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TV Show Review: "Parks and Recreation", by Greg Daniels, Michael Schur et. al

After “The Office”, I thought I'd never find another TV show that would be as good. So I looked at a bunch of different listicles online about TV shows that were like “The Office”, and they recommended “Parks and Rec” as the next show to binge watch.

It started off like a copy of “The Office”, with Leslie Knope being a Michael Scott like character. But I think the writers and the cast discovered a different dynamic after Season 1, and it slowly became its own thing. Michael Scott would likely never be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, but Leslie Knope does (spoiler alert) become governor of Indiana. The humor is softer (you're not really laughing at anybody by the end of “Parks and Rec”, and there's no spoiler Andy Bernard character), and the cast dynamics are much more genuine (I've read that the characters are just exaggerated versions of each cast member, vs. “The Office” where Steve Carrell at least can assume multiple different personas).

It all tied together really well. By the end I wasn't really crying that it was over, I felt a call to action, and I think “The Office” for the public sector would have that kind of ring to it. It's inspiring in a way ‘The Office” can never be, because the even the droniest of civil servants still serve others.

I think I'm really happy knowing I'm not stuck watching “The Office” re-runs forever. Now I'm really curious about the writers, because “The Office” and “Parks and Rec” are both written by many of the same people (Greg Daniels and Michael Schur), and they've written other TV shows as well, like “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”.