parks and recreation

How Chris Traeger Brought a Jolt of Strangely Seminal Energy to ‘Parks and Recreation’

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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.

It seems that Rob Lowe’s Chris Traeger, along with Adam Scott’s Ben Wyatt, came to Parks and Recreation to fill the (diminutive) hole the show’s creative team knew would be left by Mark Brendanawicz once they finally gave him the boot. At this early stage in the show’s run — one of the last episodes of Season 2 — Chris was a vessel for the show’s epiphanic change in tone, a change that endeared it to, well, some people.
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‘Parks and Recreation’s’ Donna Meagle Is the Fat Heroine of My Dreams

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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.

The most shocking thing a fat woman can do is to have a loving boyfriend — especially a loving boyfriend who finds her genuinely attractive, instead of merely developing an affection for the quirks of her misshape in the way one finds a crooked nose or awkward birthmark sort of adorable over time.
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Knoptimism vs. Liz Lemonism: How ‘Parks and Recreation’ Took a Different Feminist Route

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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.

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are colleagues, co-hosts, and friends — and Parks and Recreation and 30 Rock, their respective sitcom vehicles, both find the comedians playing successful professional women. Each lovingly spoofs a neurotic, limited-worldview mold of feminism. But as other writers have already noted, the two show’s approaches to their protagonists’ feminism are a study in feminist contrasts.
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‘Parks and Recreation’s’ Jerry/Terry/Larry/Garry Gergich Is My Anti-Careerist Idol

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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.

Garry Gergich is not a loser. Even if Garry lets his co-workers address him incorrectly for 30 years — first as Jerry, then Terry, then Larry — without correcting them, he is not a loser. Even if he spills his soup on himself, falls into a creek while chasing after a burrito, kills DJ Roomba, gets his words mixed up and rips his pants, babbles after talking for more than 20 seconds, or farts (a lot) while having a heart attack, Garry Gergich is not a loser. He is an anti-careerist, and he is my idol.
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The Low-Key Radicalism of Leslie Knope’s Nonexistent Motherhood Storyline

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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.

I’ve always wanted Leslie Knope to be happy. She is a better person than I am — a better person, perhaps, than it is possible for anyone who lives outside the unlikely utopia of fictional Pawnee, Indiana to be. But by the time Leslie’s Season 5 marriage to Ben Wyatt and particularly last year’s revelation that she was pregnant came around, I (like A.V. Club’s Libby Hill) was too sick of seeing pop culture’s powerful women forced to “have it all” to be thrilled for her. Instead, I thought, somewhat unfairly, “Another one bites the dust.” What Parks and Recreation has done with the character since the end of last season, though, has made me reconsider.
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“The Shadow State Is Not Really a Shadow State”: How Surveillance Anxiety Is Shaping Pop Culture

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

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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.
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The Pleasures of Watching Ron Swanson Evolve

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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.
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