• Network: NBC
  • Series Premiere Date: Apr 9, 2009
  • Season #: 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6
Metascore
59

Mixed or average reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 25
  2. Negative: 1 out of 25
  1. Reviewed by: Daniel Carlson
    80
    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. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    75
    While I laughed out loud only a few times during Parks' pilot, I dug the performances, the attitude, and the atmosphere that's being created.
  3. It has a kind of sunny charm, a premise fit for a novel, and is built upon a pair of strong female leads, a rare enough thing in sitcoms. Poehler and Jones have a nice, contrapuntal rhythm. I stamp this show: approved.
  4. 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.
  5. There's more than enough absurd charm in the show, meanwhile, to make the wait worthwhile.
  6. 70
    Parks and Recreation has many distinctions, not least of all the hugely talented Poehler from "Saturday Night Live," who promises to develop Leslie slowly, without the haste required in sketch comedy. And the show has the potential to become a flip, witty political allegory.
  7. 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.
  8. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    67
    The Parks and Recreation pilot is funny, with mounds of potential. Its problem is that it seems to be actively downplaying its distinctiveness by emphasizing the surface resemblance to The Office.
  9. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    67
    Unfortunately, one show's a classic, the other a near knockoff. Nevertheless, Poehler's still got plenty of appeal here.
  10. Reviewed by: Paige Wiser
    63
    All in all, it might be worth sticking with Parks and Recreation, because there are lots of funny little moments that could add up to a great series.
  11. Reviewed by: Adam Keleman
    63
    The jarring, awkward humor is similarly facilitated in the pilot as well. It's now just a waiting game to see if this patchy episodic specimen can gradually move past its Office-inspired roots and trudge toward developing its own individual, winning skin.
  12. Reviewed by: Troy Patterson
    60
    This is a civil servant who has yet to be jaded, and the show is just good enough to keep you turning back in to see her unwarranted optimism curdle.
  13. 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.
  14. It all has the potential to add up. Eventually.
  15. 50
    In its favor, Parks doesn't have a laugh track. On the minus side, it doesn't get many laughs.
  16. The pilot is not especially funny. But it has potential.
  17. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    50
    Series creators Greg Daniels and Michael Schur provide the show with moments of dry wit, and Poehler certainly has acting oblivious down to a wide-eyed science. Yet there's no escaping that this feels like "Office Lite," thrown together as a vehicle for the star rather than out of any grand inspiration.
  18. Parks has its funny moments but the comedy's first episode also has a distant and chilly feel to it.
  19. 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.
  20. 50
    Parks never expends enough energy to even approach funny, but even if it were more amusing, that sour whiff of gratuitous cruelty would still linger.
  21. 50
    The problem with the pilot is in tone. Self-important and silly but optimistic and sweet is a hard mark to hit week after week.
  22. Clueless, oblivious characters are a foundation of most sitcoms, but this show needs more of a humor base than a wall mural that shows Pawnee's first white settlers massacring the natives.
  23. 40
    Poehler's show unfortunately isn't worthy of her. It's dry and hesitant when one longs for it to be raucous and madcap.
  24. Poehler's funny because she's a smart blonde, not a dumb one. Here, she's reduced to one of TV's default settings.
  25. Parks and Recreation emerges a miscast mess.
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 233 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 42
  2. Negative: 8 out of 42
  1. Mar 11, 2011
    10
    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. Full Review »
  2. Nov 10, 2010
    10
    Parks and rec is vastly superior to the office in every way. This show is absolute perfection and comedic genius. You really must give it a chance, and if you are a fan of TV which i know you are, you will do yourself a favor and watch this. Great acting, writing and just plain hilarious this show has everything going for it. Full Review »
  3. nbc
    Aug 17, 2010
    10
    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! Full Review »