TV Review: Parks and Recreation


ABC’s Parks and Recreation starring Amy Poehler debuts Thursday night at 8:30 p.m. EST . The following is a collection of reviews from TV critics, compiled by B&C.

“Maybe if NBC and the people behind Parks and Recreation weren’t so hell-bent on telling everyone it’s not The Office and just embraced the fact that…it’s The Office, viewers wouldn’t be put off by the comparison.”

-Tim Goodman, San Francisco Chronicle

Parks goes for that familiar cringe-inducing comedy of awkwardness and embarrassment, but fails to achieve the heights of levity that The Office does at its best.”

-Chuck Barney, Contra Costa Times

“The problem with the pilot is in tone. Self-important and silly but optimistic and sweet is a hard mark to hit week after week. If anyone can do it, Poehler would be my candidate.”

-David Zurawik, Baltimore Sun

“Parks and Recreation [becomes] a summer camp for lightweight one-liners, the kind of banter that might sustain an occasional “SNL” skit, but may have trouble supporting a whole sitcom.”

-David Hinckley, New York Daily News

“It’s funny, but it feels awfully familiar in its premise and execution. Time will tell if the show will break out of or settle into that feeling.”

-Tom Maurstad, Dallas Morning News

“It has a kind of sunny charm, a premise fit for a novel, and is built upon a pair of strong female leads, a rare enough thing in sitcoms. Poehler and Jones have a nice, contrapuntal rhythm. I stamp this show: approved.”

-Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times

“What you find in Parks and Recreation is a style in search of a show. Worse yet, it’s not even a new style, or one that seems particularly well-suited to the character being played by the star, Saturday Night Live’s Amy Poehler.”

-Robert Bianco, USA Today

“Yes, Parks has its funny moments. Poehler excels at capturing this perpetually perky public servant. But if you’ve seen The Office, you might feel as if you are watching a rerun - only with fresh faces.”

-Mark A. Perigard, The Boston Herald

“While I laughed out loud only a few times during Parks‘ pilot, I dug the performances, the attitude, and the atmosphere that’s being created. One would be foolish to underestimate the series this early on.”

-Ken Tucker, Entertainment Weekly