It may have a great pedigree (the creators of the American Office) and a great cast (Paul Schneider as a sitcom straight man? Genius!), but the pilot episode of NBC’s new show, Parks And Recreation, has me worried. A series always deserves more than a few episodes before passing judgment (remember how lame the American Office pilot was?) but it needs to be said: Parks And Recreation doesn’t feel funny enough yet. Amy Poehler is great as the lead and Aziz Ansari is always a terrific, but what about the jokes? What about Rashida Jones? What is she even supposed to be doing?
Parks embodies all the questionable schtick of The Office without capturing the same whiplash sense of humor. Plus, how amusing will it be to watch government money build an unnecessary park during our recession? The premise of the show, so far, feels finite in a way that we haven’t seen since Prison Break. While an office and co-workers can always be redefined and reinvented (witness the great twist The Office has created for the end of this season), a sitcom about a bunch of people in a small town parks department feels forced. I mean, how many parks and recreation can one show/town contain?