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Parks and Recreation


roskelld
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Started watching Parks a long time ago but never got past halfway though Season 2. It’s now a family favourite and we’re nearing the end. Brilliant show and so many good moments. 
 

Using Ron so sparingly was a masterstroke and whilst I love his involvement it would have been even better/braver to keep it that way throughout. His excited girly chuckle gets me every time.
 

Been enjoying Jamm too. Excellent character. 
 

About a season and half to go I think. Will be sad to see it go. 
 

 

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  • 5 months later...

Started watching this as we finished Schitt's Creek and were looking for something to replace it.

 

Three episodes into season 1 and it's vaguely amusing but I'm struggling to warm to it a bit.

 

However I've heard it improves dramatically after these first six episodes. Is it a dramatic improvement from the start of season 2 or is it a more gentle transition? Because I can handle a few more episodes of the show as it is but if it takes a couple of years to "get good" then I think I'm probably out.

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On 16/04/2021 at 10:56, phresh said:

Just started re-watching this (although almost finished season 2 already) and it's just so good, even better second time around. Needs more Jean Ralphio though!

 

No. Cus Jean Ralphio is

 

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42 minutes ago, Garwoofoo said:

Started watching this as we finished Schitt's Creek and were looking for something to replace it.

 

Three episodes into season 1 and it's vaguely amusing but I'm struggling to warm to it a bit.

 

However I've heard it improves dramatically after these first six episodes. Is it a dramatic improvement from the start of season 2 or is it a more gentle transition? Because I can handle a few more episodes of the show as it is but if it takes a couple of years to "get good" then I think I'm probably out.

 

It's from s2. S1 is almost like a totally different show.

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It starts improving dramatically from the start of season 2, when they retool the show to make everyone way more likeable, but really begins its golden run when Adam Scott and Rob Lowe rock up towards the end of season 2. Then it’s just solid gold to the end more or less. Seasons 3 & 4 are just fantastic. 

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1 hour ago, Garwoofoo said:

Three episodes into season 1 and it's vaguely amusing but I'm struggling to warm to it a bit.

 

However I've heard it improves dramatically after these first six episodes. Is it a dramatic improvement from the start of season 2 or is it a more gentle transition?

 

It's a dramatic tone change. They're going for an Office vibe in season 1, where everyone's rolling their eyes at the camera about the unlikeable people. Season 2 onwards, they warm it up, and you start liking everyone. It's quite the tune-up, and massively necessary.

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Season 1 is shit and the show really gets going when they finally get rid of Blandanowitz. This isn't a spoiler, he just randomly leaves cos he's boring and terrible.

 

Whenever I rewatch the show its always jarring seeing his episodes cos he's such a non entity and leaves almost no imprint on the show. Best thing they did was upgrade Retta to a full cast member. 

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Someone watching S1 of Parks and Rec: “this is rubbish, does it get better?”

 

Everyone else: “yes, S1 is bad, stick with it!”

 

First person, some time later: “this is amazing!”

 

New poster: “S1 of Parks and Rec is rubbish, does it get better?”
 

Everyone else: “yes, S1 is bad, stick with it!”

 

437351F9-40CF-43C5-9720-AB5A1589A9A6.thumb.jpeg.00c7b5c182d8235ee17a8f00123404c1.jpeg

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Nah. The first series is the writers and actors not having cracked the characters yet. It's a beta test than made it to broadcast.

 

Fortunately, the writers quickly pick up on the individual talents of the cast and change the characters accordingly to fit.

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Going against the grain here but I re-watched it a few months ago and liked it a lot less than I did the first time around. S1 might be the "beta" test but the programme gets a bit too comfortable and pleased with itself by the end.

 

It's still fun but the later series descend into a schmaltzy mess where adorable but overbearing superhuman Leslie Knope basically sees all of her dreams come true. Ron Swanson is inconsistently written as a steady hand that Leslie brings her problems to and a petulant child when he doesn't get his own way. Tom is just creepy and irritating throughout. Very early on they start going for emotional beats that haven't really been earned yet, either. The last series was mostly awful.

 

There are still some good moments here and there but I found myself preferring the slightly more grounded approach they took in S1, where Leslie was uncertain of herself (especially because she got her job through nepotism, which was later retconned), was up against an impenetrable and slow moving bureaucracy and made mistakes like her cack-handed attempt at bribery. The later series needed a bit more of that struggle and uncertainty to them than some of the more cartoonish elements they began playing up.

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5 hours ago, Garwoofoo said:

Started watching this as we finished Schitt's Creek and were looking for something to replace it.

 

Three episodes into season 1 and it's vaguely amusing but I'm struggling to warm to it a bit.

 

However I've heard it improves dramatically after these first six episodes. Is it a dramatic improvement from the start of season 2 or is it a more gentle transition? Because I can handle a few more episodes of the show as it is but if it takes a couple of years to "get good" then I think I'm probably out.

