Parks and Recreation—Season 1

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7.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Start to see characters develope, better to rewatch after being on for a few years

The characters are underdeveloped and style of the show hasn't come together

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Welcome to Pawnee!

Pawnee, Indiana has one of the most devoted parks departments…and all the devotion comes from Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler).  While the rest of her crew might not have the zeal that Leslie has for the city, Leslie’s going to take them kicking and screaming into public government.  When a concerned citizen named Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones) reveals her boyfriend Andy Dwyer (Chris Pratt) fell into an undeveloped pit, Leslie makes it her mission to get the city a new park.  With her team of Ann, Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari), and Mark Brendanawicz (Paul Schneider), Leslie is out to prove herself to her government hating boss Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) and the city.

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Leslie Knope…Defender of Freedom and Pawnee Parks

Parks and Recreation—Season 1 was a mid-season fill in airing for six episodes from April 4, 2009 to May 14, 2009.  It was met with tepid reviews for this short season but with the second season quickly became a critical favorite.

Parks and Recreation essentially “spun-off” The Office.  The creators of both show are the same and Rashida Jones (who left The Office) was given a role in this show.  There are no linking characters, but I could easy see the world of Dunder Mifflin existing in the world of Pawnee (and I would love a crossover when The Office ends).

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Ron Swanson Nugget of Wisdom this season: Bacon Wrapped Shrimp…My #1 food wrapped around my #3 food…

While The Office is full of negative and vindictive people, I feel that Parks and Recreation is almost the flip-side of The Office.  Some of the characters might not particularly care for their jobs, but they aren’t really mean about it and everyone in the show comes off as likeable.

It is obvious that Amy Poehler’s energy holds the show together.  It is a tricky role in that she can’t be too excitable or she’ll just be irritating, and Poehler does a great job making Leslie persistent but likeable.  She’s also backed up by a great crew that doesn’t really get its due in this season.  Ron Swanson soars in other season, but here only has a few scenes to make a point.  Much like The Office, there doesn’t seem to be much purpose to Rashida Jones’ character past this season, but Aubrey Plaza and Chris Pratt both start to show why they are some of the best characters.  Aziz might be the flashiest of the show and he does a great job being in your face and fun.  Characters like Jerry and Donna don’t really factor in this season, and the attempts to make Paul Schneider another “Jim” from The Office really fall flat.

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Don’t ever change Andy!

This season is pretty rocky.  If you’ve watched Parks and Recreations, it is fun to go back to the season and it doesn’t feel as off as it did when it first aired.  You have a better understanding of the characters and this dispositions so even watching background acting is fun.  I don’t think this season starts working until “The Banquet” episode, but once it starts to get a bit of a footing you can’t help but to like it.

Parks and Recreation—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:

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“Pilot”

1.1       Pilot Airdate:  04/09/09

Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) is the deputy director of the parks and recreation department of Pawnee, Indiana.  When a resident named Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones) brings an undeveloped pit to the attention of Leslie and Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari) at a community meeting, Leslie vows to get the pit filled to honor Ann’s injured boyfriend Andy Dwyer (Chris Pratt).  Against the suggestion of Mark Brendanawicz (Paul Schneider) and her boss Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman), Leslie has big plans for the future of Pawnee.

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“Canvassing”

1.2       Canvassing Airdate:  04/16/09

Leslie decides to take her pit park project to a public forum to impress her mother (Pamela Reed) and sets up a canvasing committee to drum up support…but some have different opinions about the building a new park.  When Leslie learns that the project is being fast-tracked, Leslie realizes a public vote on the project might not be what she wants.

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“The Reporter”

1.3       The Reporter Airdate:  04/23/09

Leslie decides to promote her pit project by inviting a reporter named Shauna Malwae-Tweep (Alison Becker) to interview her.  When Andy reveals he was drunk when he fell into the pit, Leslie goes to Mark about Shauna.  Leslie discovers Mark has slept with Shauna and told her the pit will never be made.

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“Boys’ Club”

1.4       Boys’ Club Airdate:  04/30/09

When Leslie tries to get into the “boy’s club”, she uses gift basket wine to win her way in despite being a violation of state policy.  Leslie tries to fix the problem, but ends up making it worse when the department intern April    (Aubrey Plaza) posts a video of herself drinking wine.  Now Leslie faces firing and a hearing with Ron about her conduct.

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“The Banquet”

1.5       The Banquet Airdate:  05/07/09

Leslie’s mother is being honored at the city and Leslie realizes it is her chance to get an in with some of the big wigs of Pawnee.  With a new haircut by Salvatore and Ann as her date, Leslie learns that she might have to get tough to get what she wants.

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“Rock Show”

1.6       Rock Show Airdate:  05/14/09

Andy’s casts are coming off, and he’s throwing a concert.  Ann learns that Andy’s casts could have come off long before and that she’s been making her tend to him.  Leslie’s mother sets her up with a date who is a little older.  When Leslie gets to the concert, she find herself alone with Mark.

Related Links:

Parks and Recreation—Season 3 Review and Episode Guide

Parks and Recreation—Season 4 Review and Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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