Parks and Recreation (Season 6)

NBC, Thursdays 8/7 Central

Sep 26, 2013 Web Exclusive
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The last few seasons of NBC's Parks and Recreation have been a successful experiment in television storytelling. Unlike its private sector predecessor, The Office—which relied on uncomfortable failures for comedyParks and Recreation encompasses a universe where each week, the characters are better off than the week before. They grow through conflict, but they always grow happier, and they're rewarded for their struggles and they reap the benefits of friendship and loyalty.

The sixth season premiere (which partly takes place in London and features guest stars Henry Winkler and Heidi Klum) doesn't let go of this trend for a moment. Characters discover opportunities, they grow closer, they learn new things, and they reinforce the idiosyncrasies that make them consistently endearing.

Even as the cast occasionally falls into self-parody, the dynamic relationship between Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) and Parks director—and Internet meme—Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) remains the backbone of the series. By design, Knope and Swanson reflect the growing political divisions in America, as Leslie continually proves that effective and intelligent governing is possible while Ron Swanson squeals with glee at the thought of a government shutdown. But what began as mutual respect has since blossomed into admiration and sincere friendship. Beyond blissful laughs, Parks and Recreation offers a healthy image of political cooperation at a time when we could really use it. (

Author rating: 8/10

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