 

I've actually just started P&R and just skipped season 1 entirely. Started first episode of season 2 and it has all made sense so far and I don't feel like I've missed anything. 

 

Did the same with the US Office and never even bothered going back to watch season 1 even though I enjoyed the rest of it (well, I gave up post S7 and just went back for the finale). 

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50 minutes ago, DeciderVT said:

Going against the grain here but I re-watched it a few months ago and liked it a lot less than I did the first time around. S1 might be the "beta" test but the programme gets a bit too comfortable and pleased with itself by the end.

 

It's still fun but the later series descend into a schmaltzy mess where adorable but overbearing superhuman Leslie Knope basically sees all of her dreams come true. Ron Swanson is inconsistently written as a steady hand that Leslie brings her problems to and a petulant child when he doesn't get his own way. Tom is just creepy and irritating throughout. Very early on they start going for emotional beats that haven't really been earned yet, either. The last series was mostly awful.

 

There are still some good moments here and there but I found myself preferring the slightly more grounded approach they took in S1, where Leslie was uncertain of herself (especially because she got her job through nepotism, which was later retconned), was up against an impenetrable and slow moving bureaucracy and made mistakes like her cack-handed attempt at bribery. The later series needed a bit more of that struggle and uncertainty to them than some of the more cartoonish elements they began playing up.

 

I agree, while seasons 2-4 are AMAZING those following are mostly lame (with some high highs in there admittedly) and it really went on way too long. I'd absolutely recommend the show though and while I do think outside of the aforementioned seasons it is slightly overrated I do like it a lot regardless.

 

If you want a proper overrated show which doesn't deserve the love it gets, check out The Good Place. Just the first season, cos the rest is SHIT.

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2 hours ago, drmick said:

A lot of great shows you are safer starting with season 2- Parks and Recreation, DS9, Buffy, maybe even Babylon 5!

 

Yep, I started Buffy at season 2 and never felt I missed anything at the time. A lot of US series are structured so that the first episode of the season provides a broad recap (normally through dialogue) of the status quo and who the characters are. 

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2 hours ago, drmick said:

A lot of great shows you are safer starting with season 2- Parks and Recreation, DS9, Buffy, maybe even Babylon 5!

Not really for DS9. You can skip about half of season 1, possibly two-thirds if you’re less invested in the series, but there’s at least seven episodes that are essential for setting up series-long character and story arcs, and building up background detail.

 

2 hours ago, DeciderVT said:

DS9 S1 is miles better than TNG S1.

Also does more worldbuilding within the Trek universe than most of TNG, to be honest.

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After The Good Place we made a start on this and now only have two episodes left :(

 

It’s clear series 7 was an afterthought and doing the Doctor Who Says Goodbye To Everyone thing doesn’t really work for me (and the stupid futuristic gadgets is just silly) but it’s still funny.

 

Hated Andy’s character at first but he’s grown on me. April is incredible and Plaza’s eyes just do me in constantly.

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  • 3 months later...

Thank you to everyone who said to stick with this. We ended up skipping the last few episodes of season 1. It's immediately better at the start of season 2 and then it really finds itself at the end of that season when Ben and Chris show up. It's a great show.

 

We've been going slowly - just finished season 4 - but it's perfect to stick on for 20 minutes at the end of the day, and like so many American shows there are hundreds of episodes.

 

We got a message last night though that this was being removed from Netflix at the end of the month. We won't have finished it by then. It looks like it's also available on Amazon Prime (free for subscribers) though - is there any way of finding out if it's also disappearing from there, or is it likely to stay? If it's disappearing from both services then we are going to have to pick up the pace dramatically.

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22 minutes ago, drmick said:

 

Wasn't there only 4 seasons? If the first wasn't good, and the last few weren't good......

Well exactly, there are only 4 good seasons. Once Chris Pratt gets buff and goes to Hollywood it goes down hill if I remember. Maybe 5 had it's moments?

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The last couple of series are worth watching, because you're invested in spending time with the characters by then. It's not like the crazy dips towards the end of the US Office.

 

The character work is always so good that the plot really isn't that important.

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On 29/09/2021 at 16:49, deKay said:

After The Good Place we made a start on this and now only have two episodes left :(

 

Funnily enough, we've done exactly this. For some reason my kids wanted to watch The Good Place, and we essentially binged the whole thing over Christmas. I hadn't see the last half of S4, so that was brilliant to finally wrap it up.

 

Anyway, we thought "oh yeah, if you like that, you'll like this..." and so started Parks and Rec. Hmm. Tom being a sleaze is really hard to watch. I can't remember my reaction at the time, but yeah. And Leslie calling him boy, yikes. But this is where someone hopefully points out this was on purpose, to draw attention to latent racism and sexism in Small Town, USA.

 

I'm struggling with Pratt, too. I mean, he's supposed to be play a numpty, obviously, but since then he's revealed himself to actually be a numpty.

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