Philosophising about the 'S'-word: Watch… and learn
Parks and Recreation is an American comedy on the NBC television network, starring Amy Poehler (Upright Citizens Brigade, Arrested Development) as Leslie Knope, a perky, mid-level bureaucrat in the parks department of Pawnee, a fictional town in Indiana. Conceived by Greg Daniels (The Simpsons, The Office (U.S.)) and Michael Schur (The Office (U.S.), Brooklyn Nine Nine), the series debuted on April 9, 2009 and completed airing its sixth season on April 24, 2014. NBC confirmed on March 19, 2014 that the show was picked up for a seventh and final season. It uses a single-camera, mockumentary filming style, with the implication being that a documentary crew is filming everyone. The ensemble and supporting cast features Rashida Jones (Boston Public, The Office (U.S.)), Aziz Ansari (Human Giant, Master of None), Nick Offerman (Childrens Hospital), Aubrey Plaza (Welcome to Sweden), Paul Schneider (Third Watch), Chris Pratt (Everwood, The O.C.), Adam Scott (Party Down), Rob Lowe (The West Wing, Brothers & Sisters, Californication), Jim O’Heir (Strip Mall), and Retta.
The writers researched local California politics for the show, and consulted with urban planners and elected officials. Poehler’s character of Leslie Knope underwent major changes after the first season in response to audience feedback that she seemed unintelligent and “ditzy”. The writing staff incorporated current events into their episodes, such as a government shutdown in Pawnee inspired by the real-life global financial crisis. Several guest stars have been featured in the show, and these characters often appear in multiple episodes.
Parks and Recreation received mixed reviews during its first season. After a reapproach to its format and tone, the second and subsequent seasons received much higher critical acclaim. Parks and Recreation has received several awards and nominations, including a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Comedy Series, five Emmy nominations and a Golden Globe win for Poehler’s performance, and a nomination for the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy. In Time ’s 2012 year-end lists issue, Parks and Recreation was named the number one television series. In 2013, after receiving four consecutive nominations in the category, Parks and Recreation won the Television Critics Association Award for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy. Parks and Recreation has regularly been a part of NBC’s “Comedy Night Done Right” programming during their Thursday night prime-time block.