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If You Like “The Office”, Here Are 6 Reasons To Watch “Parks And Recreation”

"The Office" (2005) is one of the most adored TV shows from the US, and since its release, it has consolidated itself as one of the public's favorites. The characters such as Michael Scott, played by the great Steve Carrell, and Dwight Schrute, interpreted by the comedic genius Rainn Wilson, have entered history along with the show's iconic scenes and hilarious lines that are ‘till this day remembered.

If you are a part of '"The Office" fandom, or just someone looking for a good TV series to binge-watch, here are six reasons why you should watch "Parks and Recreation" (2009).

Both shows have similar styles

Probably the main factor that makes both shows so similar is that they follow the same "mockumentary" format, a satire of real documentaries. Both are set in an American office, but this time it's not a paper-making company, but rather a government department called "Parks and Recreation", making fun not only of work-related activities but also of how chaotic government really is.

Because it is shot like a documentary, it counts with “interviews” with the characters throughout the episodes, without the laugh track. The two also count with the same creators: Greg Daniels and Michael Schur, leading the writing style to be very similar as well. Despite the style similarities, "The Office" follows a more "real" approach to humor, as the character’s personalities and situations they face appear to be more realistic, while in Parks and Recreation the personalities and circumstances are a bit more over the top.

The casting is amazing

Whoever picked this cast deserves a place in heaven. I couldn't possibly think of a better fitting actor for any of these characters. Amy Poehler plays the exaggeratedly upbeat and sometimes obnoxious public servant Leslie Knope. She is the main character of the series, and some of her coworkers are Ron Swanson, the stereotypical American neoliberal, played by Nick Offerman, and April Ludgate, the lazy and apathetic intern, played by Aubrey Plaza, who is such a perfect fit for the role that sometimes we wonder if she was even acting or just being herself.

Aziz Ansari, who debuted in the series and is now famously known for his work in "Master of None" (2015), portrays Tom Haverford, the young entrepreneur who dreams of leaving his bureaucratic job. Andy Dwyer, as the goofball who works at city hall as a shoe-shiner and lead singer of a band named "Mouse Rat", acted by none other than Chris Pratt. And lastly, but not least, Rashida Jones who, in "The Office" played the role of Karen Filippelli, now gets the main role as Ann Perkins, Leslie’s best friend who is also a caring nurse and loving friend.

All these actors have such great chemistry that they have made their relationships surpass the screens, and grow into real-life friends, which becomes unquestionably visible for the spectators and genuinely heartwarming.

Raises social awareness through humour

Since its first season in 2009, the series has grown more and more into more socially conscious humor. In the first seasons, we can still see some tasteless jokes, such as the sexist posture that Tom Haverford takes in some moments. Throughout the series, we can see him grow and evolve as a character and as a man, as the society around him evolves as well.

Altogether, the series touches on various sociopolitical issues in a lighthearted and satiric manner. For example, in the second season premiere, Leslie performs a marriage between two penguins, in a publicity stunt for the Pawnee Zoo — the fictional city the show is set — which backfired when the audience and herself are informed that both the penguins are male. The Society for Family Stability Foundation demands she annul the penguin wedding or resign from the parks department, while the city’s gay bar Bulge declares her as their "hero". The episode is both hysterical and important, making it one of the best moments of the entire show.

Mind-blowing guest appearances

If the huge stars that played the main characters weren’t enough, the show is also filled with brilliant supporting characters and iconic guests. A few examples are Tammy II, Ron’s ex-wife played by his real-life partner Megan Mullally, as well as Jennifer Barkley, the political strategist played by Kathryn Hahn. Both are the perfect antagonists who have earned a special place in the fan’s hearts.

In addition to that, the siblings Mona-Lisa and Jean-Ralphio Saperstein, played by Jenny Slate and Ben Schwartz, along with Bobby Newport, played by Paul Rudd are the supporting characters that, despite their polemical personas, are some of the most hilarious characters on TV. Some of the famous guest appearances worth mentioning are Michelle Obama, Kristen Bell, Patricia Clarkson, Bill Murray, Andy Samberg, and the President of the US Joe Biden.

Overall wholesomeness

In comparison to "The Office", "Parks and Rec" is a much more wholesome show in general. "The Office" has a mostly pessimistic tone to it and, although it is not a negative point about Greg Daniels and Michael Herbert Schur’s prior show, Parks and Recreation feel somewhat more cheerful and optimistic.

Whether we’re talking about their main characters' attitudes — Michael Scott who is a more sarcastic and narcissistic persona than Leslie Knope —, or about the entirety of the characters' plot, the general tone is set to uplift you. 

It 's hilarious!

Parks and Recreation had and still has a huge role in pop culture. The series has offered us so many memes, gifs and famous ‘TikTok’ audios that we’re sure you have heard or seen at least once, but probably didn't even know it came from Parks and Rec.

From the cast’s incredible comedic acting to the cleverly funny scripts, the show is definitely going to make you laugh and fall in love with Pawnee’s City Hall as much as - or even more than - Dunder Mifflin.


The article above was edited by Karen Oliveira.

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Giovanna Garcia

Casper Libero '24

Estudante de relações públicas em São Paulo, Brasil. Apaixonada por cultura pop e cinema.
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