Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Triumphant Return of "Parks and Recreation"

“Parks and Recreation” returns tonight after a seemingly epic hiatus (has it really been since last May that the folks at Pawnee’s Parks and Recreation Department have made me almost pee myself?) Last year, it was pretty difficult to get people on board with “Parks and Rec” – it had an awful first season where it lacked fully realized characters and saddled the wonderful Amy Poehler with a very unlikable lead to portray. However, much like it’s predecessor “The Office,” ”Parks and Rec” rallied and pulled together one of the best comedies of the 2009-2010 television season. Hell, they even managed to add my boyfriend Adam Scott and Rob fucking Lowe to the cast!

Anyway, many people have wondered why the long hiatus. Some people assumed it was due to Amy Poehler’s pregnancy. Wrong! They started filming the third season immediately after they wrapped season 2. Others have blamed NBC’s lack of faith in the show and feared its cancellation – thankfully, they were wrong, too.

But, my favourite crazy theory has to be that NBC execs originally wanted to air “Parks and Rec” after “The Office,” capitalizing on their strong numbers. However, they didn’t want to anger the folks over at “30 Rock” and “Community,” whom would also appreciate the implied ratings boost.  So, NBC slotted in the awful and kind of racist “Outsourced” in the 9.30pm slot, secretly hoping that it would fail. Then the execs would slot in “Parks and Rec” as a mid-season replacement for their failed comedy and nobody could complain.  If you managed to follow all of that, then you realize just how crazy that theory is. First of all, no network would put out a TV show with the intentions of having it fail (although, if you’ve seen “Outsourced” you may disagree). Second of all, this is the same network that gave us The Late Night Wars Part Two – do you really think they could pull off such an intricate and convoluted scheme?

None of that matters now because “Parks and Recreation” is finally back and I couldn’t be happier.  The cast has been capitalizing on the Internet by releasing some pretty hilarious teasers.  The show airs tonight on NBC at 9.30pm, after “The Office.”

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