Parks and Recreation – 5 reasons to watch…

The award-winning American show starring Amy Poehler finally premieres in the UK tonight on BBC4 - here's why you mustn't miss out

1. If you liked Amy Poehler in Saturday Night Live, you’ll love her performance as ambitious but ditzy small-town Indiana bureaucrat Leslie Knope (the K is silent). Leslie’s ultimate goal in life is to become President of the United States and, despite her boss’s determination that nothing will ever be achieved in their department, her optimism never fails to shine through as she presses on with plans to improve her local town.


2. Parks and Recreation shows the trials and tribulations of local government, and you have so many bureaucratic speed bumps to look forward to… Leslie’s crises range from trying to fill in a hazardous construction pit to dealing with citizens’ minor complaints, plus a heady mix of tedious meetings, funding issues and fierce competition from other areas of local government. Throw a perfectionist like Leslie into the mix and you’ll be endlessly entertained by the extreme lengths she’ll go to in order to solve a problem.

3. Leslie’s boss Ron Swanson, played by Nick Offerman, has become a beloved TV character in America. His gruff personality, magnificent moustache, and hatred of the Parks Department he runs makes him Leslie’s ultimate obstacle as he strives to ensure his department is as ineffective as possible to achieve his libertarian goals.

4. If you enjoyed The Office’s mockumentary style of filming with a single camera, you’ll be pleased to hear Parks and Recreation adopts an identical technique, allowing the rest of the show’s stellar cast to shine. They include… Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones), a concerned citizen who becomes Leslie’s friend, Andy Dwyer (Chris Pratt), Ann’s loser-boyfriend, Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari), Leslie’s well-dressed, under-achieving subordinate and April Ludgate (Aubrey Plaza), her apathetic intern. 

5. The new show may start out a little clunky, but it will come into its own in the next series. Stick with it – it’s worth the wait…


Parks and Recreation starts tonight at 10pm on BBC4