Parks and Recreation : Season 1

  • Network: NBC
  • Series Premiere Date: Apr 9, 2009
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 299 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 22 out of 299

Review this tv show

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  1. JohnH
    Jun 1, 2009
    6
    Only really watchable because of the shows surrounding it.
  2. Nov 20, 2014
    6
    The people who brought us the U.S. version of The Office bring us this new sitcom with the hopes of achieving those same heights. While it seems they succeeded with the later seasons, this first one falls short. For one thing it basically feels way too much like The Office. Only instead of a paper company you get a political/government agency.

    The mockumentary style feels very familiar
    The people who brought us the U.S. version of The Office bring us this new sitcom with the hopes of achieving those same heights. While it seems they succeeded with the later seasons, this first one falls short. For one thing it basically feels way too much like The Office. Only instead of a paper company you get a political/government agency.

    The mockumentary style feels very familiar and main character "Leslie Knope" is basically just a female Michael Scott. None of this would be a very big deal if the show was funnier. It's not a bad first season, but it is a very disappointing one. One that doesn't provide enough laughs and feels too familiar. However there is still some entertainment to be found here. I just hope the next season is as much of an improvement as it's said to be.
    Expand
  3. Feb 26, 2014
    6
    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 overThis 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.
    Expand
  4. May 26, 2013
    6
    Parks and Recreation was created by a number of the people behind the US version of the office. Anyone that has seen the US Office, or the British version for that matter, will be immediately familiar with the shows ‘mockumentary’ style presentation. On this occasion however the focus is on the Parks and Recreation department of local government and Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) inParks and Recreation was created by a number of the people behind the US version of the office. Anyone that has seen the US Office, or the British version for that matter, will be immediately familiar with the shows ‘mockumentary’ style presentation. On this occasion however the focus is on the Parks and Recreation department of local government and Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) in particular. Poehler is certainly the star of the show and it is impossible not to feel sympathy for the ever optimistic Knope as despite her best intentions things never quite seem to go her way and her character certainly went a long way to drawing me into the show.

    Fortunately, for the most part anyway, it is also fairly funny. Seeing as this first season is only six episodes long it is difficult to judge just how funny it will become, as all sit-coms need time to allow audiences to understand the characters, but it certainly has potential and I am very much looking forward to watching the full twenty-two episode second season.
    Expand
  5. Matt
    Apr 17, 2009
    5
    I think in the two episodes I've seen, I've laughed twice.
  6. Oct 19, 2012
    5
    I used to love this show when it came out all through the last season. It was funny and campy and it had a very small-town feel to it. It was just about a woman trying to make a difference in her community.

    Sadly, the show in the currently running season, has turned into a game of partisan politics. It's essentially about mercilessly savaging strawmen of one side of American politics. I
    I used to love this show when it came out all through the last season. It was funny and campy and it had a very small-town feel to it. It was just about a woman trying to make a difference in her community.

    Sadly, the show in the currently running season, has turned into a game of partisan politics. It's essentially about mercilessly savaging strawmen of one side of American politics. I am sure that if you have a brain between your ears you can figure out which side of the political spectrum this show is assailing.

    It was still mildly funny at first, but after a while this became the central theme of the show. It's very much about 'wow look at how stupid and domineering and vile this side is!' and is turning into a real circle-jerk where certain types of people are going to watch is and get giddy that their political beliefs are (yet again) reflected so accurately on the big screen.

    Shame to see this happen to a genuinely good show.
    Expand
  7. Dec 13, 2014
    5
    Well, you can't judge the quality of the show solely based on season one. In my opinion, the first season is bad. But the show gets better every time. Now it's one of my favorite.
  8. Apr 27, 2014
    5
    Taking into consideration the short, dorky first season, Parks and Recreation is a dumber, toned down version of The Office. Amy Poehler on the lead tries everything she can but in the end, the result is a mixed bag of childish jokes, political innuendo that comes out rather flat and an extremely short range of characters that have lots of screen time but little background knowledge.
    The
    Taking into consideration the short, dorky first season, Parks and Recreation is a dumber, toned down version of The Office. Amy Poehler on the lead tries everything she can but in the end, the result is a mixed bag of childish jokes, political innuendo that comes out rather flat and an extremely short range of characters that have lots of screen time but little background knowledge.
    The first season is not entirely bad. The pilot, unfortunately, gives a bad first impression. Is silly, way too mild, with no sharp Poehler humour to be found. Chapter 2 is also something of an abomination. Then the show starts to picks up, finding more love in the characters and taking advantage of the Mockumentary formula. It is a skippable season, due to length and quality, and to say its the worst of the 6 its an undeniable truth.
    Expand
  9. AMorris
    Apr 11, 2009
    4
    Awful. Everyone is trying way too hard. The jokes are a sort of mimicry of The Office sense of humour, but they fall flat. Not funny. The 4 is only because at least it's not another "Lame father and mother with backtalking kids" sitcom clone.
  10. Jul 17, 2013
    4
    Parks and Recreation used Season one as a way to establish how the characters will be they also needed time to find their voice, but did quite the opposite. The show wasn't trying at all to be unique, in fact, it was too similar to The Office. They need more time to hone their voice.
  11. Aug 17, 2014
    4
    Very good ideas but terrible main character. I only heard of this show in the US and it's completely unknown elsewhere. This is the "saturday night live" effect. Somehow, actors out of "saturday night live" are supported by american critics. In my opinion, Poehler is unbearable and she is destroying the show despites the very good secondary characters. I'm already not an addict of theVery good ideas but terrible main character. I only heard of this show in the US and it's completely unknown elsewhere. This is the "saturday night live" effect. Somehow, actors out of "saturday night live" are supported by american critics. In my opinion, Poehler is unbearable and she is destroying the show despites the very good secondary characters. I'm already not an addict of the office, so I shouldn't have tried this. Expand
Metascore
58

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: 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.