I know, I know. Blasphemy you say. The Office came first and Parks & Recreation is just copying their style (although both shows are copying England’s original version of The Office). And you’ll say that Amy Poehler is just a female version of Steve Carell’s character. And many of you will also say that Park’s Mark and Ann love story could never hold a candle to The Office’s Jim and Pam love story.
But hear me out.
I started watching Parks ever since it debuted and have enjoyed every episode. I’ve been feeling this unbalanced sense of affection for Parks & Rec for a while now but couldn’t figure out why this show endeared me. I finally figured it out: Parks & Recreation has more funny characters.
Let’s break it down. As far as consistently, funny characters, The Office has Michael and Dwight. That’s it. Oh sure, the other characters have a funny line here and there but none of them are as reliably funny as those two. Parks & Recreation has Leslie, Tom, Ron, Andy and April. That’s five characters who can easily deliver laughs. Five well defined characters who are very different from each other and are funny in their own right. I’d watch a whole episode that just followed any of those characters. Would you really want to watch a whole episode that featured just Oscar, Kelly or Toby? Even Jim and Pam (main characters mind you) are comedic duds by themselvesÂ who need more interesting characters to bounce off of.
Plus, The Office has heartbreaking episodes that, while carrying a dramatic punch, are uncomfortable to watch. To be sure, Parks has sappy moments as well but they’re never overwhelming. I know some of you prefer some sad drama in your comedies (usually the same folks who love Scrubs) but not me. It’s easy to provoke a reaction by tugging at heartstrings. It’s comedy that’s tough. That’s why I have more respect for shows and movies that go for the laughs.Â And that’s why Parks & Recreation is just a notch above The Office in my book.