So, I watched way too much Parks and Recreation the last almost-a-week, but to be fair I only did it when I was supposed to be doing unimportant things like cleaning my apartment or sleeping. It’s one of the best sitcoms I’ve ever seen, to the point I was astounded it wasn’t a remake of a British series. (Let’s face it, the British are just plain better at sitcoms. Also historical drama, but that’s not relevant.)
What I like about it is that it is satirical without being cynical and intensely political without being didactic. Ron Swanson is the best example of this. He is a scathing parody of the hypocritical “small government” bureaucrats that started spawning throughout all levels of government in the early 2000s–people who literally believed that the job they held should not exist and did everything in their power to demonstrate it.
The show does not shy away in the slightest from showing how utterly awful he is, how gleeful he is about destroying the work of others, how horribly he treats his employees, how upside-down his morals are, and how utterly broken he is as a person. Yet at the same time it also builds him into a sympathetic character with hidden depths who gets to be frequently badass. He’s a person–a person who has let his warped philosophy blind him to the world around him, yes, but still not a walking joke the way, say, Andy is.
Also both Sam and Josh from The West Wing eventually show up in it. Fingers crossed for Allison Janney at some point, she’s amazing and very funny.