Why Parks and Rec Is Better than The Office

Why Parks and Rec Is Better than The Office

"Warning: high levels of swagger coming through." — Tom Haverford

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Before the Internet trolls attach me, I should make it clear that I am a huge fan of both The Office and Parks and Recreation. They are arguably the two funniest shows television has aired. In fact, Parks and Rec was supposed to be a spin-off of The Office and be based off a printer company that had to fix one of Dunder Mifflin's copiers. Could that have been interesting? Sure, but I think both shows were better off shot in the same style but with separate story lines. There is a lot of debate as to which of these comedies is the "better one" and I'm here to clear up any confusion of this. PARKS AND REC IS CLEARLY BETTER, and here is why:

Parks and Rec is not nearly as cringe-worthy as The Office

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I'm sure everyone remembers the inevitable cringe-feeling watching the "Scott's Tots" episode. Or how about the "Diversity Day" episode where they all go around with stereotypes pinned to their foreheads. Even the famous character Michael Klump character from "Weight Loss" didn't sit right. As hilarious as The Office is, sometimes they took the jokes a little too far. Parks and Rec has its awkward moments, but you never feel so gross you have to turn away.

Parks and Rec has more comedians

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Without question, Steve Carell is one of the funniest comedians of this time, but as a whole Parks and Rec has more comedy-specialized actors and actresses. Amy Poehler is a comedy genius, Chris Pratt brings comic relief to even his current more serious roles, Aubrey Plaza literally had her character written into the show because she was so unique, Aziz Ansari has hosted his own stand-up specials, and Retta is a stand-up comedian who literally named her new biography.

Even down the road Parks and Rec features more comedians in supporting roles such as Keegan-Michael Key, Billy Eichner, Paul Rudd, Nick Kroll, Jenny Slate, Jason Mantzoukas, Ben Schwartz, and Kyle Mooney. Face it, when you have that many comedic minds collaborating, its bound to bring successful comedy.

Characters aren't purely mean to each other

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Yes, Jerry is the target for many office jokes, but ultimately the characters aren't as naturally mean-spirited towards each other on Parks and Rec like they are in The Office. Angela having an affair with Dwight while engaged to Andy, Phyllis blackmailing Angela, Oscar having an affair with the Senator behind Angela's back, Andy leaving the company and his girlfriend Erin for three months, Michael Scott actually harassing some of his coworkers... need I say more? The Parks and Rec relationships are genuine, and even though everyone gets on each other's nerves once in a while, at the end of the day they are a family who truly cares for one another. Leslie Knope's compliments to Anne ALONE adds more positivity to Parks and Rec than all nine seasons of The Office.

The characters are more relatable

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Maybe this is based on my personal experience, but the Parks and Rec characters are more relatable. Perhaps this is because the cast at large is closer to my age, but I think the specific character niches in Parks and Rec more noticeable in an actual workplace. The complete over-achiever (Leslie Knope), the complete under-achiever (April), the one who brings politics into everything and slightly scares you (Ron Swanson), the health freak (Chris), the office comic relief who you low key don't know how they got hired (Andy Dwyer), the quiet one who secretly lives a worldly, interesting life but is just there for the benefits (Donna), the pop-culture, designer-obsessed one who's always talking about what the next big thing is (Tom), the cute and smart guy who always seems a little on edge (Ben), the one who really just blends in (Anne), and of course the office clown (Jerry). In all of my coworkers I see aspects of the Parks and Rec characters.

They responsibly tackled feminist issues

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It's not secret that Leslie Knope was a die-hard feminist on the show, but there was something special about the way Parks and Rec included gender equality and broke gender norms. Anne decided she wanted a baby so she had one! Ron Swanson got an award only women receive. Leslie Knope had no problem admitting she was her personal hero. There was an entire episode dedicated to a camp giving girls the same opportunities girls had. Parks and Rec really came through when it came to recognizing GIRL POWER!

The small-town feel

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Pawnee was a town that all viewers could love. Sure, The Office has Scranton, but we already know Scraton, PA. Pawnee did something different; it brought light to a town that no one had heard of but everyone knew about. It might not be real, but somehow Pawnee Indiana became all of our home town. We all have a JJ's Diner, a park we love, a city hall, and a rival town (Screw Eagleton!). Pawnee had issues but what town doesn't! Pawnee normalized small-town America, and made us all weep over the death of a mini horse. RIP Lil Sebastian.

The show had some of the best one-liners

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"I stand behind my decision to avoid salad and other disgusting things." — Leslie Knope

"Do you think a depressed person could make THIS?" - Ben Wyatt

"I can convince small children that I'm a witch."- April Ludgate

"Love…love fades away, but things…things are forever." — Tom Haverford

"I think Comic Sans always screams FUN." — Jerry Gergich

"Leslie, I tried to make ramen in the coffee pot and broke everything"- Andy Dwyer

"Biking for charity is LITERALLY one of my interests on Facebook" - Chris Traeger

"Jogging is the WORST! I know it keeps you healthy but God at what cost?!"

