“Parks and Recreation”: The Skip It/Watch It Guide

Ah, welcome to summer! That magical time of year when all the TV goes away. All of it! Even Game of Thrones is over now! WHY BOTHER BEING ALIVE?

The answer: To catch up on old television you may have missed! So we’re bringing back the Skip It/Watch It Guides for a few weeks, specifically to give you some extra viewing options as we head into the hot hell of July and August. And to kick things off — we’ve got Parks and Recreation!

Once upon a time, Parks and Rec was known as “the show that’s not exactly a spin-off of The Office that stars the blonde chick from Saturday Night Live. You know, the one who seems to be pregnant all the time.” But it has since evolved into one of the funniest and best-hearted comedies on television, with a top-notch cast and complex yet clearly defined characters. It is a show about a bunch of people who work in local government, but unlike local government, it’s hilarious, affecting and inspiring.

In case this isn’t clear: I LOVE this show, to the point of near obsession. And you should love it too! You probably will love it too. It’s great. But like many fantastic shows, it takes a bit of time to find its footing, and thus I have gone to great painstaking effort to create a detailed guide that will enable you to fall in love immediately…

Okay, I lied. Here it is: Skip the first season. Skip the pilot, skip everything, just jump in with the Season 2 premiere, “Pawnee Zoo.” You will miss a few things, like this:

Image created by Alex Leo (click for more pictures of Ron Swanson eating meat)

But don’t worry. You will have other opportunities to see Ron Swanson eat meat. So many opportunities. It’s not that Season 1 is terrible — it’s just that the things which will make you fall in love with this show are so much clearer in later episodes. Starting a new TV show does require some faith — and Season 2 is much more likely to reward that faith.

Now, before you consider this to be the laziest Skip It/Watch It yet (I mean, technically it is, but whatever, this is only the third I’ve done), I would like to mention that I tested this experience in a real world scenario — which is to say that I told my friend Emily she should watch the show, and asked her to start watching with Season 2. And issues I was worried about, like not knowing who had previously dated who or how certain people had met, were not an issue for her. So there you go! This one is field-tested.

As of writing, Season 2 is available on Netflix, and Season 3 can be found on Hulu Plus (five episodes at a time are available for free). Season 1 is also on Netflix. But in case you weren’t paying attention, you shouldn’t watch it.

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About Liz Shannon Miller

Liz Shannon Miller, based in Los Angeles, is a writer for the screen and the web, her work including G4's Attack of the Show and the tech blog GigaOM. She also co-hosts the podcast Timey Wimey TV, contributes to the video curation site Here's Some Awesome, and tells her friend Frank about stuff at Liz Tells Frank.

Posted on June 21, 2011, in No Spoilers, Skip It/Watch It Guide, TV and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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