Monthly Archives: March 2011

Parks and Recreation

1. Leslie Knope

a. Civic pioneer-woman. Indefatigably upbeat. Believes that she can do anything if she puts her mind to it. Believes in the power of government to do good things. Ironic, because in reality the parks dept. is very small in the grand scheme of things.

b. Interesting that Sweetums — the leading cause of obesity — is so integral to the town and sponsors many parks events. Leslie can only make the parks open and accessible, but can’t make people use them, while Sweetums has the power to be more coercive.

c. Schur clearly loves the Wire and would ideally like to open up more aspects of city government so you get a greater sense of how the town works. On a certain level, Leslie can call in favors, but what happens when two major interests actually conflict? For instance a developer and the parks dept? Who, or WHAT, really runs the town?

d. What are Sweetums factory workers like? What are working conditions like?

2. Tom Haverford

a. What are his aspirations really? Why is he in local government? To start lifestyle businesses?  Or to wheel and deal his way to the top of government? His journey is leaving his superficiality and learning from Leslie.

3. Ron Swanson

a. He is always conflicted between his political ideals of no government and his personal obligations to Leslie.

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Just spitballing here …

I am going insane, my brain is mush, I am horrifically depressed, I am not meeting the most basic of my obligations. Part of the problem may be that I do not have a creative outlet. I take refuge in television, not just to turn my mind off, but I try to be an engaged viewer and I have strong opinions. Sadly, when I dream I often dream of tv. Maybe a creative side project can be trying to write a hypothetical script for a tv show that I like. That way, I get to be creative (as I always had the opportunity to do in high school and college) and maybe that will help me deal with the (seeming) drudgery of my everyday life.

The shows I think about the most are Parks and Rec and Community.

Community thoughts:

1. The most underserved characters are the older ones: Shirley and Pierce. I think there is a lot more to explore with Shirley:

a. Main thing: her character is one who had major drinking problems in the past and major responsibilities: her children. She has been defined as a religious character in a very one-dimensional way, but for someone who has struggled to keep their life together and someone who people depend on, church and religion provide really important support mechanisms. Britta and Jeff are very dismissive and everyone else is indifferent.

b. Related: the stakes for Shirley at community college are much different: she needs to find a job. Maybe at some point everyone else is taking blow-off classes and she has to tell them that she needs to figure out what kind of job she is going to get. Britta is in favor of exploring the arts, Abed wants to go into entertainment, she may poo poo these ideas, and find an unlikely ally in Jeff. May cause reflection on what education, and particularly their time in community college, is for.

c.  motherly relationship with Troy as they are both black and what that might mean and how Troy may resist identifying with her since that is not how he primarily defines himself.

2. Britta

a.  I think she’s been under-written for some time now. She is a knee jerk liberal, and has only been portrayed as being that way to gain some sense of superiority. But what are the sincere reasons why she identifies this way or wants to be concerned with the underprivileged and the downtrodden? Explore further the disconnect of WANTING to care about these things, but not actually feeling it. Explore the idea of how she feels she should approach caring about these things. How would she stay funny?

3.  Annie

a. Ambitious, but why? Feels like a failure for having been high-achieving but then dropping out. She is the one who wears the community college label most uneasily. Idea: she has the opportunity to transfer to the state university and instinctively jumps at the opportunity, but actually doesn’t know what she wants to do.

4. Troy

a. Old football friends from high school meet Abed. They basically call him gay and really don’t get Abed. Troy has to come to terms with the fact that there was a network of people who knew him and had a certain idea of him and he has changed quite a bit. Maybe over Thanksgiving, when friends come back from college and he has to own the person he has become.

5. Pierce

6. Abed.

7. Jeff

a. Gives inspirational speech for his own ends to manipulate people to do something they don’t actually want to do. Usually finds out he’s wrong.