I’m Literally So Excited about the Return of ‘Park and Recreation’

Photo by: David Giesbrecht/NBC

By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal®

I just wrote about how The Office has been on the decline. The exact opposite thing has been happening over at Parks and Recreation, which returns for its fifth season tonight at 8:30 p.m. on NBC.  The series positively blossomed last year. The comedy managed to make small town politics fascinating while building one of the sweetest romances on television. I was in love with show last season.

Parks and Recreation is doing everything right. Leslie Knope is naively optimistic but also smart and good at her job. This definitely was not how Leslie was at the start of the series when often she came across as the female version of Michael Scott. But now Amy Poehler has created one of the most fully realized females on a comedy today. And she’s also created one of the best female friendships on TV – I adore the relationship between Leslie and Ann (Rashida Jones).  The show judiciously gives viewers the exact right dose of certain characters. Ron’s obsession with meat and disdain for all things personal is hilarious because the show plays that note perfectly and, of course, because Nick Offerman is brilliant at the role. As he did on Everwood, Chris Pratt has made Andy so much more than  the resident dimwit.  I literally don’t understand how the show didn’t receive an Emmy nomination.  (And yes I do love Rob Lowe’s Chris. My loyalty to Sodapop is unending).

As the season begins Ben (Adam Scott, who after Jason Ritter’s Mark Cyr, is currently the second best boyfriend on TV) is off running a campaign in Washington D.C. and Leslie is trying to effect change in Pawnee as a city councilwoman.  The episode deals with the real issues of long distance relationships and differing career trajectories, features some fun political cameos (really it should only be a matter of time before Leslie’s hero Hillary Clinton decides to stop by) and is simulateonously poignant and hilarious. You really can’t ask for much more from a comedy.  (Oh, and by the way, I’m so not ready to talk about the Amy Poehler/Will Arnett divorce. I’m going to need some time to recover from that one.)

Are you excited for the new season of Parks and Recreation? Talk about it below.