Parks and Rec

I had a rant planned, but I’m putting it aside in favor of a little praise.

Parks and Rec is not the greatest TV show in the world. It isn’t revolutionizing the medium. It doesn’t get great numbers. It’s so sweet it could make you sick. But it’s well into the “good” territory, it’s characters are well-drawn, and it hits most of its laughs.

And the show is unapologetically feminist.

It’s feminist and it’s not a big deal. Leslie Knope is the closest thing to a great role model for girls who don’t realize they can be leaders. Leslie is a obnoxious and overbearing (it is a comedy, after all), but only because she cares too much. No one ever puts her down for being a woman. No one can stand in her way when she wants something.

Her friendship with Anne is as important to her as her romantic relationships, even when those romantic relationships get serious. She chooses her career over love (but ends up getting both). She tries hard. Sometimes she succeeds, sometimes she fails, but she always picks herself up and brushes herself off again.

It’s sad how rare this is. I can’t think of many other shows on TV with developed characters of color, female leaders/role models, and women who care about their friends as much as they care about their boyfriends. I should need to praise Parks and Rec for meeting this very low bar, but I do, because so few movies and TV shows meet this bar.

Still, it’s nice people watch and talk about Parks and Rec. There is plenty in the show to talk about besides its feminist leanings. It is feminist and it’s a lot of other stuff too.

We should all aim for our writing to be like this–it can just happen to espouse the ideals we need



5 thoughts on “Parks and Rec

  1. I was on the same Southwest Airlines flight back from Oakland to Burbank one time last year and saw both Rashida Jones and Adam Scott in front of me in the boarding line. I could tell Rashida saw me recognize her, so I pulled a typical LA move and pretended I was so cool by ignoring them. In retrospect, I’m glad I did.

    That is because when some other fan when we arrived at Bob Hope Airport tried to introduce himself and get a photo with Rashida and Adam Scott, Adam Scott was a jerk and waved him off. He did his wave dismissively and without a smile or apology. No attempt at eye contact. Real arrogant gesture.

    Not a fan of his anymore. I’m on the fence about Rashida Jones, too, who was with him and didn’t exactly protest or step in. TV actors should be more gracious to the public. Gotta know who butters your bread.

    • I’m on the fence. On the one hand, people should generally be polite on a human level. On the other hand, fans are not entitled to ANYTHING from actors/celebrities. I don’t see how Adam Scott is obligated to go out of his way and take a photo with a fan.

      • Without the fans, a celebrity is nothing. Celebrities should know better than to alienate the public, if at least for self-preservation purposes.

        At a minimum, he could have at least been polite about the brush-off instead of big-timing some average guy at the airport who came up to him with what seemed to me to be a genuine smile. It’s not like Adam Scott is a real huge star like George Clooney or Leonardo DiCaprio.

      • Yeah, but that’s career advice for Adam Scott, not what he should be obligated to do or not do. It’s the same thing when guys complain girls reject them rudely. Should girls be polite about their rejections? Only insomuch as everyone should be polite. Girls aren’t obligated to guys any of their time. Actors aren’t obligated to give fans any of their time.

        Sure, they could be polite, and it would be great if everyone was polite. But they aren’t obligated to be polite.

      • Well, I respect your opinion, but I do think that people should be polite to one another. I do think there is a social obligation of common courtesy, and if you are rude on purpose, one should be prepared for the negative fallout.

        I also don’t think it’s right for women to be rude in rejecting men who simply show interest and ask them out. I don’t know what it’s like to be an attractive woman and constantly get bothered by guys. I imagine it can get pretty tiresome, and it’s hard to fake a smile all the time. But a polite but firm “no” should suffice, as opposed to “with you? Fuck no!” LOL. 😳

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