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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If South Carolina Colleges Were Characters From 'The Office'

Who's Jim and who's Meredith?
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"The Office" is one of the best shows on the face of the planet. Don't believe me, you obviously haven't watched it. It has a character for everything, including all of the South Carolina colleges.

The Citadel

This one is probably the easiest. Creed Bratton. Hands down. Military all day every day. No one knows what really goes on behind closed doors, except the people there. Just like Creed's mind.

Coastal Carolina University

Consistently voted one of the top party schools in the nation. #It'snotcollegeit'sCoastal.

Winthrop University

Winthrop is the place for future teachers. We all know that Meredith is the mother/teacher figure in the office, which is kind of scary in and of itself.

Columbia College

Erin just seems like the type of person who would go to an all-female college.

Bob Jones University

At what other school do you see people wearing things that could be from the American Girl large colonial dolls Spring line?

Wofford College

The pearls, Greek Life, and Southern fashion are so real.

Furman University

Let's be real. Pam is a bit of a nerd. But at the end of the day, she does know how to get down. I mean she WAS on the party planning committee. And who doesn't want that Ring By Spring?

College of Charleston

Nard Dog is definitely in an a capella group in Charleston, taking in the city and the history while dressing like a frat star.

Medical University of South Carolina

Andy isn't alone in Charleston. Dwight is down there becoming a doctor. Yes, someone who can save lives and is able to do surgery. Although, who else would you expect to be a doctor?

University of South Carolina

There would be no South Carolina without the University of South Carolina. There would be no office without Michael Scott. The later seasons prove it. They're large and in charge.

Clemson University

While Michael thinks that he runs the office, it's no secret that Jim is the mastermind behind the operation. The office would fall apart without him. I'll just let that sit.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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Even After Family Weekend, I Haven't Gotten Homesick And I'm Not Ashamed Of It

It's really OK.

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Now that we have successfully drifted into October, I am about a month and a half into my freshman year of college.


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As the leaves on the trees start to change colors and the skies start fading to grey, Family Weekend rolls around. As a preface, I used to live in Connecticut. I think it's safe to say I still #BleedBlue even after living in South Carolina for my high school career. Regardless, it's safe to say me attending the University of Connecticut is a little ways away from my parents and cats.

That being said, the last time I saw my mom and dad was move in day. Exactly six weeks without seeing my dad or giving my mom a "huggie". I have been away from home before, for example I went to Ireland and Scotland this summer for a week with a teacher from school and a few other kids that went to my high school.

I don't miss high school and I enjoy living in a dorm with my amazing roommate and hanging out with people pretty much everyday and just doing my own thing, but it's weird not coming home and seeing my parents every night.


I mean look at those twoElizabeth Dunn // Personal Photo


See, I can't describe this as home sickness, because I talk to my mom on a pretty consistent basis, she sends me pictures of my cats, and I just haven't had that cloud of sadness over my head because I miss home. Not to say I haven't been sad in college, stuff happens, but it hasn't been like what sooo many other people talk about it to be.


my four cats on my parent's bedElizabeth Dunn // Personal Photo


Even now, a few days after seeing my parents, I miss the people not the place. I'm not going to guilt trip myself over this either. I think it's healthier! It was super nice to hang out with my parents again. I got fed well and spent a night off campus for the first time since I got here. Another positive was not having to jump out of my bed the next morning or wear shower shoes while showering

I'm hoping while writing this, that the stereotypical home sickness doesn't catch up to me in the near future (preferably not at all).


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Even just six weeks in, I feel like I have grown as a person and changed. I will say it was amazing to see my parents, but I'm glad I'm away from home being able to blossom into an educated young woman.

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