Something strange happened last night, as a revelation hit me like a bolt of lightning. Parks and Recreation has become one of the best comedies on TV these days. That may sound strange, seeing as it’s supposed to be a merely clone of The Office, albeit set somewhere else with a different cast, but these days, the student is on the verge of becoming the master.
Don’t get me wrong, The Office is still pretty great when it wants to be, but its largest issue these days is structuring problems, whether they’re small (last night’s central conflict never even had time to be resolved) or colossal (Jim and Pam’s wedding should have been the SERIES finale, not planted in the first third of season 6).
Parks and Recreation, on the other hand, has finally found its voice, and has started to grow some memorable characters of its own, rather than being a hodgepodge of marginally funny people as it was when it first debuted. Aziz Ansari’s Tom Haverford is up there with the best The Office has to offer, as is Chris Pratt’s Andy. Even Poehler’s Leslie Knope is starting to be sympathetic lead, finally pushing past the mantle of mere annoyance.
NBC may suck in whole hell of a lot of ways these days, but the last place network truly does produce three of the greatest comedies on TV these days (30 Rock is the missing one at the moment), and here’s to hoping the network’s failings won’t bring them down.