"There has never been a sadness that can't be cured by breakfast food." — Ron Swanson

"Yes, I am a hunter and it's 'you' season." — Donna Meagle

The Economic Impact

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We can all agree that the Treat Yo' Self episode is single handedly why the USA came out of a recession, and has been the stability of the economy since

Political cameos and discussions

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Joe Biden, John McCain, and Michelle Obama all made appearances throughout the seven seasons. Plus, Parks and Rec made people comfortable talking about politics. If we're being honest, a lot of what I know about town government and political campaigns is because of that show. Politics are part of our lives, and it was a nice change to see a program take it seriously while still poking so much fun.

They knew when to stop

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Parks and Rec had an amazing seven season, and what I would argue was the best way to end a TV show ever. Unlike The Office (which should have ended when Michael Scott left Scranton) Parks and Rec showed beautiful flash-forwards of the cast's lives and how they come together as a family again in the end. It also features the team tackling one last Pawnee park problem, which was ADORABLE. Even better, they left somethings up to interpretation, like the security team guarding Leslie and Ben at Jerry's funeral. The Office ends with Andy failing, Jim and Pam fighting, and with a weird kidnapping of Angela ticking her off before the wedding (I know that that's not the final episode but overall the show concluded terribly). Seven seasons was perfect for Parks and Rec at the time, but I do hope the rumors for a re-boot are true!

Whether you agree with me on which one is better does not matter as much as long as we can all agree that Parks and Rec was an incredible TV show. **COUGH COUGH (but it's still better than The Office) **COUGH COUGH**

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10 Things Someone Who Grew Up In A Private School Knows

The 10 things that every private school-goer knows all too well.

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1. Uniforms

Plaid. The one thing that every private school-goer knows all too well. It was made into jumpers, skirts, shorts, scouts, hair ties, basically anything you could imagine, the school plaid was made into. You had many different options on what to wear on a normal day, but you always dreaded dress uniform day because of skirts and ballet flats. But it made waking up late for school a whole lot easier.

2. New people were a big deal

New people weren't a big thing. Maybe one or two a year to a grade, but after freshman year no one new really showed up, making the new kid a big deal.

3. You've been to school with most of your class since Kindergarten


Most of your graduating class has been together since Kindergarten, maybe even preschool, if your school has it. They've become part of your family, and you can honestly say you've grown up with your best friends.

4. You've had the same teachers over and over

Having the same teacher two or three years in a row isn't a real surprise. They know what you are capable of and push you to do your best.

5. Everyone knows everybody. Especially everyone's business.

Your graduating class doesn't exceed 150. You know everyone in your grade and most likely everyone in the high school. Because of this, gossip spreads like wildfire. So everyone knows what's going on 10 minutes after it happens.

6. Your hair color was a big deal

If it's not a natural hair color, then forget about it. No dyeing your hair hot pink or blue or you could expect a phone call to your parents saying you have to get rid of it ASAP.

7. Your school isn't like "Gossip Girl"

There is no eating off campus for lunch or casually using your cell phone in class. Teachers are more strict and you can't skip class or just walk right off of campus.

8. Sports are a big deal

Your school is the best of the best at most sports. The teams normally go to the state championships. The rest of the school that doesn't play sports attends the games to cheer on the teams.

9. Boys had to be clean-shaven, and hair had to be cut

If you came to school and your hair was not cut or your beard was not shaved, you were written up and made to go in the bathroom and shave or have the head of discipline cut your hair. Basically, if you know you're getting written up for hair, it's best just to check out and go get a hair cut.

10. Free dress days were like a fashion show

Wearing a school uniform every day can really drive you mad. That free dress day once a month is what you lived for. It was basically a fashion show for everyone, except for those upperclassmen who were over everything and just wore sweat pants.

Cover Image Credit: Authors Photos

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I Never Wanted To Go To College

I never wanted to go to college, but I stayed because I learned some things along the way - who knew.

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I went because it's what the family expected from me. It's a step towards a successful career path. And obviously because it's a natural progression from high school. But deep down I never wanted to go because I really found no reason to be there.

In my view if you weren't going into traditional career fields, going to college was an expensive long shot. I was also careful to pay attention to all the people that attended college only to work in fields different from what they originally studied.

I was wary but didn't care so I don't put much thought into it. I applied to a handful of schools and attended the one that was more convenient. Once there I found the whole process disheartening.

I relied heavily on financial aid and felt the interaction and choices I was making were more transactional then enriching. It was just like high school again. Go to class take notes, read the book take the test, rinse and repeat until you get the degree.

That was until I fell into a philosophy class that was really challenging. It was challenging in a way that I hadn't been experienced in a while. I was having trouble understanding the material but desperately wanted to learn it. I read books over and over until the concepts were crystal clear. It also helped that I had a teacher who was passionate about the subject as well.

It kind of changed my whole approach to picking classes. Sure I'd visit the advisors and get their take on how to follow the quickest path to graduation. But I also wanted to be intentional with my course selection and take classes where I would learn as much as I could in topics that interested me.

Whether or not they fit my major. That's the only thing that made going to school worth it. Learning topics that change how I approach life and challenged my thinking. Then I was growing intellectually and not just checking boxes for a degree.

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