Re: TV SHOW discussion thread (NO FUCKING SPOILERS please)
Yeah the more I think about it Parks really does a great job at making you care about Pawnee as a place. In many ways it feels like classic Simpsons and how Springfield seemed eerily authentic despite being a cartoon town. The way they constantly make subtle references to Pawnee's history, its character, the rivalry with Eagleton, the way they showcase the quirkier characters that make up the town from Lil' Sebastien, to any town hall meeting, to the activists constantly at war with Leslie to Pert and the chat show host woman (name always escapes me). Even when some of these background characters only appear a few times in the space of 5 episodes, you still care about them everytime they're on screen.
Another thing that has to be praised is the writing and depth to all the characters. They don't just get reset after each episode and alternate depending on a situation, like Community they make you care about each character and give them principles/morals that you'll see always dominate how they act. This makes it so much better when someone like Ron is forced to act outside his comfort zone in occasionally helping out a co-worker. If he was poorly written a lot of his talks with Leslie, Tom and especially April could feel forced and just done to have a 'cute' ending, but there's never been a time where Ron's had to grow as a character where I've felt the writers have handled it poorly. In fact this relationship in April in particular is one of my favourites on the show. Despite both being quite closed off as people and on paper completely different to one another they have this father/daughter relationship that is actually quite touching for a comedy.
The cast is brilliant as well and of course the mockumentary format on top of the great writing means you get a multitude of comedy, from Adam Scott's great facial reactions to anything someone says, to the absurdity in almost every Chris speech, to Ann's awkward attempts at humour to Ron's deadpan delivery and great one liners to Andy's naive but endearing stupidity.
Think I saw once someone say its not the sort of comedy that beats you over the head with joke after joke, but rather the humor comes from how these wonderful characters interact in realistic situations with just a bit of Pawnee quirkiness to separate it from the real world. That's something I'd definitely agree with and its definitely up there with my favourite shows of all time. Even if you don't get an episode with jokes and comedy coming at you every minute like say Community, you still have the characters, their relationships and the super writing to make it a good/great episode.