The Office vs. Parks and Rec


Why The Office is the Greatest Show of ALL TIME

With the rise of Netflix, The Office has been able to maintain a steady stream of viewers even after the ending of the show. After being adapted from the British version of series it was unclear if the American version would be as much of a success as the original. After getting off to a controversial start, The Office soon became a hit across America. This success continues even now, almost 6 years after the show has ended. This is partially due to the relatability of the characters along with the charming documentary-style filming that makes it easy to watch and to connect to the characters. The characters are developed and complex but still remain funny and interesting to watch. The audience is able to watch relationships progress all while laughing at the everyday shenanigans employees of Dunder Mifflin get into. The writers were able to take the basic concept of an American workplace and turn it into something much more. The quotability of the show also plays into its success as I do not think a day has gone by that I have not heard a reference to The Office. Although there have been many shows that attempt to follow the same format, they have not been able to have the same impact. The simple comedy that The Office uses makes it so rewatchable, and as an avid watcher of the show I can confirm that every time I watch I notice something new. Unlike many comedies of the 2000s, The Office employs subtle comedy rather than over the top jokes with a laugh track in the back. It doesn’t need a laugh track because you know when the punchline is, which many comedies fail to match. The best scene of the show, in my opinion, is the cold open from season 5 episode 14: Stress Relief (part 1). The 5 minute clip exemplifies one of the greatest scenes in television history and a scene that makes me laugh no matter how many times I have watched it, which no comedy besides The Office can make me do.

 What About Parks and Rec?

Parks and Rec blows The Office out of the water. Although it had a shorter run time on TV, it did not have nearly as many bad episodes during its run. Parks and Rec left at the peak, while The Office did not come to close with its best material. The Parks and Rec finale sticks with the viewer ages after seeing it, while The Office felt like it was dragged on far too long.

The final character arcs for Leslie and the crew felt important and necessary to their characters. The show fulfills their promise of not only a funny, but smart show. I have never turned on an episode of Parks and Rec and felt “over it.” It emphasizes the positivity necessary not only for a happy work place, but for a happy life. It teaches lessons of loyalty.

Throughout its time on air, additions to the cast only added to the velocity of remarkable relationships, friendships and laughter. In the limited time it had we got to see deep development of all the characters. Guest stars graced our screens week after week, adding new material that sat with perfect balance between awkward and second-hand embarrassment.

Because of how great every episode was, I feel I am unable to choose just one favorite. However, I do not think I could continue without mentioning the one and only “Li’l Sebastian” (Season 3, Episode 16). Leslie’s work relationships are tested as she has to sneak around to avoid anyone finding out about her and Ben, and everyone else is running around trying to get everything ready for the big event. Li’l Sebastian makes this episode to begin with, but add in Andy’s take on “Candle in the Wind” and you have one of the most memorable episodes of television, 5,000 times better than most. I recommend Parks and Recreation 10/10.