The Office vs Parks and Rec
I have to give credit to Greg Daniels for producing arguably two of the greatest sitcoms of all time. I've heard many people argue about which of the two shows wears the crown and I am here to settle that debate. In this post, I will analyze my favorite parts and characters of these two shows (along with my least favorite) and ultimately decide which one is the King of Netflix.
Similar in nature to each other, both The Office and Parks and Rec provide easy to watch content with a wide variety of characters to relate to. Both shows are set in a small town (Scranton, PA and Pawnee, IN) and provide a steady balance of humor, love, and craziness.
When I first watched The Office, I failed to understand the humor of Michael Scott and his character honestly did not sit well with me. It was not until I came back to watch it a second time when I fell in love with the character and appreciated Steve Carrell's unbelievable performance. His humor, child-like persona, clear lack of awareness for things that he says and a general sense of goofiness makes Michael Scott such an amazing character. I think that the perfect representation of Michael Scott's character is in the episode where Michael clamps his foot on the George Foreman grill (S2E12). Not only is his explanation hilarious, but his presence around the office the rest of the episode is Steve Carrell's best performance throughout the show. You cannot talk about Michael Scott without his unrivaled Assistant (to the?) Regional Manager Dwight Schrute. As much as I love Michael Scott, there is no better person to back his unusual humor than an unusual guy such as Dwight Schrute. Every interaction with his coworkers is bound to lead in a direction that strikes comedy gold. Along with his Beet Farm and his hilarious cousin Mose, Dwight Schrute is my pick for the best character on The Office. If you want to watch a hilarious performance by Dwight Schrute then it shouldn't be too hard since it's the same episode as Michael's best performance (S2E12). Dwight's concussion in this episode is flawlessly depicted by Rainn Wilson and I can think of no better episode that depicts the humor and devotedness to Michael that Dwight brings to the table. Aside from the humor, The Office has made us all fall in love with Jim and Pam as we watch their relationship rollercoaster of a relationship throughout the series. It's safe to say that Jim (John Krasinski) and Pam (Jenna Fischer) are one of the most beloved couples in TV history and that just goes to show how The Office is more than just a mindless comedy show. To accompany this outstanding lead cast is a wide variety of supporting characters and storylines such as: Kelly (Mindy Kaling) and Ryan's (B.J. Novak) on-again off-again relationship, the mysterious yet hilarious story of Creed, the stupidity of Kevin (Brian Baumgartner) and of course the unwillingness of Andy Bernard (Ed Helms) to let go of his college days at Cornell. Now don't get me wrong, The Office added some horrible additions to the cast of the years. For starters, Nellie Bertram has never made me laugh or even smile and is possible the worst and most annoying character on the show by far. Joining Nellie on the bottom of the ranks are Gabe Lewis, Clark, Pete, and pretty much every new character after Steve Carrell left the show in Season 7. Overall, I loved The Office but the show took a serious turn for the worse after Season 7.
My recommended episodes of The Office: "The Injury" (S2E12), " Dinner Party" (S4E13), Stress Relief (S5E14), and Casino Night (S2E22).
Parks and Rec
Created in 2009, four years after the release of The Office in 2005, Parks and Rec follows the work of Pawnee's Parks and Rec department. I honestly think that Parks and Rec season 1 was a disaster and does not reflect the show as a whole by any means. The main reason why I hated season 1 of Parks and Rec was because Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) was trying too hard to be the female version of Michael Scott. However, as the show developed and grew into its own show rather than a copycat, it really grew on me. Leslie Knope transitioned from a goofy female Michael Scott into a competent worker who's comedy came from her interactions with the members of the highly unintelligent town that she lives in. Any episode that depicts one of Leslie's town hall meetings is bound to make you laugh. Although Leslie Knope is the main character of the show, the true king of Parks and Rec has to be Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman). Ron Swanson is the exact opposite of Michael Scott in every single way. The reason that I love Ron Swanson is because his laid back persona coupled with his connection to April Ludgate (Aubrey Plaza) makes him such a like-able character. Watching Leslie's extreme enthusiasm clash with Ron's complete disinterest makes for hilarious interactions between the two of them. Similar to The Office, Parks and Rec explores romantic. relationships between characters but manages to put a comedic twist onto it. The relationship between Andy Dwyer (Chris Pratt) and April is a highpoint of the show and adds comedy through the childish nature of their surprisingly successful marriage. Parks and Rec also made two great additions to the cast through Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) and Chris Traeger (Rob Lowe). It is always hilarious to watch Chris express his extreme optimism only to have Ben swoop in with a harsh reality check. There is only one character who was a bad addition to the show in my opinion and it was the unbelievably annoying Craig Middlebroooks. His character's idea of comedy was to start talking normally until he ends the sentence in a full scream until he runs away. He is truly one of the worst characters that I have ever seen in any show. Similar to The Office, Parks and Rec provides some hilarious side-characters through the annoying yet funny entrepreneurial brain of Tom (Aziz Ansari), the shopping obsessed Donna (Retta), and of course the clumsy Garry Jerry Larry Terry Gergich (Jim O'Heir). Overall, I really enjoyed watching Parks and Rec.
My recommended episodes of Parks and Rec: "The Fight" (S3E13), "Harvest Festival"(S3E7), and Any Ron and Tammy Episode.
Final Word: Although I love both of these shows, The Office reigns supreme as the King of Netflix.