NBC’s “Parks and Rec”: Funny or Far Fetched

We’ve all heard of the comedy “The Office” and how hilarious it is and how every office worker can relate to the quirky characters and the uncomfortable situations. When I heard that they were coming out with a new show about a public service “Parks and Rec” department, I got really excited. Finally something for us government folks to relate to! Since I finally had some time off this weekend, I sat down at my computer to catch up on the show. I for one was sadly disappointed. The show took quick jabs at public sector workers but the writers obviously have never worked in local government and created a superficial plot.

However, I admit that I was tired and in somewhat of a cynical mood. Is there anyone out there that works in government that thinks this show is funny?

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Midori Raymore

I would never watch it – its not my type of humor. The ads alone turned me off. I didn’t like how the government employees were being portrayed in the ads.


I work in parks and rec and eagerly anticipated the debut of this program. I am a big fan of the office and thought it would be hilarious…. I was WRONG. The show is boring and not funny at all. I think there have been more comical situations in THIS office than on that show.

Gray Craig

I agree with the crowd on this one, but it did spur a conversation with a former Parks & Rec colleague about how our past experiences in the department could make the show truly funny…and real to boot!

Jason Carini

I liked the show. Unfortunately, it’s being judge in quality and content by the same standards of the Office. It took the Office a little while before it matured into what it is now.

The one mistake is to assume P&R is 100% about small government. It revolves around small government (like building a park, etc.), but it also includes life situations (like the date between the old guy and young lady).

I did not find it as hilarious as the Office, but I still found it to be a funny show. I will continue to watch it. 🙂

Larry Till

My problem with the show isn’t whether it’s funny or not – and I agree, it’s very hit-and-miss – but how it’s different from The Office. Right now, I’m finding it just too similar in too many ways, from the smarmy sideways glances to the camera to the verbal jousting and use of malapropisms. It needs to find its own unique voice before it goes too much further.

Leah Anderson

I think the show is very funny, its supposed to be satirical and far fetched. I’m sure most viewers don’t actually think that The Office is an accurate portrayal of a paper supply company office & its workers. I don’t mind someone taking a formula that worked and putting a different spin on it.

James A. Bell

I haven’t made up my mind on the show yet. Some parts are hilarious and very far-fetched. I especially like when she shows visitors the mural in city hall that has gruesome death scenes. They are probably getting letters on those scenes.

Wendy Pagot

I’m in the minority here I guess, but I though the show was very funny. I also love the Office. The office reminds me of my former job at a bank and Parks N Rec reminds me of my current gov’t job!! I too will continue to watch!

Shelly Hedrick

I actually really enjoy it — try not to miss it. I want my fellow public affairs colleagues here to watch the episode when Amy Poehler does the media interview. Might even be a good clip for media training (we need to supplement the Bob Newhart piece, after all!).

Michaela Holmberg

Thanks for your feedback Michele. Do you know what episode number that is? I will try and watch that one tonight.

Gabriela Dow

I watch very little TV but have made a point to Tivo this show because it is something I can relate to — especially in the years I spent working in public affairs. I thought the episode about the public hearing was ridiculous in so many ways but it did make me laugh and remember some of the craziest episodes at our own public hearings (I worked on a project in San Diego that ended up being dubbed “Toilet to Tap” so you can imagine…)

I agree that the similarities to the Office are a bit over the top (my husband and I were huge fans of the British Office so never warmed up too much to the US version…)

But the main Parks & Rec character (and her assistant) have certainly grown on me so I’ll continue to watch 🙂

It’s interesting to at least have something on prime time TV that teaches the public about the title of a “City Manager” which I am surprised that so few people even know exists…