January 17, 2014

Your Next Boxset: Parks and Recreation
by Tom
by Tom hmv London, Bio hmv.com Editor. Peanut butter, punk rock and pillows.

Your Next Boxset: Parks and Recreation

On the lookout for a new boxset to fill your long, dreary winter evenings with? Each week, hmv.com will be recommending you a series that you will have wishing those cold nights would go on forever…

This week we recommend US comedy Parks and Recreation, a sleeper hit that's charmed so many people over the course of its six series so far…


What it is?

Parks and Recreation is a mockumentary set in the parks department of the local government in Pawnee, a fictional town in Indiana. It follows the lives and love of a series of people, most of whom work in the department. If that makes it sound dry and worthy, then don't worry; it's the total opposite of that. The show's ability to make brilliant set pieces and carve offbeat humour out of everyday mundane things is second to none.


Who’s in it?

The show stars former Saturday Night Live regular Amy Poehler as deputy director Leslie Knope, with Miss Congeniality 2 star Nick Offerman appearing as her boss Ron Swanson. Rashida Jones, who you'll know from comedies like I Love You, Man, plays Leslie's best friend Ann Perkins while former teen heartthrob and West Wing lynchpin Rob Lowe plays city manager Chris Treager. Also starring is future Guardians Of The Galaxy leading man Chris Pratt, comedian Aziz Ansari and rising star Aubrey Plaza.

Parks and Recreation
Parks and Recreation NBC

Why should I watch it?

Mostly because it’s very very funny indeed. The show's been remarkably consistent throughout its six series and maintained an exceptional standard without ever resorting to clichés or musical specials as some shows have done. The characters are incredibly well-rounded, charming in their own ways and have been allowed to evolve slowly as the show has progressed.

Parks and Recreation feels like a celebration of small town life without ever being cynical or looking down on the subject, it's as in love with small town America as the characters in the show. That's not to say it's schmaltzy though, the gags are constant and always on point. You'll find yourself watching episode after episode (this particular writer's record is 12 in a row…).

Unlike some sitcoms, which, upon finding success, realise that their original premise just doesn't have the ability to be played out over a longer arc, Parks and Recreation has expanded its reach neatly and gradually, take viewers with it. This one could run and run, we should all hope it does…


Describe the show in three words…

Hilarious, hopeful and hopelessly addictive. Sorry, that's four, but there you go…

Parks & Recreation: Season 1 on DVD

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