A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Although the series draws its comedy from government dysfunction, the main character and her colleagues do manage to make some positive changes in their community...eventually. The coworkers become family over the course of the series, and there's a lot of respect and integrity among them.
Positive Role Models
Leslie Knope is a wonderful role model with a lot of integrity. She's passionate about her job, so even when she slips up, her heart's in the right place.But a few of her colleagues are less than ethical. However, they demonstrate teamwork to overcome challenges and red tape. All of the female characters in this series -- Donna, April, Leslie, and Ann -- have sexual agency and have a great deal of control in relationships, both work and personal. Additionally, many of the male characters play against stereotypes (Chris’ sensitivity and battle with depression, Andy’s vulnerability and warmth, Tom's interest in fashion and culture).
Violence & Scariness
Mild falls/slapstick moments, played for comedic effect.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Sexual innuendo, along with suggestive euphemisms like "get laid" and "just the tip." Some characters are involved in interoffice affairs and/or one-night stands, etc.
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Audible words like "hell," "bitch," "crap," and "douchebag." On occasion, there's also strong bleeped language, as in "f--k my c--k."
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Products & Purchases
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Mostly social drinking, but characters sometimes drink on the job to celebrate. Any drunkenness is played for comedy.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that teens who watch Parks and Recreation will find a mockumentary-style sitcom from the creators of The Office with adult-oriented humor when it comes to sexual content, alcohol, and language (including a little bleeped swearing). That said, the main character is goofy but likeable, and her well-intentioned quest to perform her public duties as ethically as possible -- however misguided -- is a noble one.
Is It Any Good?
This series is goofy, clever, and ultimately, full of heart. Playing a deluded public servant with a can-do attitude, Poehler -- who first found fame on Saturday Night Live -- tackles a different kind of comedy in this mockumentary that attempts to do for small-town bureaucrats what The Office did for misguided middle managers. And the verdict is that Parks and Recreation pulls it off, thanks in large part to the comedic chops of a woman who once gangsta rapped with Sarah Palin on SNL's "Weekend Update" while 8 months' pregnant.
The show's first season was funny, if not rolling-on-the-floor hilarious -- but the character-driven comedy gets better with time once audiences are more familiar with the players involved and come to embrace their quirks and foibles. The decision to keep things fresh with new regulars and a steady stream of guest stars and is a smart choice, too, pulling talent like Scott, Rob Lowe and Patricia Clarkson into the mix.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.