Thursday, October 25, 2012

Why I watch... Parks and Recreation.



I think I can say, without fear of recrimination or rebuttal, that we are in the Golden Age of Television.  Shoot, make that the Platinum Age.  Some of the best television shows in the history of the universe are being aired right now.  I'm sure I Love Lucy, the Honeymooners and the Dick Van Dyke Show were cool and all but I'm thinking the new millennium has them beat. That being said, I don't believe I would call NBC's Parks and Recreations one of these great shows of which I speak. 

I'm talking about shows like 'The Walking Dead', 'Mad Men', all those 'Spartacus' iterations on Starz, 'Game of Thrones, 'Sons of Anarchy', 'Boss'... and might I add that Frazier Crane is not very funny on that show... 'Breaking Bad', 'Dexter', and this is just to name a few because there are enough great shows out there right now to choke a pig.  Do you have any idea how difficult it is to choke a pig?  Damn difficult.  And we don't have time to weigh in on the shows that are airing  across the pond in Great Britain because they aren't joking around either.  Great Television.

I imagine 'The Sopranos' started this platinum television renaissance, followed by high other quality fare such as '24' and 'The Wire'... but here's the thing about all of these great shows... they are depressing as hell.  Almost every last one of them.  Man, after DVRing an episode of 'Breaking Bad' followed by 'The Walking Dead' all I want to do is have a drink, lie in bed and cry myself to sleep.  It's hopeless.  There's no hope for humanities survival in 'The Walking Dead' and there's no hope for the civility of humanity in 'Breaking Bad'.  But those shows are just so dang good.

Then there's 'Parks and Recreation' which makes everything all right once again.  People rarely die on this show, and when they do... it's funny.  Since the premise of the show is patently illogical, this being a camera crew that follows these loons everywhere they go.  Everywhere.  Almost anything goes on this show as long as it serves the bottom line of getting a laugh.  It's almost shameless the depths that Amy Poehler and company will go to get a laugh and we appreciate their shamelessness. 

And then there's Ron Swanson.

Those other shows we mentioned are great, no doubt, but Ron Swanson is the greatest single character in the entire history of recorded television.  The Fonz, J.J., Jack Bauer, Theo Huxtable, Hawk from Spencer, Barbarino, Barney Rubble, Nick from Big Valley, J.R. Ewing, Dederick Tatum, That dude from Manimal... they all have to take a backseat to the awesomeness that is Nick Offerman and Ron Swanson.  When a man appreciates the value of bacon like Ron Swanson does, then that is a wise man who probably has valued advice that should be paid attention to.  The readily available Swanson Pyramid of Greatness would be a good place to start your deserved appreciation of Ron Swanson.

All I'm really saying is I can watch  the controlled nonsense and lunacy of 'Parks and Recreation' and not want to slit my wrists after I watch it.