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Review: 'Parks and Recreation'

It seemed somehow inevitable that 2009 would be an Amy Poehler year, that the actress would be lifted by the rising water that is Tina Fey -- her former "Saturday Night Live Weekend Update" co-anchor and her costar in last year's "Baby Mama" -- and by her part in the pop-cultural wing of the 2008 election, in which she imitated Hilary Clinton and rapped like (but not as) Sarah Palin.

So here she comes now, taking up residence on the Thursday-night NBCcomedy bloc alongside Fey's "30 Rock" and "The Office," whose producers Greg Daniels and Michael Schur are also behind "Parks and Recreation," the series formerly known as Untitled Amy Poehler Project. Reports of a "troubled" show, springing off a leaked focus group report citing, among other things, the lack of a "datable" male lead, are -- in the creative if not the commercial sense -- quite exaggerated. (The most favorable response, according to the report, came when Poehler fell into a hole, so, you know, go from there.) Tonight's opener starts slowly but hits cruising speed soon enough.

While it's not the spinoff of "The Office" that was early rumored, hoped for or feared, the show most certainly plays as a variation on that series: It's another faux documentary about a dimwitted middle-manager whose self-image jibes imperfectly with the world's view of her, and whose dreams of glory are founded on air. But the similarities between these shows is no more a handicap than -- to go to the roots of this genre -- those between Christopher Guest’s "Waiting for Guffman" and his "Best in Show." "Parks" tells its own story on its own terms.

Read more Review: 'Parks and Recreation'
Comments () | Archives (8)

I love Amy .............. I hope the show is funny. Very excited. Nick H is very funny in the trailers."The public is stupid" .........great!

I thought it was dreadful, Amy Poehler cannot carry a show at all. The only time I laughed was for one joke the whole time, and she wasn't even on the screen at the time. It is a shame the quality of The Office has dropped as of late and now this show comes out and goes straight to bottom of the barrel.
I give it a D-

A total joke, and not in a good way. Every element of style is stolen wholesale from the office. But then again, the last time I saw originality in network television executives was...

Very unoriginal...cinematics are a complete knock off of The Office. Note to Amy Poehler - you ARE NOT Steve Carrell. Wow they stole Rashida Jones as well...what a load of crap.

This show is unbelievably NOT FUNNY. I watched it with my husband and two teenagers and none of us so much as cracked a smile. We love the Office, but this show is even less funny than the unspeakably awful "Kath and Kim". In the future, I'll be Tivo'ing "My Name is Earl" and "the Office" so as not to waste another minute of my time on this turkey.

I agree with all of you. Amy was funny and original in SNL but in this show she's just a cheap copied imitation of Michael Scott and she fails!!!I hoped it was funny and was excited but the show is not funny at all, the writers are amazing but only at the office,And I find Rashida Jones the most blah actress in TV out there, she lacks everything that is remotely interesting this show will inevitably be canceled sooner or later. I pray for sooner rather than later.

While I agree that this is a substandard knockoff of the office, to me the show is pretty hilarious. However, the main reason I get the humor is probably because I worked as a consultant to a small city redevelopment department for three years and the folks depicted in this show are only slightly less pathetic than the folks I worked with. In fact, Amy Poehler is a dead ringer for the most pathetic public servant I worked with, a woman whose primary task was to figure out how not to be the woman that had to go face the public at the town meeting each month. I swear that this show could have been written using a stolen notebook of my thoughts in working with the city. Unfortunately, real life pathetic actions probably do not make a great television show for very long and my guess is this show doesn't live another season.

I like Amy Poehler and THE OFFICE just fine, but this show is not funny. Not funny. Painful to watch. I feel sorry for Amy.


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