SPOTLIGHT // Why Parks and Recreation is Literally the Best

Parks & Recreation might just be one of the best shows ever. And I’m not just saying that because it’s ending. No, it truly fills a hole on TV that just can’t be filled. There’s probably a thousand reasons over the course of 7 seasons why it’s literally the best. However, I’ve narrowed it down to five.

Everyone is So Different

Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC
Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC

Strangely enough, Parks and Recreation may be one of the one shows where the main cast is so vastly different. Leslie is clearly motivated and positive. April is unmotivated and negative. Tom is very self-confident. Gary lets everyone piss all over him. Andy is kind of a lovable puppy. Ron just wants everyone to leave him alone. Ben is neurotic. Donna is laid-back. Yet somehow, they manage to get along. They have different views and opinions on nearly every subject imaginable but they learn to not only get along but become friends who appreciate each other. This is a lesson that we could all learn from.

Change Isn’t Always Bad

Photo by: Ben Cohen/NBC
Photo by: Ben Cohen/NBC

Over the course of 7 Seasons, lots of things change on the show. People move away. People go in and out of relationships. People get married and have kids. Leslie struggles with decisions that impact the town in both good and bad ways. But one thing I’ve always learned from the show is that things have to change and that when they do, it isn’t necessarily bad. This is a hard lesson to learn that people struggle with each and every day.

There’s Awesome Guest Stars

Photo by: Larry French/NBC
Photo by: Larry French/NBC

Parks and Recreation manages to consistently have literally the best guest stars. Everyone from Joe Biden to Patton Oswalt has been on the show. Politicians, big movie stars and comedians have all played memorable parts on Parks and Rec. Not an episode goes by without a “Holy crap!” or “For real?!” moment thanks to yet another amazing guest star. Throwing all of these hilarious people into one tiny Pawnee never gets old!

We All Live in Pawnee

Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC
Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC

Now I don’t mean this literally of course. But there are aspects of Pawnee that we can all relate to. There’s those people on the “other side” of town, those laws everyone hates and those annoying radio personalities that never seem to shut up. Parks and Recreation has lasted so long because it’s relatable. We have those things we want to improve in our towns but we don’t know how. We want to take that crappy pit and make it into a park but we don’t know how. We want it to be safer for kids and inclusive for everyone. At least, I hope we all do. We all have a little slice of Pawnee in our lives and that’s pretty wonderful.

Leslie Knope is Just the Coolest

Photo by: Colleen Hayes/NBC
Photo by: Colleen Hayes/NBC

Let’s be honest: Parks and Recreation would not be anything without Leslie Knope. Leslie is the leader of this merry group. She is the glue that holds them together. Everything they do is because of her. Leslie inspires, encourages and bends over backwards for the people she cares about. She’s an idealist almost to a fault and truly believes the best in people. And in a world like ours, we really all need a little more Leslie Knope.

Heather
Heather is a recent West Coast transplant and can't remember what humidity feels like. She spends most of her time (& money) watching movies, marathoning TV shows on DVD, attending concerts, reading, eating vegetables, attending conventions (San Diego Comic-Con, New York Comic Con, Dragon*Con so far!), blogging about her quarter-life crisis, downing coffee and traveling the world. She likes comic books, photography, reading on the Metro bus and wearing cold weather clothes despite the actual temperature in Southern California.
http://heatherjacklin.com

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