Why Parks and Recreation Is Higher Than The Workplace


The recognition of The Workplace is plain. Whereas the collection was on Netflix, it was the most-streamed present on the service, surpassing any of the unique content material on the streamer. Now, many have subscribed to NBC’s Peacock service just because The Workplace moved there. In keeping with Nielsen, The Workplace was essentially the most streamed present of 2020 by loads.

The Workplace additionally made the mockumentary type of sitcom extraordinarily common. Many different exhibits tailored this type equivalent to Fashionable Household and What We Do within the Shadows. Nonetheless, the collection that’s most frequently in comparison with The Workplace is Parks and Recreation. Parks and Rec premiered four years after The Workplace on the identical community, NBC, and used the identical mockumentary type. Co-created by The Workplace author/producer Mike Schur, Parks and Rec can also be one other office comedy, however centered on a parks division in a small city as a substitute of a paper firm.

Whereas The Workplace continues to be extra common, Parks and Rec has its personal devoted viewers and for good cause, too. Parks and Rec is a superior collection to The Workplace, and listed below are 5 the reason why.

RELATED: The High 50 ‘Parks and Recreation’ Episodes, Ranked

The Humor

Chris Pratt in Parks and Recreation
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That is extraordinarily subjective as everybody’s humorousness varies. Nonetheless, Parks and Recreation appears to have extra jokes than The Workplace, and people jokes are extra diverse, the place The Workplace distinctly depends on cringe comedy. What is going to typically occur is Michael Scott (Steve Carell) will make a idiot of himself, inflicting the remainder of Dunder Mifflin to take a seat in silence whereas the digital camera lingers on him. These sequences typically final for some time and are tough to observe.

Now, the purpose of those scenes is to be awkward and uncomfortable, nevertheless it’s fixed. The quantity of cringe in The Workplace could be exhausting and it’s typically extra embarrassing than it’s humorous. There are hilarious working gags, equivalent to Jim pranking Dwight and Kevin’s fixed stupidity, however the humor principally depends on Michael performing like a buffoon and everybody being uncomfortable round him.

Now, let’s examine this with Parks and Rec. Parks and Rec nonetheless has loads of awkward moments, nevertheless it is aware of the best way to make you snicker as a substitute of constructing you look away. For instance, one of many funniest scenes on the present is from the episode, “The Battle.” In it, Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari) introduces a brand new alcoholic beverage referred to as Snake Juice. Nonetheless, Snake Juice is extremely potent and everybody will get wasted. This creates awkward scenes, however as a result of everyone seems to be performing like drunk idiots, it takes the embarrassment out of the scene and means that you can snicker with it as a substitute of trying away. It doesn’t make you cringe as a result of there are not any observers to align your self with.

The Characters Are Extra Likable

Nick Offerman in Parks and Recreation
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The Workplace does have iconic characters like Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) and Michael Scott however they’re not precisely good folks. Inside the whole workplace, the one purely good-hearted characters are Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer). Certain, most of them don’t imply any hurt, however they aren’t precisely good. Michael is commonly bigoted and lacks any sort of filter. The present desires us to like Michael, however he does so many horrible issues all through the collection that it may be arduous to neglect.

The Workplace is crammed with dangerous characters who generally do good issues, whereas Parks and Recreation is crammed with good characters who generally do dangerous issues. Knope is likely one of the kindest characters in any comedy collection. Whereas she will be able to go too far in shaping her neighborhood, it’s typically for good cause so her motives are comprehensible.

Even a personality like Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) is mostly a good individual. Sure, he has a hardened character and tries to be apathetic, however his feelings typically get the higher of him which leads him to do the fitting factor. He’s even a great stepfather in direction of his girlfriend’s daughters. Since there are fewer central characters in Parks and Rec, the present presents extra satisfying plotlines that carry via the collection. The issue with The Workplace is that usually the collection isn’t certain which character to give attention to and a few characters get left behind. Many characters within the collection like Kevin (Brian Baumgartner), Oscar (Oscar Nunez), and Kelly (Mindy Kaling) aren’t given a lot to do outdoors of Dunder Mifflin.

In Parks and Rec, all the characters in The Workplace have lives outdoors of labor they usually’re principally fleshed out. Even Jerry (Jim O’Inheritor), the punching bag of the group, has a surprisingly lovely household that not solely presents an excellent dichotomy between Jerry’s work and residential life however turns into one of many funniest working gags on the collection. Each character in Parks and Rec will get their very own developed story whereas The Workplace solely offers developed tales to perhaps six of the central characters.

Admittedly, Parks and Rec doesn’t have a plotline as emotionally satisfying as Jim and Pam’s love story. It’s an exceptional narrative that culminates in a heartwarming marriage ceremony. Nonetheless, Parks and Rec spends extra time on a number of characters in contrast with The Workplace which may typically really feel bombarded with too many.

Higher Recurring Visitor Characters

Patton Oswalt in Parks and Recreation
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Amidst the massive solid in The Workplace, there aren’t many recurring visitor characters. Those which might be within the collection like Todd Packer (David Koechner) and David Wallace (Andy Buckley) aren’t precisely humorous or memorable. Even Will Ferrell’s comedic expertise was wasted throughout his time on this present.

