Stars: Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Adam Scott, Rob Lowe
: NBC, airs Thursday nights
Original Telecast: May 11, 2011

As NBC mulls the fate of PARKS AND RECREATION (it would seem an impossibility that they wouldn’t bring it back, even for a truncated season), the fourth season finale “Win, Lose Or Draw” proves why the show shouldn’t be on the bubble, and deserves a few more seasons of its well-oiled comedy.

Like THE OFFICE, PARKS AND RECREATION derives its humor from the mockmentary approach. There’s a little more fluidity with the PARKS approach and the series has largely focused on season-long arcs to anchor its best bits.

This year, it was all about Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) running for City Council – a dream of hers since she was a little girl. The ups and downs leading to tonight’s big election night moment have been comedy gold – and have included hilarious wild card guest spots including Paul Rudd as the clueless bratty rich kid candidate Bobby Newport and the hilarious Kathryn Hahn as Newport’s shifty campaign manager Jennifer Barkley.

As the City Council race comes to a close, not surprising, it’s a nail-biter with both Newport and Knope splitting the votes evenly. While I won’t reveal the outcome here – the end result is quite satisfying to serve as a season or series closer if that ends up being the case.

Watching “Win, Lose, Or Draw”, one is reminded what a well-written and quirky group of characters that have been crafted for this offbeat show. All the actors have honed their characters to perfection over the course of four years and even recent additions have settled in perfectly to the PARKS AND RECREATION mix.

Nick Offerman is perhaps the greatest thing to happen to series television with his Ron Swanson being the most enigmatic of city council bureaucrats (he would rather see government fail than prevail). And his philosophies and mantras never get old on the show.

Poehler has also found a nice balance between the kooky and the grounded with Knope. When the series began, that balance was a little rough around the edges – after coming off of SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, it was clear she was adjusting to playing the straight person on the show (as opposed to the outrageousness she honed on that show). However, she’s navigated those waters perfectly to find a great balance with Knope – she is the heart of the show and her sunny optimism is what keeps the show so engaging week after week.

Most networks will kill for a show half as good as PARKS AND RECREATION, here’s hoping NBC gives the show a vote of confidence for a full season five order, because not only does it deserve it, so do the fans who have stuck with it amid time slot shifts and long hiatuses during the last four years.


Related Link: TV Review – PARKS AND RECREATION – Season 4 – “I’m Leslie Knope”

Related Link: TV Review – THE OFFICE – Season 8 premiere – “The List”

Related Link: TV Review – COMMUNITY – Season 3 premiere – “Biology 101”

Related Link: TV Review – WHITNEY – Series Premiere

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Article: TV Review – PARKS AND RECREATION – Season 4 – “Win, Lose, Or Draw – Season Finale”



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