Parks and Recreation :  An Ingenious Contemporary Political Satire

Parks and Recreation : An Ingenious Contemporary Political Satire


“You really shouldn’t have dug that out
of the dumpster” “I had to. Also I had a banana on the way
over here. Sorry. I get why you don’t want-” “..anyone to know about Duke silver. And you don’t have to worry. Your secret is safe-” “…with me to even it out I’m gonna tell
you all of my secrets” “oh no, that’s not necessary.” – Today in Netflix alone, there are 1569 series available. Supposed that 2 major
assumptions are considered based on number of episodes along with average
duration in each series. So that’s 2,084,340 minutes worth of your time needed
to watch every single episode that’s available. That being said you have to carefully choose on which of the series that
you’re going to watch. Personally one of my favorite series of all time other
than Seinfeld would be Parks and Recreation. This political satire
sitcom were critically acclaimed throughout its run, from the Primetime
Emmy Award to the Television Critics Association Award. But we’re not going to
talk about its accomplishment but rather how its formula attained the success it
warranted and most importantly, how it reaches casual audiences and turn them
into regular followers. – “it was intense..” “it’s kind of indescribable actually.” – The
uniqueness in Parks and Recreation lies in its appreciation towards contemporary
comedy. While the inclusion of such eccentric goofy character like Andy
Dwyer played by Chris Pratt may not seem peculiar for most of comedy shows,
producer-writer duo Michael Schur and Greg Daniels have created a whimsical
persona in Ron Swanson played by Nick Offerman that is idiosyncratic in
comparison to most personae in comedy series. Swanson’s anti-government convictions have concocted an irony towards a libertarian
official Schur have encountered in Burbank, whom as he quoted didn’t “really believe
in the mission” of her government job herself. “well I’m sorry to burst your
bubble but I just had my ass handed to..” “..me by the city manager and now this
entire department is screwed.” Another factor that turns a show into huge success is the fact that the production crew have laboured into making cinematography more effortless and believable in viewers eyes, for the
series is an actual documentation for a local park department in Pawnee. – ” Well I’ve discussed that many times there’s really nothing more..” “..to say. I would rather talk about the
ways to solve problems…” – The use of single-camera setup has been implemented all over a series to recreate the look of an actual documentary. This filming style was inspired by The Five Obstructions, a 2003 experimental documentary directed by Lars von Trier and Jørgen Leth. The series is definitely not the first one to use the- single-camera setup in terms of cinema vérité. In the late 90s to early 2000s, the single camera setup is believed to be revived and resurged since its introduction in 1910s in the likes of Malcolm in the Middle, Curb your enthusiasm, The Office, as well as Spaced by the famous Edgar Wright, to name a few. The success of this method is undoubtedly due to its appropriation towards- contemporary comedies for which one of the characteristics being the ommision of laugh tracks. This setup offers opportunities for the cast members to do more improvisations besides allowing them breaking in and out of the characters frequently. “Everybody loves a good comeback story right? Seabiscuit, The Mighty Ducks, Robert Downey jr.-” “Kim Kardashian” -“well..” 35-40 minutes worth of episode is shot before the best materials are selected down to 22 minutes for each instalment. The distinctiveness of the show is also supported through great performances by the bread and butter liked casts that just- seems so seamless and immaculate. Regardless of how many popular casts recruited in feature films, it only works- when a set of team actually put their
heart together into certain project. High profile movies like Gangster Squad, Aloha and The Monuments Men have proven over the time that even a large combination of talented people don’t necessarily work together. Contrary to that, Parks and Recreation still have an ensemble casts in- Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza and Chris Pratt that
somehow worked went put together. “Because it may seem outwardly that the pen and the paper and the chair play a large role.” “But the role somewhat incidental to the actual using brain.” Rather than writing funny episodes just for the sake of it, the writers have also took initiatives by converging surrounding
issues and other sensitive subjects. For example the controversial arrest of
Harvard university professor Henry Louis Gates and a 2009 scandal off South
Carolina Governor Mark Sanford both have both have been mildly touched in ingenious manner in “The Stakeout” from season 2 episode 2, and “Practice Date” from season 2 episode 4. These deliberate imperfections in pre-production have mirrored the newness that Parks and Recreation- was trying to bring that is
contemporary comedy and redefining it in its own manner to be so modest in a way,
yet incredibly profound while embodying the integrity of the
sub-genre. Just like how sincere Leslie Knope is in fighting for legislation she believes in for the people of Pawnee.

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