The first thing I ever wrote for this blog (over a year ago now, yikes!) was about how I don’t really go in for the Oscars. Continue reading “Some Thoughts on Best Picture Nominations (Academy Awards, 2016)”
‘Brooklyn 99’ is the beautiful second child of Parks & Recreation showrunner Mike Schur. It’s now in it’s third season and shows absolutely no signs of slowing down (thank god). Continue reading “7 Reasons to be Head Over Heels In Love with Brooklyn 99”
I was not very interested in watching ‘Bojack Horseman’, originally. Honestly, it was the horse thing that put me off. I am not adverse to watching animated series (‘Bob’s Burgers’ and ‘Adventure Time’ being personal favourites) but it was something about the weird horse character that creeped me out a bit when flicking through Netflix. Continue reading “6 Reasons You Should Be Watching ‘Bojack Horseman’”
Read the article here at Film Inquiry… Continue reading “Your Unofficial Guide to the 59th BFI London Film Festival”
I was a bit late to the party on this one. I am also completely aware that no-one on the right side of 20 uses that phrase either, so sorry about that. Anyway. If you haven’t heard of it, Broad City is a late night comedy central show which started out as a web series. Continue reading “8 Reasons Why You Need To Watch Broad City”
Louis Theroux, in my opinion, is the U.K.’s greatest gift to the world. He is a national treasure, and a truly great representative of us Brits. Louis Theroux is, currently, probably the most well renowned documentary filmmaker in the U.K, and famous for his realistic investigative approach to his subjects. Continue reading “True Stories: Top 5 Louis Theroux Documentaries”
Mothers Day! A time to celebrate how awesome our mothers are, how little we appreciate them and how next year we will definitely buy them a better present. In all seriousness, though, Mums are incredible beings that have the power to stop our tears, read our minds and always make everything better. Continue reading “Happy Mothers Day: TV’s Favourite Mothers”
As a one off special celebrating International Women’s Day, let me introduce you to my ‘Our Ladies of Sci-Fi’ list.
Science Fiction has always been a hard genre to navigate for women – generally either represented as uber feminine/background decoration or as pseudo men with little to no depth to their characters. Continue reading “Our Ladies of SciFi (The Greatest Women in SciFi Film & TV)”
Parks and Recreation is a fantastic show. If you aren’t watching it, you should be. If you are watching it then good job. And if you’ve finished watching it then go back to season one and start that baby all over again. Seriously, I’m on my fourth re watch now and it only gets funnier and more excellent each time.
I wanted to write an in depth essay about the merits and achievements of Parks and Rec, something meaningful and articulate. Instead, I have decided that the best way of showcasing how great it is, is just to give you the definitive list of reasons why you should all be watching Parks and Recreation.
1) Leslie Knope/Amy Poehler
Parks & Rec is centred around a small town local government parks department representative called Leslie Knope. Leslie has enormous amounts of ambition, loves waffles, friends and work (in that order) and seriously enjoys her job. She’s a wonderful friend to all, completely optimistic about everything and an out and proud feminist (“if I had to have a strippers name it would be equality”).
What makes Leslie different to a lot of female characters on television is not that she is driven and succeeds. In fact, she doesn’t even always succeed, for example (spoiler alert) getting voted out of office in season 6. The thing about Leslie is that she takes her failures on the chin and always makes the best out of a bad situation. She is never embarrassed by them and she always motivates herself to do better.
Basically, she is a well rounded woman who has flaws like the rest of us. It is a rarity to see women, especially in comedy, with these character traits. Leslie is strong and independent, but she is also human and relies on the people around her too.
2) Female Friendships
Speaking of Leslie’s support network, female friendship is something which Parks and Recreation excels in. From Ann and Leslie’s beautiful friendship to Leslie’s mentoring of April (and April secretly loving it) Parks and Rec really gets the whole sisterhood thing. The women on the show constantly support each other, respect each other and they never argue about boys (with the possible minor exception of Ann and April…damn you Andy). Leslie’s Galentines Day tradition really underscores this incredibly written portrayal of female friendship (Valentines Day for girl-friends = Galentines Day).
Parks also recognises that it’s not always sunshine and rainbows, but even when Ann and Leslie have a full blow snakejuice fuelled argument – they both realize they are wrong and reconcile together; their friendship means more than their pride.
3) Healthy relationships
Another type of relationship which Parks and Recreation wins at is the romantic kind. Throughout the series, most of the main characters get into serious and not-so-serious relationships both with each other and guest characters. Whilst each relationship is incredibly different (can’t really compare Andy & April to Chris & Ann) they are all portrayed as healthy and loving. In season 2, Ron’s ex wife Tammy shows up and they rekindle (if you can use that word) their affair. It quickly becomes apparent that, whilst incredibly funny, their relationship is damaging to Ron and his happiness. The parks department all support Ron in breaking up with Tammy, none more than Leslie and in the end they prevail. Parks constantly shows the importance of friendship in relationships, as well as respect and trust.
Also if you don’t ship Ben and Leslie then what are you doing with your life?
4) Supporting Cast
Never have I watched a show where I love every single member of the supporting cast. I *literally* cannot pick a favourite character. They are all well rounded, funny, interesting people with their own views of the world. They band together like a little family, one that I think we would all love to be a part of. The creators of the show spent so much time developing all of the characters individually, and it’s a unique touch that makes Parks and Rec that much more special.
5) Chris Pratt
Okay, I do not have a favourite but Andy Dwyer/Chris Pratt deserves his own shoutout. Andy is hilarious, simple, caring and loyal. He was only supposed to be in the first season, and after splitting up with Ann – his character was supposed to leave Pawnee forever. Could you imagine? I for one can’t envision an Andy Dwyer-less Parks and Rec and thank goodness neither could Mike Schur and co. Andy has a fantastic heart, and what makes him even greater is that some of his best lines were improvised by Pratt onset.
6) It started life as an Office spin off but is wayyyyyyyyyyy better *
Parks and Recreation started life as an Office (US) spinoff. As much as I like The Office, I am eternally grateful that Parks got it’s own path for television. The thing is, Parks and Rec is so much better than The Office. Instead of downcast characters that spend all day winding each other up and tearing each other down, Parks and Rec is filled with positivity and characters who are always supportive of each other. The humour in Parks comes from the situations that the Parks department find themselves in, not from chastising each other (apart from Jerry/Larry/Gary). Even then, we aren’t laughing at Jerry because we know that he has a beautiful wife and a massive penis (spoiler!)
7) Celebrity Cameos
Celebrity cameos are far and few between but when they happen, they are amazing. It’s not the definitive reason to watch the show but seeing Jon Hamm as the office intern, and watching Leslie meeting Michelle Obama are certainly in my top 10 TV moments ever.
8) You will feel like part of the show
Due to the way in which Parks and Recreation is filmed, mockumentary style with minimal lighting/staging, the characters really get a chance to interact with the camera in their own ways. From Tom Haverford’s surprised grin to Ben Wyatt’s exasperated plea for help, it helps us get a better insight into these characters thoughts and feelings. It also makes us feel like Leslie and the gang are talking TO us rather than around us. It’s beautiful.
The seventh season is currently airing so you still have time to catch seasons 1 – 6 on Netflix before the finale!
* DISCLAIMER I do like The Office ! You have to admit, it just isn’t Parks is it?