Nonetheless, the recurring friends on Parks and Rec are a number of the many highlights of the collection. Most notable is Ben Schwartz as Tom’s problematic greatest pal. Each time he exhibits up he delivers comedy gold and other people have discovered methods to cite him regardless of him having restricted time on the collection. Different nice friends embrace Billy Eichner as Loopy Craig and Paul Rudd as Bobby Newport. Even characters who solely seem for one episode have turn out to be memorable. Everybody who has seen the present remembers Fred Armisen as the top of Pawnee’s sister metropolis’s parks division in Venezuela. Patton Oswalt’s Star Wars filibuster additionally grew to become an iconic second of the collection.

The Workplace merely doesn’t have many memorable visitor characters and lots of the celebrities who appeared on the collection didn’t stand out. A comedy doesn’t should have nice friends to be nice, however they could be a bonus, and Parks and Rec has them in spades.

Pawnee Is Simply Higher Than Scranton

Parks and Recreation - Win Lose or Draw
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Pawnee is a a lot better-realized setting than Scranton is. Pawnee does have extra freedom to construct an attention-grabbing small city because it’s not actual, however we by no means see The Workplace discover Scranton. They do go to eating places and colleges, however these appear to be every other strange locations.

There are a lot of usually visited places in Pawnee just like the city corridor, varied parks, and JJ’s Diner, the place you may get one of the best waffles in Indiana. As well as, the individuals who make up this city create many working gags together with increasing the small-town really feel of Pawnee. There’s the information anchor Perd Hapley (Jay Jackson) who talks as if he’s all the time on the air and Joan Callamezzo (Mo Collins), the speak present host of Pawnee At this time who has a shocking quantity of affect.

Pawnee even has a rivalry with its neighboring city, Eagleton, which is way classier than Pawnee. Most of the folks within the metropolis are nuts and that’s proven via the city corridor conferences the place the residents of Pawnee shout loopy recommendations. The city corridor conferences present that Leslie and Anne Perkins (Rashida Jones) are leaders in a metropolis populated with loopy folks. Leslie’s perseverance to assist them, regardless of receiving no thanks for it, turns into an inspiring a part of Leslie’s character. It’s her dwelling and the thought of dwelling extends all through the collection.

The residents’ ties to dwelling are proven via their fascination with native celebrities, equivalent to Little Sebastian, the tiny horse whose unlucky loss of life conjures up Andy’s (Chris Pratt) wonderful tune, “5,000 Candles within the Wind.” Pawnee is one other character on this collection and it actually provides to what makes this present so charming. The Workplace is so contained to Dunder Mifflin that we by no means actually get to discover. There are a lot of episodes the place characters go to conferences in New York and different places, however Scranton by no means actually will get an opportunity to shine.

Parks and Recreation Ended Earlier than It Misplaced Steam

Parks and Recreation - JohnnyKarate
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The Workplace had a tough job of attempting to determine the best way to maintain the present going after Carell left. Michael Scott actually is the guts and soul of that collection. Season eight did an honest job, however Season 9 struggled. Season 9 created a variety of plotlines that weren’t enjoyable to observe together with Pam and Jim’s relationship issues and the cameraman growing emotions for Pam. Additionally, Andy Bernard (Ed Helms) grew to become extraordinarily unlikable. He simply straight up deserted everybody and likewise handled Nellie (Catherine Tate) so horribly.

The Workplace does finish properly with a wonderful finale however Parks and Rec knew when it was time to tug the plug. Parks and Rec did should take care of solid members leaving. Each Anne and Chris Traeger (Rob Lowe) left in Season 6 however the present may simply survive with out them. It solely went on for yet one more season however Chris and Anne’s absence was by no means actually too noticeable.

Parks and Rec does, admittedly, make an odd choice for its final season, happening two years after the final season ended and giving Ron and Leslie a rivalry. It simply felt odd to see Leslie and Ron continually bickering, however that is shortly resolved in 4 episodes. Afterward, the collection ends properly with an episode displaying the way forward for every character, each character getting their very own section that exhibits the place their lives find yourself going. Even a number of the visitor characters get closure to their tales. Season 7 isn’t pretty much as good because the others, nevertheless it’s solely 13 episodes and doesn’t overstay its welcome.

The Workplace has an excellent finale nevertheless it struggled to get there in its ultimate two seasons. There are a variety of episodes in these final two seasons and it appeared just like the writers started working out of concepts, however nonetheless knew how they needed to finish it. For instance, the episode “Buyer Loyalty,” by which Jim misses Cece’s first recital on account of his different job, shouldn’t be enjoyable to observe.

Jim and Pam find yourself having an enormous argument and watching the dream couple who we have now turn out to be so invested in develop huge marital issues is a bummer. Plus, this brings within the plotline with the mic operator which is totally pointless and goes nowhere.

The Workplace will proceed to be extra common, however there’s extra to understand with Parks and Rec. Its charming characters, distinctive setting, and goofy humorousness make it a top-tier comedy collection. It takes The Workplace system and finally ends up doing it higher.

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