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Parks and Recreation Dominates in Mockumentaries

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With big thanks to Netflix, many past-hit television shows that you may have missed when they were airing are readily available to watch 24/7.  For me, this was the case with Parks and Recreation, NBC’s hit television show that aired from 2009 to 2015.

Right from the first episode, I knew that I was hooked on this show.  Starring Amy Poehler as government worker Leslie Knope, the show revolves around the everyday lives of a parks and recreation department in the fictional city of Pawnee, Indiana.  Seemingly boring tasks such as budgeting, holding town meetings, and keeping up with the public parks are transformed into hilarious antics.  

Fellow journalism student Lauren Gunning and I decided to compare Parks and Recreation to The Office, another hit television show that aired on NBC for 9 seasons.  While I haven’t watched The Office to its entirety, I’ve seen enough episodes to know most of the characters, the structure of each episode, and the premises of the show as a whole. While The Office is very funny, much like Parks and Rec, I’m not quite sure if the characterization between both shows is the same.  

With Parks and Rec, each character becomes so distinguished and unique from one another.  Leslie Knope will always do whatever it takes for the betterment of the parks department.  Ron Swanson will always do exactly the opposite, which is sitting back and trying to be as unproductive as possible.  Tom Haverford will always be scheming up a crazy business idea, while April Ludgate will always be the dark, slightly-creepy jokester of the group.  Each character is portrayed with so much depth, to the point where the viewer can feel like they know the character personally.  

With The Office, however, I don’t get the same vibe of in-depth characterization.  Michael Scott, the boss of Dunder Mifflin Paper Company in Scranton, Pennsylvania, definitely has his signature quirks, along with Dwight Schrute, Kevin Malone, and other famous characters from the show.  From what I’ve watched, while each character is funny in their own way, I can’t see the in-depth characterization as easily.  Because of this reason, I personally believe that Parks and Rec is in a comedic league of its own.  

Some people love Parks and Rec, some people love The Office, some people love both.  Either way, given their success, both are shows that are definitely worth checking out (and luckily, they’re both on Netflix).  

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Parks and Recreation Dominates in Mockumentaries