parks and recreation

“The Shadow State Is Not Really a Shadow State”: How Surveillance Anxiety Is Shaping Pop Culture

Someone is always watching.

For the longest time, that idea underpinned grim visions of a totalitarian future in books and movies, from Nineteen Eighty-Four to The Hunger Games — cautionary tales about the fate awaiting a citizenry that allows itself to be deceived by the people in power.

Then the future arrived, and it turned out those bleak fantasies of an all-seeing surveillance state weren’t so farfetched: in the post-9/11 world, someone really is watching, be it Facebook mapping your life’s history for the sake of advertising dollars, or the National Security Agency keeping tabs on your phone calls and text messages in the name of freedom. … Read More

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In the Age of Gamergate, Ben Wyatt Is the Ultimate Nerd Role Model

Parks and Recreation ends its seven-season run Tuesday night on NBC. To celebrate the show’s unforgettable characters, Flavorwire is publishing a series of tributes to our favorite Pawnee residents. Click here to follow our coverage.

In the 21st century, the nerd is in crisis. On the one hand, nerd culture has never been more ubiquitous: even the most obscure Marvel properties are reliable box office cash cows; an adaptation of a once-obscure fantasy epic has the power to crash HBO Go. And on the other, nerd culture has never been more scrutinized: Revenge of the Nerds, upon rewatch, is less validating than appalling; the tech industry, owned and operated by bona fide nerds, is continually raked over the coals for its institutional sexism. The nerd, in other words, can no longer pretend he’s the underdog. The nerd needs a new role model. The nerd needs Ben Wyatt. … Read More

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The Pleasures of Watching Ron Swanson Evolve

Parks and Recreation ends its seven-season run Tuesday night on NBC. To celebrate the show’s unforgettable characters, Flavorwire is publishing a series of tributes to our favorite Pawnee residents. Click here to follow our coverage.

Any look back at the evolution of Parks and Recreation will reveal that the character of Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman), the do-nothing libertarian boss of the show’s idealistic lead, Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), was originally written as a villain. If Leslie was all hope and faith in politics and the ability to make a difference in the world, Ron was both a vocal opponent and the ultimate example of government bloat — a man committed to making sure that nothing ever got accomplished. … Read More

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‘Parks and Recreation’ Executive Producer and “Humblebrag” Creator Harris Wittels Dead at 30

Harris Wittels, a rising young talent in Hollywood, died on Thursday of a potential drug overdose, TMZ reports. He… Read More

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‘Parks and Recreation’ Season 7 Episodes 10 and 11 Recap: “The Johnny Karate Super Awesome Musical Explosion Show” and “Two Funerals”

This week’s first episode of Parks and Rec is not, actually, an episode of Parks and Rec. It’s the final showing of Andy Dwyer’s masterpiece, the last appearance of the role he was born to play: Johnny Karate, the hyperactive kids’ show host we never knew our childhood was missing. The episode has no real plot beyond paying tribute to Andy. It is, however, one of the more visually interesting episodes Parks has pulled off recently, with shades of Community‘s many genre drag moments and even the lo-fi public access feel of Tim & Eric, albeit much more kid friendly. … Read More

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This Week’s Top 5 TV Moments: Spies Play Dentist

There are scores of TV shows out there, with dozens of new episodes each week, not to mention everything you can find on Hulu Plus, Netflix streaming, and HBO Go. How’s a viewer to keep up? To help you sort through all that television has to offer, Flavorwire is compiling the five best moments on TV each week. This round, Jon Stewart begins his long goodbye and the Jennings demonstrate how marriage is, quite literally, like pulling teeth. … Read More

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“Men’s Rights Is Nothing”: How ‘Parks and Recreation’ Missed an Opportunity for Meaningful MRA Satire

It’s no doubt overly optimistic to expect an innocuous middlebrow liberal group hug like Parks and Recreation to provided a serious examination of the crisis of masculinity wrought over several generations by late capitalism and the changing nature of patriarchy. Still, here we are, because one of this week’s episodes, “Pie-mary,” documented how ridiculous life can get for women in politics — the idea that no matter what you do, someone finds a way to condemn you for it. Our own Sarah Seltzer discussed this idea in her recap. But what I want to discuss is something we’ve not seen very much of until now: the portrayal of men’s rights activists on TV. … Read More

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‘Parks and Recreation’ Season 7 Episodes 8 and 9 Recap: ‘Mrs. Ludgate-Dwyer Goes to Washington’ and ‘Pie-Mary’

A rather treacly episode featuring April and Leslie in Washington, DC, was followed up by a truly sublime exploration of gender politics in last night’s doubleheader of Parks and Recreation, “Mrs. Ludgate-Dwyer Goes to Washington” and “Pie-Mary.” When Parks and Rec gets topical, it can be so perfect, which is why we’ll miss it so dearly in the years to come. … Read More

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Love, Lust, Legos and, of Course, Ron Swanson: Links You Need to See

Today is Tuesday, which means it’s time for Parks and Recreation. While watching the newer episodes may be a bittersweet experience — as the show’s final season winds its way to completion — there will always be deleted scenes to look forward to. Here, for example, is a deleted scene of Ron Swanson doing what he does best: using a series of clues, each more intricate than the next, to solve a puzzle. Though the meaning of a “mental sextant” remains unclear, it seems completely relevant, in that it sounds like something you might see in the Fifty Shades of Grey movie, out this Friday. … Read More

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This Week’s Top 5 TV Moments: ‘Broad City’ Grapples With Pegging

There are scores of TV shows out there, with dozens of new episodes each week, not to mention everything you can find on Hulu Plus, Netflix streaming, and HBO Go. How’s a viewer to keep up? To help you sort through all that television has to offer, Flavorwire is compiling the five best moments on TV each week. This round, Broad City tackles pegging with the expected amount of healthy enthusiasm. … Read More

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