I know Parks and Recreation has been over for a while, but I just started watching it on Netflix and I’m hooked – I don’t know why I didn’t watch it when it was originally being aired (although, it’s kind of great watching a show that has ended because you can binge the whole season and not have to wait months for the new season, or a week for the next episode).
For those unfamiliar, the show stars Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope, an ambitious woman working in the Parks Department of Pawnee, Indiana, and it chronicles her (mis)adventures of her trying to make the best Pawnee possible.
The thing I really like about the show is that they did a great job making the fake city of Pawnee seem real and making it a cross platform experience. You don’t just watch the show, you live it. For example, there’s an episode where Leslie writes and publishes a book on Pawnee, and they made it an actual book you can purchase and read – yes, they actually made up the historical background of a fake city. Most shows would just make a prop book for the episode with blank pages, but Parks went above and beyond.
When Leslie runs for office, they naturally created her website. But, they went further and created websites for such minor things. Aziz Ansari’s character, Tom, starts many different businesses throughout the show, and they created websites for all of them. There’s even one episode where Leslie online dates (the service she used was made up for the show), and they made a website for that made-up service. There’s also an episode where Chris Pratt’s character writes a song for Leslie’s rally and he gets the whole cast to sing it…and they actually recorded it (see below).
I think it’s this dedication to bringing alive all the small details of the show made Parks so successful and create the cult following it still seems to have. I do have to say that I wish Mouse Rat actually released an album.