25 2 / 2013
If you don’t watch Parks and Rec, I feel sorry for you.
You are MISSING OUT.
It is a fantastic ensemble comedy that handles female character beautifully. None of the women characters are stereotypes. They are allowed to be as multi-dimensional as the men; just the way women are in real life! Imagine that, a show that portrays women the way they actually are!
Naturally, the show is a comedy and I don’t exactly know its agenda but I think it’s safe to say that the writers go to great lengths to rarely rely on stereotypes. They know their audience is smarter than that. I appreciate their skills to infinity and beyond. It’s amazing to see a show that has a hilarious female lead (holla Amy, you are the light in my life) along with an equally hilarious cast.
Leslie Knope is the main character and she’s the ambitious city government employee who ends up becoming Councilwoman Knope. She’s ambitious and determined to get what she wants but she is never cruel and would never gain success at the expense of someone else. She cares about her coworkers and she’s kind of a wacky person, but she’s got a great heart. In most shows, when a female protagonist is ambitious, she’s also incapable of having a personal life or friends. Work is the only thing she knows. Knope has a healthy balance between work and her everyday life. I can’t imagine how this show would’ve impacted me had it been on when I was younger. It’s incredibly important to see that a woman can advance in her career without having to sacrifice her personal happiness.
Too many times women are told that we can’t have it all. It’s an “either/or” choice. Knope’s character proves that way of thinking is not only outdated but downright detrimental to women. Her heroes are female politicians from all different parties, and she hopes to one day join their ranks. Her political intentions are not because she herself wants personal glory, but because she wants to help others which is pretty damn admirable. Her boyfriend (now husband) sacrifices HIS job to help her achieve her dreams; not the other way around. That’s pretty progressive, even in this day and age.
30 Rock came close to being the ideal show for me but it failed in that Liz Lemon always needed some sort of guidance from Jack. She played into a lot of stereotypes about women that I don’t appreciate. Tina Fey is brilliant but she should have known better than to make her character someone who is baby crazy and cannot separate her work and personal life. Even Ann’s decision (Parks and Rec) to have a baby by herself with the help of a sperm donor is handled with more class and humor than Liz Lemon’s “quest” for a child. I still love 30 Rock but it had its faults.
I am aware that Parks and Rec is just entertainment and should be taken with a grain of salt, as all media should, but Parks and Rec is the one TV show you need to let your future kids watch. It’s that important and it’s absolutely, ridiculously funny.
And, finally, I’d rather have Ben and Leslie’s fairytale over Cinderella’s ANYDAY.