Throwback Thursday: Before “Parks and Rec” was Born


Back in 2009, I wrote this blog, Is Indiana the New Scranton? NBC Comedy Set in Hoosier State, announcing the launch of “Parks and Rec.”

“Saturday Night Live” star Amy Poehler’s new comedy series will be set in Indiana. Pretty cool. Although, I think I speak for all Hoosiers when I say, “Please don’t make fun of us.”

In the mockumentary-style comedy, Poehler plays a mid-level bureaucrat in an Indiana city parks and recreation department who’s looking to get ahead.

The still-untitled series debuts 8:30 p.m. EST April 9.

Poehler’s portrayal of Hillary Rodham Clinton opposite Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin on “SNL” was a highlight of the show last year.

The new series isn’t intended as a satire on national politics but instead offers a comedic take on how government works in an American town, said Michael Schur, who’s executive producer along with Greg Daniels (of “The Office,” NBC’s other mockumentary-style comedy).

Poehler’s character, Leslie Knope, finds her love of the democratic process tested as she faces defensive government workers, selfish residents and real estate developers.

Bureaucracy? In Indiana? Well, I never…

Thanks to Netflix, I believe I’ve now seen every episode and the show is one of my favorites. It’s been recognized with several Emmy nominations and comedy awards, and the character development and progression has been enjoyable to see. I’ve also gotten a kick out of how they’ve used current events — like the government shutdown — to influence the show.

Additionally, I appreciate how the show’s parody has been more about government — and folks who attend public meetings (its public forums basically devolve into a live Internet comments section) — than about taking jabs at Indiana. Although, the staff making fun of Jerry for vacationing in Muncie was amusing.

The show’s had a good run and is likely now in the backstretch of its existence, but kudos to the writers and actors for making it so pleasurable.

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