Most spinoffs are never as successful as their predecessors, but the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation is a different story. While many people debate over which is superior, the characters and comedic tendencies of this spinoff make it one of the most quotable shows to date.
One of the biggest arguments between the two shows circle around the main love interests. For The Office' fans, Jim Halpert is the loveable paper salesman that stole secretary Pam Beesly’s heart. It seems like the perfect love story, except that there is one greater. Deputy Director of Parks and Recreation Leslie Knope and state auditor Ben Wyatt are a match made in heaven.
Jim and Pam’s love story is more well-known, but is also quite problematic. In the beginning, Jim expects Pam to immediately leave Roy and be with him whenever he confesses his feelings, even getting annoyed with her at some point. Him going behind her back to pursue his dream job at Athlead while she came home from studying art because she missed him said a lot as well.
Ben and Leslie’s relationship, however, is empowering and healthy. They support each other’s dreams and grow not only as a couple, but also as individuals. Their dynamic is also captivating. They read each other so well, and are nerdy but in their own ways. Their support and love for each other shone through the television screen.
Another great difference is the overall feel of the show. Maybe it is the lighting and more uplifting nature of the show, but it has a much more lighthearted feel than The Office. Some of the character dialogue and humor contributes to this, especially the friendships between characters. Even the characters who are more bitter and dry have a soft spot to them.
Many people do believe that The Office outshines Parks and Recreation though. Some people claim that Dunder Mifflin manager Michael Scott was equally mean to everyone, meaning they were close. However, Leslie supported her staff with positive comments and affirmations and willingly hung out with them outside of work. This is different from Michael, who did not like some of his staff.
People also seem to idolize the friendship between coworkers Dwight Schrute and Jim Halpert. Their friendship mainly consisted of Dwight plotting against and despising Jim, and Jim always pranking him. On the other hand, Leslie and nurse Ann Perkins had a positive but very comica best friendship.
There are honorable mentions as to why Pawnee, Indiana is the place to visit on your television screen over Scranton, Pennsylvania. Some of these include actress Rashida Jones’s portrayal of Ann Perkins over Karen Filippelli, the silly humor over awkward scenes, and the immense character development of everyone.
We also cannot forget the mysterious Parks and Recreation character that is known as Jean Ralpho. Even when you hate him, you learn to love him.
Even if this dispute lasts forever, it is easy to see how the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company began a trend of sitcoms that Pawnee’s Parks Department perfected.