About two years ago, I heard about the new show coming from the same guys who made The Office, which was (and still is) one of my favorite shows on TV right now.  It was called Parks and Recreation and it sounded promising.  If it could keep the same mockumentary charm that The Office was able to produce every week, I was ready to tune in every week.

And in the beginning, I did.  I kept up with it for the first four episodes of the first season, out of a total of six.  And I just didn’t like it.  Leslie Knope’s character struck me as just trying too much to be like Michael Scott.  The rest of the cast was pretty bland.  The only character worth watching on that whole show was Ron Swanson, the head of the Parks Department.  A no-nonsense libertarian trying to take down the ‘system’ of wasteful spending from the inside.  Every scene he was in, I thought it was a blast.  His no-bullshit attitude with deadpan delivery made the character for me.  Everyone else…not nearly as likeable.  As much as I liked Ron, I stopped paying attention to the show.

"I am submitting this menu from a Pawnee institution, J.J.'s Diner. Home of the world's best breakfast dish: The Four Horsemeals of the Eggporkalypse."

Jump ahead to last Thursday.  The only reason I decided to fire up P&R on the Netflix Instant Queue was mostly for background noise.  I like finding random TV shows and using them as sound while I work on other things (or, more likely, continue my work in Minecraft).  I picked the show because it was recently added as a possible show to watch, and I figured it would do the job while I waited for something else, that I was really interested in to show up on the Instant Queue.  Season 1 was rough to go through, but I made it.  It still had a lot of the, “Oh jeez.  Really?  This is funny?” kind of moments I remembered from a few years ago.  Season 2, however, took Season 1 out behind the barn and shot it dead.  I can’t quite explain what made the second season so appealing, but I was cracking up.  I think they were able to pull the show away from being just “The Office but with parks” and Parks and Recreation finally found their own two legs to stand on.  They still keep some of the same cues, but it manages to be different and hilarious.  The Office had a similar transition, where Season 1 wasn’t that great, but Season 2 managed to step it up.

"Guys love it when you can show them you're better than they are at something they love."

Since starting this trip back through the show, I’m caught up and ready for the new episode on the 17th.  I go through TV shows on Netflix rather fast, but when I can watch an entire show’s run (or up through their most recent episode) in a weekend and change, that’s a show worth recommending.  I can’t stress how much fun Parks and Recreation is and I urge everyone to check it out if at all possible.  I may do similar write-ups for other shows I discover on Netflix, but here’s a nice short list of TV shows I’ve burned through and loved every moment of…

~Better Off Ted


~Undercover Boss

~30 Rock

~The IT Crowd

~Doctor Who


~Pushing Daisies

~Fullmetal Alchemist

~Man vs. Food

Take a chance on your Netflix queue, even if you’re not 100% sure.  You never know what amazing show you might discover.