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