• Network:
  • Series Premiere Date: Apr 9, 2009
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6
Parks and Recreation Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 25 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 248 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: The mockumentary comedy follows the life of Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), a Parks and Recreation employee.
  • Genre(s): Comedy
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 25
  2. Negative: 1 out of 25
  1. Reviewed by: Daniel Carlson
    To act as if Parks has to be measured against that show's [The Office] standard gives short shrift to a genuinely funny and engaging comedy that bears stylistic similarities to "Office" but has a heart and mind all its own.
  2. It's not a finished product yet, and Poehler and the writers need to find more ways to distinguish Leslie from Michael Scott, but funny forgives an awful lot.
  3. The supporting cast members have quirks, but they need stronger writing and reinforcements; “The Office” found its comic voice by adding characters to the ensemble, and Parks and Recreation would also benefit from a larger talent pool. The pilot episode isn’t perfect, but Ms. Poehler very nearly is.
  4. 60
    There are many of them [good moments] in Parks and Recreation, in fact; virtually every scene in the first two episodes contains good bits, with quotable quotes, twists of language that viewers feel smart for getting, and visual gags. But the minutes don’t flow; they merely accrete, one bit on top of another.
  5. The pilot is not especially funny. But it has potential.
  6. 50
    Ron Swanson's (Nick Offerman) short “tour” of his office--a loose, throwaway moment at the end of the episode--is the funniest thing about the otherwise strained Parks pilot.
  7. Parks and Recreation emerges a miscast mess.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 47
  2. Negative: 9 out of 47
  1. Mar 11, 2011
    Absolutely love this show. It is always so funny and I love the cast. Amy Poehler is so cute and hilarious. The show is always fun and is great on the NBC Thursday night lineup. I hope we continue to see this show on for along time to come. Expand
  2. Dec 15, 2011
    This show is amazing. Beyond amazing. This show is the best comedy on television. Bow down to the queen, and for once, I don't mean Tina Fey. Amy Poehler kills it. The supporting cast kills it. Ron Swanson might be the best supporting character on television. Every week this show is solid. I hope it goes on forever. I want to grow old with this show. Expand
  3. Jul 14, 2011
    Next to Bored To Death, this might be the funniest show on television. Nearly every character is a riot, and the writing keeps getting better and better. Expand
  4. nbc
    Aug 17, 2010
    Parks and Recreation has soared above and beyond The Office creatively and comically wise. Amy Poehler is perfection as Leslie Knope and Aubrey Plaza is a scene stealer as April Ludgate. If you didn't like it at first, check it out once more. It has improved tremendously. You have to watch this show! Expand
  5. Aug 11, 2014
    This show is just as good as any other comedy on television. Amy Poehler is great in the lead role. I get a big kick out of Chris Pratt, he is probably my favorite character on the show and overall the premise is very original and funny. I'm going to check out the next season for sure! Expand
  6. Feb 26, 2014
    This show is depressing to watch in bulk after 5 seasons. The first three seasons are great and easily the best American comedy, along with The Office, since Arrested Development was cancelled because of the low IQs of US TV watchers. But then season 4 and 5 are partly average and partly unwatchable porn gossip, with the until then interesting lead character being reduced to perving over her stick insect boyfriend`s butt constantly. The funny part of the show was that Leslie Knope was utterly delusional but somehow managed to cram her delusions down people`s throats with her relentless optimism. The counterpoint to her anti government boss was perfect and produced almost all the comedy this show managed to generate. But when the pathetic script writers started turning her into a success, thereby confirming her delusions, they killed the heart of the show in a similar way that fat Chandler dating dull Monica did to Friends. And it didn`t help much that Ron Swanson had his character destroyed at the same time, leaving an otherwise uninteresting cast of unfunny people doing cheap sex gags to pick up the slack. This is not a comedy after season 4. Why anybody would think it is comedy I have no idea. The same kinds of people who laughed at dwarf tossing in the Middle Ages I guess, and to me all I can think of by way of comparison is the guy watching Ow My Balls! in Idiocracy all day long.

    The second problem seems to be that political satire is apparently banned in the USA, or perhaps Americans are just too sanctimonious about their government to get it. Either way what careful doses of it there were on this show get replaced with more and more crude propaganda in the fourth and fifth seasons; Elections aren`t rigged, bought out and controlled at all in P&R which they most certainly are in real life, taxes are good and not at all funneled into the endless pit of the Federal Reserve and local politicians make decisions as opposed to rubber stamping federal and UN "legislation". If a comedy show can`t tackle this satirically, and instead rah rahs about how wonderful Obama and Hitlery Clinton are, it needs to avoid the topics altogether. But P&R did not and destroyed itself in the process. Season 5 might as well have been written by John McCain or some other Washington parasite. Indeed the ghastly McCain even makes an appearance in season 5, setting his stamp of death and decay on this ruined "comedy" show. If any poor Americans want an example of what real political satire looks like I recommend either the old BBC show Yes Minister or the movie Brazil.

    I would advise people to get the three first seasons of Parks and Recreation and then pretend it got cancelled, which in some ways it did since it`s not much of a comedy after this point. Seasons 1-3 I would rate a 9, season 4 a 5 and season 5 a 1. Watching beyond this point seems highly pointless.
  7. Nov 1, 2011
    How can this even be classed as comedy? Clearly a cheap rip-off of The Office (as with nearly all 'mockumentary' shows). I can understand the premise behind it but if people were actually this inept at what is supposedly their job they wouldn't work for more than a week at best in any job. I can't watch a full episode, it's just cringe-worthy stuff Expand

See all 47 User Reviews

Related Articles

  1. Television Critics Announce 2013 Award Winners

    Television Critics Announce 2013 Award Winners Image
    Published: August 4, 2013
    Saturday night, TV critics and journalists announced the winners of their 29th annual awards. Inside, get a complete list of the shows and performers who won.
  2. 2012 Television Critic Top Ten Lists

    2012 Television Critic Top Ten Lists Image
    Published: December 12, 2012
    Track every year-end top-ten list published by major TV critics and publications, and view the overall composite standings for best TV show of 2012.
  3. 2011 Television Critic Top Ten Lists [Updated Jan. 11]

    2011 Television Critic Top Ten Lists [Updated Jan. 11] Image
    Published: December 13, 2011
    Throughout the coming weeks, we
  4. The Best TV Shows of 2009 ... and the Decade

    The Best TV Shows of 2009 ... and the Decade Image
    Published: January 2, 2010
    Is 2000-09 the best decade in television history? Find out what shows made the past ten years so strong, and which programs went down as the best and worst of 2009.