An Honest Review of Parks and Recreation

I am ashamed to admit that I had never seen Parks and Recreation or The Office prior to 2020, but just like the rest of the world, I had heard about them almost endlessly. I have definitely had to sit through countless debates about which show is better and people have told me whether or not I'm a Ron or an April or an Andy or a Dwight, and having absolutely no idea what's going on. However, as a result of the pandemic, I have had copious amounts of free time during which I have been able to watch all nine seasons of The Office in around a month and all seven seasons of Parks and Recreation in about two and a half weeks. I can confidently say that Parks and Recreation is far better than the office and that I am more of a Ron than an April, however I am neither an Andy or a Dwight and whoever suggested that I was either does not know me at all.

Esther Kang

Firstly, the characters are so much better and are more well rounded than those in The Office. I found myself much more invested in Tom Haverford and his endeavors in Entertainment 720 with his irresponsible sidekick Jean-Ralphio than in Andy and his misguided attempts to win Erin back after leaving her for months to sail his parents’ boat back. I still for the life of me do not understand most of what happened from the end of season eight to season nine. But I do know that the finale always makes me cry. 

Secondly, Leslie Knope. That’s it, Leslie Knope. She is probably the best part of the entire show. I will now point out that The Office does not in fact have a Leslie Knope. They have a Michael Scott, who is fantastic in his own way but he is not Leslie Knope. For this reason, Parks and Recreation is better. Plus, she genuinely likes working for the government. I have learned so much more about the U.S. government from Leslie Knope, who is a character on a TV show, than I have from living in Washington, DC my entire life literally five blocks away from the Capitol building. That may be my fault, but it's still a solid point.

U.S. Capitol Photo by Mike Stoll from Unsplash

Thirdly, I really like how every character is important to the story line, except for maybe Jerry, and has a continued arc throughout the entire series. I think it definitely made me more attached to all of the characters because it allowed me to get to know them better. I liked that even Tammy 2 and Jean-Ralphio and his very possibly evil sister Mona-Lisa had reappearances throughout the entire series. 

I was talking to one of my friends over Facetime about my opinions on both shows and he immediately agreed with me before going into a tangent about Psych, New Girl, and Community and I was right back where I started. At least I know what to watch next.

Charles DeLuvio; Unsplash