Parks & Recreation Season 2

Discussion in 'TV Shows' started by Hanson, Sep 19, 2009.

  1. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    I wanted to start this thread as an apology for bashing it in the Community thread. As I saw Community before P&R, some of my unkind comments were based soley on season one, which was terrificly unfunny.

    From the cold open with Amy rapping out Parents Just Don't Understand, the KNOPE posters in the style of the Obama HOPE posters, the gay marriage theme, and so on and so forth, the season premiere of P&R was something like a gajillion times funnier than season 1 in total, which isn't that big of a feat considering I laughed exactly once during the entirety of season 1 (when Rashida Jones' boyfriend was listing the history of his ever changing band names -- "Just the Tip" had me howling). P&R was such a chore to get through that if a) it hadn't been the Thursday night comedy block sandwiched between two shows I wanted to watch and b) the new TV season isn't quite yet in full swing so I had the 24 minutes to spare, this might have been deleted from my DVR. I think this show is so much better when Leslie is someone you want to root for -- last season, she was such a pathetic wannabe that her presence was grating. Seeing her take a real stand made her more likable and a better center for the show. Freeing her from the will they/won't they dynamic with the tall white guy is also a plus -- he was too much of a tool for anyone to want to see them hook up.

    When 30 Rock returns, the lineup of P&R, 30 Rock, The Office, and Community will be about as solidly funny as any 2 hour block in recent TV history.
     
  2. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    I completely agree. If the rest of the episodes can keep up that pace, I'll be glad that I stuck with the show through the rocky first year.

    My personal favorite joke was the spraypainted "God made Flipper and Eve, Not Flipper and Steve" on the wall at the zoo.
     
  3. Adam Gregorich

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    Based on your comments I will have to give it a try this season. I watched one and a half episodes of S1, and that was too much.
     
  4. Brent M

    Brent M Producer

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    I actually enjoyed season 1 so needless to say I really thought the s2 premiere episode was hilarious. If the show can be that consistently funny it will be on par with The Office and 30 Rock.
     
  5. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    The biggest problem with the show remains the fact that Amy Poehler wasn't funny on SNL, and she wasn't funny here. If I met Tracy Knope in real life, I'd try to extract myself from the conversation ASAP so why would I want to welcome her into my home 30 minutes each week? In the last couple episodes of last season and the second season premiere, the writers have found ways to use Knope as a catalyst for funny stuff that happens around her. It doesn't change the fact that the show is built around its most grating and least interesting character. What the show needs is a straight man like Rashida Jones's character to be our window into its world. The rest of the cast and show have come along way. Steve Carrell gets the top billing on "The Office", but it's enough of an ensemble that Jim and Pam get at least as much screen time as he does.

    The best move they made was bumping Chris Pratt up from his weird "Guest Starring" but in the credits status to a full on regular. Every scene with that character is gold. I was howling at the reveal that he's now living in a tent at the bottom of the pit, where he needs to keep his suit elevated so the rats won't trample on it.
     
  6. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    True, the Leslie Knope character is just not my cup of tea for a lead character for a sitcom, which drains a lot of the fun out of the show for me.
     
  7. Brent M

    Brent M Producer

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    I think the same could easily be said about Michael Scott, but it doesn't make his character any less entertaining IMHO.
     
  8. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    You lost me right there.



    If I watched more TV, I'd invite you to name your top 15 shows, because I'm sure they contain numerous characters of which the same can be said. One of the essential pleasures of fiction is the ability to spend time safely with people you'd never want to meet in real life.
     
  9. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Producer

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    I've enjoyed P&R and the second season premiere was very good. I haven't seen Community yet, but NBC seems to have built a pretty solid line-up once again for Thursdays with this, the Office and 30 Rock, not to mention the SNL Weekend Update.
     
  10. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    This is actually the reason it took me until the third season of "The Office" to get into the show. The first season was absolutely merciless toward its characters, which lead me to wonder why I should like them since the show itself didn't seem to. It took me a long time to tolerate Michael Scott, who has the advantage of being played by a likeable persona.

    Would they be the protagonists, though? The closest other protagonist is House, and he's interesting enough that I doubt I'd bail on the conversation even if I didn't like him personally. Lesley Knope doesn't have any depth to her; she's Ned Ryerson each and every week: friendly, well-intentioned and completely unbearable.
     
  11. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Originally Posted by Adam Lenhardt


    Lesley Knope doesn't have any depth to her; she's Ned Ryerson each and every week: friendly, well-intentioned and completely unbearable.

    I'm not trying to convince you that you should enjoy Lesley Knope. The inescapable fact, though, is that a large number of people do enjoy her, at least enough to keep the show on the air. And I'm one of them.
     
  12. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Fair enough. To borrow a phrase from DaveF I appreciated in another thread, Knope (and Poehler generally) represents "a comedy style I don't enjoy". It's a tactful way of putting it.

    This show represents the enduring power of timeslots on viewing habits: if it weren't sandwiched between shows I do enjoy watching, there's no way I'd be sticking around -- even though I do like the rest of the show to varying degrees. But because I like "The Office", await the return of "30 Rock", and enjoyed the "Community" pilot, "Parks & Rec" isn't bad enough to walk away for a half-hour. Only the Thursday Weekend Updates have risen to that level so far.
     
  13. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    I have to be reminded from time to time that timeslots are still relevant, even in this age of DVR, on-demand, Hulu and other internet sources. Even when I watch a show on the night it's broadcast, it's been years since I've watched anything in its timeslot.
     
  14. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    PSSSSssssssssss... That's the sound I heard throughout the second episode of P&R. It's the sound of air slowly leaving a tire, and after last week's memorable outing, this one deflated back to season one standards. Not even the great Louis CK should pull this one out of mediocrity.

    I hope this show doesn't follow the Heroes trajectory where every fourth or fifth show, as I'm about to give up on it, is good enough to keep me around for another four or five episodes of wheel spinning boredom.

    OK, I admit the part with the hernia was pretty funny. But it should have been funnier.
     
  15. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    It wasn't as good as last week's episode but I liked this one. The "Do you have syphillis?" line followed by "You could have two things wrong with you" made me laugh out loud.
     
  16. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    I wish they could make a show around just Aubrey Plaza and Chris Pratt's characters. They're the two I find most consistently entertaining. April talks so seldomly, but every time she does it's so incredibly offbeat I'm practically howling. I loved the completely oddball way she went about helping Ron Swanson.

    But the shot of Chris Pratt hopping at the edge of the pit trying to spy on Rashida Jones and Mark's date while munching on a carrot from the community garden was the highlight of the episode for me. The weirder and more pathetic his character, the more enjoyable I find him.
     
  17. AnthonyC

    AnthonyC Cinematographer

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    I loved that--like Adam said, the intern and Andy are really the only characters who deliver consistently. Ron is decent too but kind of predictable.

    I think they're trying way too hard with Tom. I can't fault Aziz Ansari, who does a fine job portraying him, but it almost feels like they're trying to make him the big comic relief character...in a sitcom.
     
  18. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    Last week's Beauty Pageant episode was on the meh side, but some of the scenes from the practice date in this weeks show were gold, especially Leslie's enumeration of bad date incidents. Some of the digging up dirt storyline was also pretty good, especially the picture of Tom Haverford dressed like Osama (he was actually dressed as a Jedi). The punchline about Chris Pratt being a jazz musician was a bit obvious and flat, but overall I'd consider this one a keeper.
     
  19. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Was Chris Pratt's character at the jazz club? I only saw Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman).
     
  20. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    Jeez and crow I can't keep the names straight. Maybe you can be my editor. I'll PM you my posts before hitting submit
     

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