Starring: Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Rashida Jones, Aziz Ansari, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Adam Scott, Rob Lowe, Jim O'Heir, Retta, Patricia Clarkson, Megan Mullally
This sitcom is subtle, fun and honestly one of the funniest shows I have seen in a while. It is just a real shame it doesn't get aired in the UK.
Set in the Parks and Recreation department in Pawnee, Indiana, a group of hard working, and a bit dysfunctional government employees do there best to help out their local area. Most of them are bored, grumpy and don't really want to be there, but one person is enthusiastic, excited and loves work, this person is Leslie Knope (Poehler). She is always positive and happy, and this really gets on her co-workers nerves. The time she spends talking to them and trying to get everyone as enthusiastic as her is always wasted, as they all just ignore her and pay no attention. I love the contrast between her and the other characters, but especially between her and Ron Swanson (Offerman). He is Leslie's boss and hates his job, a vast contrast between him and Leslie is very apparent. He spends a lot of the day grimacing at Leslie's enthusiasm and trying to get away from her, and the rest of his employees. He sits in his office, passing judgement on people and rarely cracks a smile, but despite this he is funny and really likeable. The way he is so quick to shut people down and his constant attempts to escape the people around him is extremely funny, and always makes me chuckle.
Alongside Leslie and Ron there is Ann Perkins (Jones), Leslie's best friend and the local nurse, Tom Haverford (Ansari), Leslie's arrogant, fame hungry assistant, April Ludgate (Plaza), Ron's lazy, cynical teenage assistant, and Andy Dwyer (Pratt), the dopey, lovable shoe shine boy, and April's eventual husband. Each character has a very particular personality trait and all add their own special something to the mix. Often overlooked, are the lesser known but equally hilarious Jerry and Donna (O'Heir & Retta). They started off in the first season as extras, but by season three they have become two of the funniest characters. Donna is the offices sassy black woman, who always supplies the show with hilarious one liners, and Jerry is the cowardly, want-to-be-loved member of the team. They are the final ingredients to making a hilarious core cast.
The newest characters are Ben Wyatt and Chris Traeger (Wyatt & Lowe). They are the two government officials, and are complete opposites. Ben is fairly sane, he has a sarcastic sense of humour and is a tad cynical, whereas Chris is like Leslie Knope, x20. Ben eventually starts dating Leslie, but in this series they have some tough obstacle's to face as Leslie is running for city council. Chris once tried dating Ann but their difference in opinions and personalities eventually lead to their break up. Also as a special treat this season we get to meet Ron's first wife, Tammy 1 (Clarkson). We have already met Tammy 2 (Mullally), his second wife and the second most psychotic person he knows. Now Megan is always hilarious in the show, so hopefully Clarkson will be able to step up as the first most psychotic person Ron knows. I'm sure she will, because she is a brilliant actress, especially in comedy.
The writing is fab, and the cast are fantastic and it really is a brilliant show. With so many Saturday Night Live alumni in the show, and a whole load of superb comedy actors involved, nothing can really go wrong. If you like 30 Rock and The Office US, you are bound to love this, because it has a similar feel, an equally funny cast, and an equally funny script. I really hope one day we get it over here, in the UK, as it truly is fantastic and it seems so unfair we don't get to enjoy it as well.