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Best comedy on the air? This Season Five set sure makes a good argument for it....
Universal / 528 Minutes / 2012-2013 / Unrated / Street Date: September 3, 2013
Just so we're clear on this: Amy Poehler is a genius, and everything she does is proof of her dazzling, irreplaceably zany gifts. Sure, Parks and Recreation’s first season underwhelmed - it played like a blatant Office knock-off that neither lived up to Poehler’s prescient comic timing nor offered its supporting cast much opportunity to shine - but the comedy didn’t just avoid the sophomore slump. By its second go-round, Parks and Rec was one of the best shows on TV, and it’s stayed that way ever since.
In this Season 5 set, Leslie Knope (Poehler) endures the rigors of being a City Councilwoman in her beloved city of Pawnee, Ann (Rashida Jones) and Chris (Rob Lowe) dance around a huge new development in their relationship, Ron (Nick Offerman) takes up with a new ladyfriend (Lucy Lawless) – it’s little more than sitcom business on the page, but these performers are so versed and effortlessly invested in their characters that even the most banal TV melodrama plays on Parks and Rec like goofy fun.
So for viewers out there who kicked the show aside after a disastrously pedestrian debut season - like this guy did - it's time to fall back in love with Parks and Recreation. I don't know how much longer the show's team will be able to walk the tightrope with such panache, but if this coming season is anywhere as enjoyable as this one, we're in for a treat.