Parks and Recreation (Season 1) (2009)

From the first opening frames of this juggernaut hit, it’s hard not to notice all the similarities to NBC’s other massive sitcom, “The Office”: There’s the single-camera confessional structure, the extracting of comedic possibility from the occasional pettiness of office work culture, and, most notably, Amy Poehler’s central character, who seems to be little more than a caricature of Steve Carell’s Michael Scott. The similarities are distracting in this first season, but each episode has a number of terrific writing and comedic ensemble acting, and the knowledge that the show truly finds its footing quickly in the second season dulls some of the flaws here.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

 

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