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Best Comedies of 2012: 1 – Parks and Recreation

December 21st, 2012 by Rebecca Harper Editor

(The ten best comedies of 2012 were revealed on Hulu’s homepage this week. Here’s your winner. To view the rest of the list, click here.)

1 – Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation made it to the top of Hulu’s Best Comedies of 2012 list because a group of us here at Hulu HQ agreed that it really is the No. 1 comedy of the year. And this may be the first (only?) time this has ever happened, but someone at Time magazine agrees with us.

But what makes it one of TV’s best shows?

It comes down to the relationships.

First, the obvious one: Ben and Leslie (Adam Scott and Amy Poehler). Some of the show’s most tender moments are centered on their courtship, from their clandestine relationship to their decision to be together, no matter what, to a teary-eyed wedding proposal and a pretty amazing engagement gift.

Of course, there’s also Andy and April (Chris Pratt and Aubrey Plaza), and what I’d call the office romance between everyone in the Pawnee Parks Dept. However, what makes Parks and Rec truly great is a different relationship which borrows a page from the 30 Rock playbook: Leslie and Ron (Nick Offerman).

Ron and Leslie are much like Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy on that other NBC show. Ron takes on a fatherly role as he (somewhat reluctantly) guides Pawnee’s most enthusiastic citizen through her career and her life. Meanwhile, Leslie meddles in Ron’s life every chance she gets, whether she’s ambushing him with birthday cheer or protecting him from his dreaded ex-Tammys in her self-appointed role as his “emotional guardian.”

So I’ll go ahead and say it: Parks and Rec is the best comedy on TV today. Maybe it’s a strange alchemy of Ron’s gruff persona, Leslie’s eagerness, and Ben’s terrible accounting jokes. But I think it’s because it hasn’t shied away from the tender side of humanity. The show took a risk by letting its characters fall in love and be happy. In the past, that’d be considered jumping the shark, but here, the writers are smart enough to keep the relationships real and unforced. We’re rooting for Ben and Leslie. And April and Andy, Ron and Diane, and yes, even Jerry and Gayle.

Then again, maybe it’s really all about Ron’s bushy mustache. That would make a lot more sense.

Last comment: Dec 18th 2014 7 Comments
  • SNAPPS says:

    Great article! I think Parks and Recreation’s a great comedy and I always enjoy each new episode. I enjoy all my primetime shows and now I can watch all of my primetime shows thanks to the DISH Hopper DVR. I can enable PrimeTime Anytime and it will record the four major networks every night. This works perfect for me, since I work at night and I never have the chance to be home and watch them. I used to have timer conflicts and have to choose a show over another, but that’s a thing of the past. This was an excellent suggestion from my coworker at DISH who explained how it all works. I’m able to watch all my favorite episodes anytime and even new ones I’ve never watched.

  • Jo says:

    It damn well is the funniest show on hulu and deserves to win! It should’ve won last time instead of stupid ass Community, which is horribly awful!! That stupid dean is merely nothing more than a prop, and the 3rd season was just absolutely terrible. It’s nothing more than a modern day saved by the bell and the storyline gets old fast. -Dean walks in dressed in irrelevant drag, gives the group the problem at hand, & there you have the plot for the entire show.

  • J says:

    It damn well is the funniest show on hulu and deserves to win! It should’ve won last time instead of stupid ass Community, which is horribly awful!! That stupid dean is merely nothing more than a prop, and the 3rd season was just absolutely terrible. It’s nothing more than a modern day saved by the bell and the storyline gets old fast. -Dean walks in dressed in irrelevant drag, gives the group the problem at hand, & there you have the plot for the entire show.

  • John DeMaio says:

    archer. community.

  • EJ says:

    Leslie meeting Joe Biden and touching him then starting to move in for a kiss was the funniest moment in the entire season. I LOVED her face during this scene and how Ben was going to pull her off of the vice prez.

  • Summer time says:

    I always enjoyed this show and I’m not surprised…Amy Polard is the best

  • Alex M says:

    I honestly agree with this review for the most part. Hands down, Parks & Rec took a season which started out at a disadvantage, due to Leslie and Ben being in different cities, and made it into the BEST season yet. What I think is vital to the success of the show which was touched on, but not nearly enough, is the ensemble relationships and the sub-plots.

    Ann, Tom, Donna, Andy, April, Chris and (unfortunately) Gary add depth to the show! To think, where would Leslie be without Ann to act as the comedic “straight man,” her moral compass, her shoulder to cry on and her emotional nurse – cause god knows she lost her license by now. Or Donna! Who else would make you think if I visit pawnee, I’m partying with this b*tch! Or Andy who started out as Ann’s deadbeat boyfriend but quickly wins over April’s heart with his dim-witted, yet lovable persona. And let’s be honest he wins over our hearts as well. Or Chris and April, both starting the show very polarized but ended this season a lot more exposed than we ever expected. And you know what? We liked it!

    And how could we forget about Tom?! He’s the co-founder of entertainment 720. The sultan of swag. The Maverick of words! He gave us, ssert, tray trays, fri fri chicky chick, baller time, and trick yo self day. He introduced us to Jean-Ralphino, who never fails to make us fall down with laughter. And most importantly, Tom never has us asking, why the f**k are you in still Pawnee, Indiana? Cause honestly, we never want to see him leave. In my option, these are the characters that take a once struggling show and solidify it in comedic history.

    Oops, ran out of space…God damnit Jerry!

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