way his whiskers twitched. Sadly, I did not get my way.

Seriously, genius writing, beautifully drawn endearing characters, terrific performances, the very best that US comedy can be.
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on 30 March 2013
I can't believe that this show is only just starting to be shown on British TV!

Parks and Recreation is amazing, hilarious and just plain brilliant! If you enjoy other American shows such as Modern Family, Community, The Office etc then I highly recommend this. :)
Also, don't be put off by the first season! Season 1 is funny, but it's nothing compared to season 2 - easily my favourite show at the moment.
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on 21 December 2015
It has great comedy characters but the story lines produce the same, narrow, formula of situational dilemmas time and time again. You can only laugh at the same permutation of predicaments so many times before the amusement begins to wear thin. It's not the actors but the scripts that are lacking originality on occasions. So much so that you could be watching the same episode with a few differently located props sometimes. This may not be the fault of the scriptwriters but can be the result of what they are permitted to create due to the controlling grip of some U.S media companies. After getting halfway through this series I now feel like it's an arduous journey that I'm waiting to complete. The comedy has a slow puncture, with no repair kit to fix it. All that can be done is to pump it up again only for the next episode to roll along, losing momentum, towards another complete deflation of interest. I will not be buying any subsequent seasons of 'Parks & Recreation' as I cannot stand eating the same meal continuously, however fresh, tasty,and original it had been when it started off in season one.

Eamonn
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on 20 July 2011
Following the exploits of the Parks And Recreations team in a small City Hall in USA.

Series 1 started as an Office me to, genuinely funny but many parallels.

Series 2 comes into it's own with a vengance (series 3 builds on the momentum) the characters have grown, the situations are assured, Rob Lowe joins the cast but Lesley Knope is the undoubted star. Funny, daft and touching. Easily one of the best comedies around.

Check out Ron Swanson's Pyramid of Greatness - a map to success for us all. Brilliant cast, great characters.

Give it a chance. Top quality stuff.
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on 4 March 2014
another episode from the excellent series "parks and recreation" We'rehalf way into season 2 now and this gentle witty comedy continues as the department fight to win the best "murial" competition..whilst not the best ep still plenty to make you grin.
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on 21 October 2013
The show reminds me of the Office.The main character in particularly has huge similarities with Michael Scott but she is bit more likable.The side-cast is also good.It is surprising that it took so long for this show to arrive from the states.This show is along with Community and Modern Family the most entertaining new comedy of the last 5 years. A lot of episodes were genius and there are few average episodes but most episodes are 5 star and high quality with great dialogue and storyline.The show as mentioned is bit like the Office but in a more political and government environment.So for example there are comedy scenes involving how useful democracy is or how relations with foreign diplomats can be problematic.Must-watch.
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