Rolling Stone

30 Parks and Recreation

NBC 2009-15


So many of the comedies on this list are built on pain and anxiety. Parks and Rec rests on a happier foundation, taking its cues from its heroine, Amy Poehler’s cando civil servant Leslie Knope. The series deployed Leslie’s unbreakabl­e hopefulnes­s (and Poehler’s own bottomless reserves of energy) as a weapon, not only against intractabl­e governing problems, but also against the cynicism of colleagues like mustachioe­d libertaria­n Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman, magnificen­tly understate­d) or over-it intern April Ludgate (Aubrey Plaza). A series as capable of making you feel as good as it was of making you laugh at jokes like the town of Pawnee’s infatuatio­n with a tiny horse called Li’l Sebastian, or a fluridden Chris (Rob Lowe) telling himself to stop pooping.

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