21 Things To Love About Parks and Recreation.
Let’s face it, this list could be infinite because this show is the best thing since sliced Calzone, but after approximately my 17th watch, I’ve managed to pick out some of my absolute favourite things about Parks and Recreation (spoilers ahoy).
#1. The Much Improved Changes From Season 1.
Similarly to Breaking Bad, I was not a great lover of the first season of Parks and Rec. It had some funny moments (Leslie falling into the pit is golden) but I see it more as an extended pilot rather than an actual series, with Season 2 coming back so, so much better.
Leslie is so much more likable when they change her annoying David Brent ridiculousness into sweet, hardworking hyperactive-ness. Andy’s switch from ‘Ann’s annoying boyfriend’ to Loveable idiot is great, and they finally use Retta properly because Donna is exceptional.
I wish it was real because it sounds amazing: The slogans (“It’s safe to be here now”), the murals (“a lively fisting”) the obesity, it just seems so weird and brilliant. Leslie even manages to get into a heated poo fight with some local youths.
#3. The Rude Venezuelans.
Sister City is pretty much the episode that made me fall in love with the show. The visiting Venezuela’s are so rude and awful and it’s wonderful.
#4. Ben being awkward and tragic.
There are so many moments that back this up, but his breakdown during Media Blitz is a particular highlight (‘WHO HASN’T HAD GAY THOUGHTS?!’). As is his depressive foray into the world of Claymation: Requiem for a Tuesday is approximately six seconds of comedic gold.
#5. Treat Yo Self!
I’m not the biggest Tom fan, but I always like him more when he’s with Donna because she’s brilliant. The Treat Yo Self episode is so good, and the acupuncture screnes are amazing.
#6. Ben and Leslie.
Ben and Leslie as a couple are just perfect. Their wedding is so lovely and funny and they had a brilliantly bumpy road getting there (The model UN fight is terrifying). I don’t get involved in Tumblr’s shipping obsession usually, but I wanted them to be together so badly.
#7. The Saperstein twins.
Mona Lisa and Jean Ralphio are, in his words, the wooo-ooooo-rrr-stttt. And the best. And it’s brilliant.
#8. Ann and Leslie’s friendship.
Ann and Leslie are one of the greatest couples in TV history. Way back when Mark Brander-quitz was a thing I was sure the storyline was going to be them feuding with each other over him, but brilliantly, that never happened. There was no wedge between them, with them both putting their love for each other over a bloke. They just support and love each other so much and that’s honestly really nice and refreshing to see. Ann leaving mid-season six (a mistake in my eyes because she’s the best) still makes me get a bit watery every time.
#9. April and Andy.
A definite case of opposites attract, but they really love each other and they really work. Her hatred or almost everything and his overwhelming optimism contrast brilliantly. Watching them get together is really cute.
#10. Ron Bleeping Swanson.
EVERYTHING about Ron is gold. He’s probably the overall funniest character in my book, and he’s also secretly a real softy. I hated that he and Leslie fell out for two years (even though episodically it lasted but four episodes) but it’s worth it for the Ron and Leslie episode that features some brilliant Billy Joel moments. It’s possibly the finest example of Parks brilliantly sewing together comedy with genuinely lovely moments.
#11. The Tammy’s.
The Tammy’s are a genius comedy creation, as both of Ron’s ex-wives are completely terrible in different ways. You know that any episode featuring a Tammy is going to be brilliant, and when I realised Ron and Tammy 2 are married in real life it makes it even better.
#12. Flu season.
I love when the Parks crew play ill. “What are you doing?” “Cartwheels. Am I not doing them?”
#13. Also any time they play drunk.
The Snake Juice episode is possibly my favourite ever.
We’ve all been there, Ludgate.
#14. “Is she going to powder her vagina?”
Joan Callamezo is one steaming hot train wreck of a woman, and I adore her.
#15. Donna’s wedding.
Aside from the Bridesmaids dresses being so on point (totally stealing that when me and Frank Grillo tie the knot) the wedding itself is lovely and funny. “want me to shut that down?” “No, I like it. Let the little man dance.”
#16. Chris Trager.
Literally the greatest character Rob Lowe will ever play. Is there anything more brilliantly terrifying than his declaration: “in college, I was in a nude production of cats.” Majestic.
#17. *Does the classic Chris finger point* Ann Perkins.
Possibly the most underappreciated Parks and Rec character, she’s a lovely and kind human being and also her exceptionally beautiful face masks something brilliantly awkward and tragic. (“I salsa your face.” Anyone?). She also just gets it. “Jogging is the worst, Chris. I know it keeps you healthy, but god, at what cost?” Life. She just gets it.
#18. Jerry’s fart attack.
Which awakened my inner seven year old and I couldn’t stop giggling.
#19. The Calzone food poisoning.
Which not only leads to probably the best Parks and Rec physical comedy (Ben flailing around like a tragic salmon is majestic) but also the single greatest one liner from masculine, moustachioed Adonis Ron Swanson: “I did not sleep for one second last night, and I cracked the bottom of the toilet bowl.” This line fills my heart with joy.
#20. The best cameo in anything ever.
Bill Murray is in the final season! As a corpse! In an open casket! God my love of this show is infinite.
#21. The Finale.
Which Is so completely, utterly perfect. A good finale should always make you cry and feel sad and happy and satisfied, and this ticks every single box. It also revels in the relentless optimism and positivity that makes Parks and Recreation such an addictive pleasure to watch, perfectly merging funny and poignant, as THIS brilliant Buzzfeed post shows.
Now excuse me whilst I divulge in my seven thousandth binge watch, because this shiz is straight up deloyshush.