After a month-long hiatus from the antics of everyone’s favorite councilwoman, Leslie Knope returned Thursday night with the midseason premiere of “Parks and Recreation.”
Leslie, played by comedy superstar Amy Poehler, is a charming, upbeat character who throws everything she has into her job within her small town’s local government. Her intense passion for her community — coupled with her big heart and good intentions — often cause her to act before thinking everything through.
Last Thursday’s episode was no different. Leslie compromised her own bachelorette party by getting caught up in a rivalry with a fellow councilman. No spoilers, but the night ended with her digging in a giant pit of dirt looking for Native American artifacts.
The events in any given episode of “Parks and Recreation” would typically be nothing to get excited about — a new development on city property and a local government election have been two of the most prominent plot lines in recent memory.
What really drives this show are the characters. Each one holds their own weight within the show, and it just wouldn’t be as good without this exact cast. The characters are each bursting with their own unique personalities, and the chemistry between them makes for an incredible -— and hilarious — watch.
Last Thursday’s episode holds a lot of promise for the rest of the fifth season, though it seemed to try a bit too hard by including a scene at Indiana’s Lucas Oil Stadium and having appearances by a handful of athletes. A random Newt Gingrich was even thrown in during a restaurant scene, for seemingly no other reason than to make a quick stilted joke.
It was an awkward moment, but perhaps Gingrich felt left out after Joe Biden’s appearance earlier in the season.
While it’s not perfect, there’s no denying that “Parks and Recreation” is one of the better sitcoms currently on television. The show is often overshadowed by “The Office” and “30 Rock,” its fellow Thursday night programs. Yet it’s comedic writing and acting are on the same level as its more popular counterparts, if not higher.
The thing about “Parks and Recreation” is that it has just as much heart as it does silly comedy. It’s a hilariously witty show that showcases characters whose genuine nature and charming flaws make it easy to fall in love with them, something that’s hard to find on television today.