Thursday, December 10, 2009

Why Parks is currently funnier than The Office

The Office seems more like an awkward drama these days than a dry, awkward comedy. While it declines, just like Rome's empire, Parks and Recreation takes it place as the empress of Thursday night TV. The dialogue is less forced and now flawlessly hops between possible improv and cleverly-crafted concentrated scripts. Plot and jokes fit well together.

While it seemed first season that Leslie Knope (Poehler) was a carbon copy of Michael Scott with a vagina, she has since changed directions as a bumbling idiot. Leslie now acts as a prominent female political leader, on the same status as Hilary Clinton, Condy Rice, and Janet Reno. But she hold her own status too high? I don't think anyone actually cares if she goes out on the town and replaces her blood with pure alcohol or hires male prostitutes. But she takes the high road (usually). She has heart and tries to do the right thing, like cover for Tom in shooting Ron. While she is actually intelligent, sharp, witty, and resourceful, it seems those around her are more buffoonish than her now. She really is respectful, and I'd totally marry that.

I'm also glad to see the minor characters getting more screen time, which is something The Office is not doing. Donna and April are my favorites on the show, and their few lines make the entire episodes for me. The Venezuelan delegates lust for Donna was refreshing and hilarious at the same time because of her reaction. And my favorite parts from her were from my favorite episode "Hunting Trip," where she throws herself on her car in agony and despair, where we think she was shot or someone in the car was. But the windows we shattered by a gun, and when Leslie confesses to doing it, Donna tackles her! I laughed for minutes about that. Never saw that coming.

April's (Aubrey Plaza) lines of flat delivery are always welcome. She is so unhappy to be there, but on the bright side: she has a job. I don't think she even knows what her job is though, which makes it even better. She knows she's smarter than everyone else, but she doesn't flaunt it. She wants to partake in the crazy schemes and is often left out.

Previously I hated Andy Dwyer (Christ Pratt) and thought him unfunny and annoying and really wanted him gone. But now, he's a lovable goof that doesn't see the good things in front of him.

Mark Brendanawicz (Paul Schneider) is the only one I'm still indifferent towards. His character is flat and not funny. Even his lady friend Ann (Rashida Jones) is the most rational of the bunch and is funnier.

Ron Swanson is delightfully awkward, and you never know what you'll get form him. The episode with his ex-wife (Megan Mullally) was crazy-hilarious as she plays Jerry and Leslie. We find out more and more about him each episode.

We finally find out why Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari) has a model-esque wife, and it's disappointing, but now we understand why he hits on other women. We still get lots of depth from his adorable and often inappropriate character.

I ALWAYS feel terrible for Jerry (Jim O'Heir), but it still makes me laugh. His only lines are thwarted by the rest of the crew when they make fun of him. The most we got out of his character was the hunting episode, which I think was a great character episode (which I think Poehler improvised during her interrogation).

While supporting cast members fade into wallpaper in The Office, Parks and Recreation makes use of their supporting cast characters.

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